The Chief Executive Officer of Capital Bank Ghana, Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor, has challenged entrepreneurs to be visionary, disciplined, have strongconviction as well as strong networking skills to succeed in business.
Speaking at the maiden edition of the ‘Idea Factory Africa Conference’ organized by Ideas for Future Africa, Rev. Odonkor, said though resources play an integral part in entrepreneurial success, the lack of qualities such as sound vision and detail plan will render the resources useless.
According to the versatile banker, though many entrepreneurs have been able to source for funding for various projects, these projects have collapsed as a result of the lack of qualities like discipline and tenacity.
The presentation focused on topics such as starting a business - pertinent issues to be considered, primary issues needed to evaluate an idea and issues related to funding and business growth .
On starting a business, the Capital Bank CEO said one needs to be tenacious to weather the psychological and social pressures usually exerted by friends and family.
“Sometimes friends and family will pressurize you to abandon your dreams and seek regular jobs, especially at the initial stages when things are a bit difficult. However, you must be focused and strong-willed to withstand these pressures because entrepreneurship is about vision and conviction”
He stated that it’s also important for individuals to critically evaluate their ideas and concepts to determine their viability by asking critical questions.
He added that the issue of financial resources should only be considered at the second layer of the idea generation or concept development stage.
He continued saying “After having the ‘eureka moment’ there is the need to acid test the concept and implementation by asking and documenting answers to key questions. These key questions should form the basis for a sound business plan.”
For primary issues needed to evaluate an idea, the CEO asked questions such as what business an entrepreneur intends doing, why do he/she wants to pursue that business and the opportunities that exist in the industry, the amount of sales he or she expects to make and what are the critical success factors.
Regarding secondary level issues, he said the level of question must revolve around issues of funding such as how much capital do an entrepreneur needs to start-up the venture, what type of funding is available and where he or she can access these funds among others.
Other speakers at the event were Dr. Joyce Aryee; Ruka Sanusi, a management and business consultant with over 20 years of international consulting experience in the UK and 20 African countries and His Excellency Girmay Haile, UNAID Country Coordinator to Ghana.