Interswitch GMD advises start-ups on funding

The Group Managing Director, Interswitch, Mitchell Elegbe, has advised entrepreneurs to have a clear business model before seeking start-up capital.

A statement by the firm said Elegbe made the remark during a two-hour webinar start-up insight series with the theme, “Why start-up capital is necessary, but not sufficient.”

The online session was attended by different entrepreneurs.

Elegbe stated that when looking for capital for business, entrepreneurs should bear in mind the problem they intended to solve.

He said it was important to know the appropriate business model required.

While advising entrepreneurs to critically think about their business models, he stated, “The bigger the problem you want to solve, the more coherent your business model should be.”

Narrating his experience prior to the emergence of Interswitch, Mitchell said he recognised Nigeria had payment problems but he had very little knowledge about the banking industry, having cut his career teeth in the telecommunications and oil and gas sectors.

He stated that he went for different pitches and scaled through because he understood the problem he was trying to solve.

Elegbe also spoke about the concept of ‘Greiner growth curve’ in business and posited that businesses would go through six stages of evolving growth and five stages of crisis revolution.

He explained that the ability to move from one stage to the other was what would make a business.

He advised entrepreneurs to consider partnerships later in business, noting that at that time, a name would have been made for the brand.

The group managing director encouraged business owners to recognise their times and seasons.

According to him, if a business is run successfully for two years, then the most dangerous part has been overcome.

He stated, “The next challenge will be how to scale the business. Business owners should not do the same thing for a long time. They should be dynamic in their line of thought. Business owners should see difficult times as a golden opportunity to make their brands better.”

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