The challenge of entrepreneurship- making use of what you have

In August 2019 on a visit to Nigeria, I had the pleasure of travelling between Abuja and Makurdi by road. The trip took me across several states. The stretch of road was still mostly under construction and people with the knowledge of the country will tell you that there are a few isolated incidents of kidnapping on the road. But I saw some ingenious but very risky ideas.

The essence of entrepreneurship is to take risks, use innovative ways and make the best use of what you have to achieve your goal. The farmers in this part of the world do not have electric dryer, they use the sun drench tarmac on the road to dry their produce. Imagine you are a farmer, you have groundnuts that need drying or other similar shell covered products. If you don’t dry them, they become useless in a matter of weeks or sometimes days.

The edge of the road is not being used by motor vehicles, so you set out to use it to dry your precious food stuff. This process is risky as it distracts drivers driving at high speed. They can easily plunge into the farmers by the side of the roads drying their stuff. After taking several pictures from the inside of the car, I decided to stop where there was a group of farmers and spoke to them. I asked them why they were taking such risks and their answer was simply that they take risks every day and not drying their products may lead to starvation. Farm produce turn to waste and sadly farmers sometimes lose out when their hard work is left to rot in the market or by the side of the road.

This is a simple, yet risky and dangerous solution that these farmers take and it is part of what they do to survive as entrepreneurs.

Is your business living on the edge and taking appropriate risks to make sure that it continues to grow?