Contrary to the common perception that lack of funding is the major cause of business failure, the Founder and Chairman of International Centre for Leadership and Entrepreneurial Development (ICLED), Professor (Mrs) Olajumoke Familoni has differed by identifying the root cause of business failure as lack of knowledge and non-existent passion by entrepreneurs.
Making this assertion during an interview on Meet your African CEO, an online television programme on CEOAfrica, Prof Familoni stated that on many occasions, business ventures do not fail because of inadequate funding but because business owners lack the passion and the right knowledge to maintain their businesses.
Prof Familoni noted that many people venture into businesses and entrepreneurship because of their desire to make money not because they are passionate about it. “Most organisations, even the well-funded ones fail because of lack of right management decisions, so even if you pour money into a business, it is going to crumble fast because the people in the business lack the knowledge about the intricacies of the business,” she said.
The ICLED Chairman explained that entrepreneurial training and management knowledge is more important in starting up a business than having a huge capital. She said “People always think that money is the most important thing to have in order to start up a business but that is not true. If you have the money and you have not understood what you want to do, the money will go very fast.
“Meanwhile, when you have little and you know what you are going to do as well as how to manage the money, your capital will yield more money and your business is sure to grow. But the most basic challenge facing entrepreneurs is lack of knowhow and this is where ICLED comes in.”
Professor (Mrs) Olajumoke Familoni (L) with Mr Cletus Ilobanafor (R) at the Interview
Speaking about the activities of her organisation, the expert in entrepreneurial leadership explained that ICLED which now has five divisions namely; Business School, Skills Acquisition, Research, Human Capital Recruitment and Training, was established 15 years ago to address entrepreneurship and leadership challenges in Nigeria.
She said “ICLED was established mainly to address the development of entrepreneurs and leaders which is my area of speciality. In the last 15 years, we have been humbled by the impact we’ve made on aspiring entrepreneurs, SMEs and even full-blown businesses. Our focus is on changing the mind-set on leadership paradigm.”
Prof Familoni who is also the Chairman Board of Trustees Global Initiative for Entrepreneurs and Capacity Development explained that ICLED offers entrepreneurial mentorship, business counselling, business advice and consultancy services to aspiring business owners as well as to CEOs who wish to expand their businesses.
While emphasising on the importance of knowledge acquisition to business success, The ICLED Chairman also harped on the need to have passion for entrepreneurship. She said “An entrepreneur is someone with a burning passion for an idea. An entrepreneur must be so consumed by his idea that people must see him as crazy because if you don’t have that kind of passion, all the hurdles and challenges that you are going to face will be enough to make you give up. So, an entrepreneur is a risk-taker with a burning passion for an idea.”