Adaku Omidosu is a member of D.I.S.S Alumni, Class of 1997. This article is a shorter version of a speech she delivered in D.I.S.S auditorium on January 4, 2019.
Adaku Omidosu giving a speech in D.I.S.S
Entrepreneurship plays an influential role in the economic growth and standard of living of a nation.
As a startup founder or small business owner, you may think that you are simply working hard to build your own business and provide for yourself and your family.
But you are actually doing a whole lot more for your local community, state, region, and the country as a whole.
Wealth Creation and Sharing: By establishing the business entity, entrepreneurs invest their own resources and attract capital (in the form of debt, equity, etc.) from investors, lenders and the public.
This mobilizes public wealth and allows people to benefit from the success of entrepreneurs and growing businesses.
This kind of pooled capital that results in wealth creation and distribution is one of the basic imperatives and goals of economic development.
Create Jobs: Entrepreneurs are by nature and definition job creators, as opposed to job seekers.
The simple translation is that when you become an entrepreneur, there is one less job seeker in the economy, and then you provide employment for multiple other job seekers.
This kind of job creation by new and existing businesses is one of the basic goals of economic development.
This is why the Govt. of India has launched initiatives such as StartupIndia to promote and support new startups,
Balanced Regional Development: Entrepreneurs setting up new businesses and industrial units help with regional development by locating in less developed and backward areas.
The growth of industries and business in these areas leads to infrastructure improvements like better roads and rail links, airports, stable electricity and water supply, schools, hospitals, shopping malls and other public and private services that would not otherwise be available.
Every new business that locates in a less developed area will create both direct and indirect jobs, helping lift regional economies in many different ways.
The combined spending by all the new employees of the new businesses and the supporting jobs in other businesses adds to the local and regional economic output. Both central and state governments promote this kind of regional development by providing registered MSME businesses various benefits and concessions.
GDP and Per Capita Income: India’s MSME sector, comprised of 36 million units that provide employment for more than 80 million people, now accounts for over 37% of the country’s GDP.
Each new addition to these 36 million units makes use of even more resources like land, labor and capital to develop products and services that add to the national income, national product and per capita income of the country.
This growth in GDP and per capita income is again one of the essential goals of economic development.
Adaku Omidosu speaking at an investors’ forum in Lagos
The standard of Living: Increase in the standard of living of people in a community is yet another key goal of economic development.
Entrepreneurs again play a key role in increasing the standard of living in a community. They do this not just by creating jobs, but also by developing and adopting innovations that lead to improvements in the quality of life of their employees, customers, and other stakeholders in the community.
For example, automation that reduces production costs and enables faster production will make a business unit more productive, while also providing its customers with the same goods at lower prices.
Exports: Any growing business will eventually want to get started with exports to expand their business to foreign markets.
This is an important ingredient of economic development since it provides access to bigger markets, and leads to currency inflows and access to the latest cutting-edge technologies and processes being used in more developed foreign markets.
Another key benefit is that this expansion that leads to more stable business revenue during economic downturns in the local economy.
Community Development: Economic development doesn’t always translate into community development. Community development requires infrastructure for education and training, healthcare, and other public services.
For example, you need highly educated and skilled workers in a community to attract new businesses.
If there are educational institutions, technical training schools and internship opportunities, that will help build the pool of educated and skilled workers.
So, there is a very important role for entrepreneurs to spark economic development by starting new businesses, creating jobs, and contributing to improvement in various key goals such as GDP, exports, standard of living, skills development and community development.
Over twenty years ago we sat here like you are sitting presently and were told that we are the future generation.
Today like our principals then I wish to remind you alongside my colleagues that you are the future generation.
You can change the status quo, you can change the present narration with the education you are receiving here as well as the ones you will acquire in the future.
Nigeria is yours to build.