First Bank, one of our many sponsors, hosted the event Managing Your Company’s Finances in a Digital Age. The talk took questions from the audience about how entrepreneurs can go from idea to business with a little planning and saving.
Morinsola Jide-Ibironke, from the product FBN Capital Asset Management, talked to us about obstacles for entrepreneurs to get funding and how FBN Capital can help.
Can you tell me what are some obstacles in Nigeria for entrepreneurs who want to get money to start their business?
Loans. And the rates. Because what happens is most times they go to banks to get a loan. The banks end up offering them the loans, but at interest that’s way to high. So when they create their business, they end up giving back all their money to the banks as repayments instead of having money to put back into the business.
Our economy as well. The way the Nigerian economy is set up, it doesn’t encourage growth for new businesses. Our facilities don’t work. We never have electricity. Also, there is no support from the government. The one thing that was done recently that I applaud the government for is having the credit bureaus around. Because the credit bureaus have been able to offer some kind of balance for people that want to start a new business.
Given these obstacles for entrepreneurs, how do you see FBN Capital Asset Management helping?
When you decide you want to start a business, start a fund. Save as little money that you can and put it in a fund. The money will grow and it will end in returns. While you’re planning what you’re vision, mission statement and brand is for your business, put some money away in a fund with FBN Capital Asset Management. We’re different from a bank. The money you’re putting away, when you’re ready for it, may actually be enough to help you start up the business without you having to go to the banks.
We have different funds currently running. We have the money marketing mature fund, where you can invest in short-term money. You can get a rate ranging around 10%; it actually fluctuates, it could be slightly higher or lower. It gives you a good return on a small sum of money. If you go and invest 5,000 Naira anywhere, you would not get a rate as high as 10% or the 10.5%. But you can get that by investing in an asset management fund.
What is the motivation behind FBN Capital Asset Management giving this talk during Social Media Week Lagos?
We looked at Social Media Week Lagos and asked who are the people that actually get involved. And we figured many upcoming people who have an idea of what they want to do as a business; they have a plan and they have a focus. We asked ‘are they aware that we exist and that we can help them accomplish their goals?’ So that’s one of the reasons we decided to take part. Let them know that we are here so they’re not thinking in two years if I had known about this, I could’ve started investing two years ago. If I had enough to cover expenses for my business, I wouldn’t be in this situation now. We have mutual funds that can help you save and grow your funds.
You can save as long as you know how long the timeline you’re looking at is. For example if you’re timeline is two years, then the money market fund would be a good option. If you’re timeline is five years, a fixed-income fund may be better.
We thank Morinsola Jide-Ibironke of FBN Capital Asset Management for speaking to us and a big thank you to First Bank for sponsoring Social Media Week Lagos 2014.