We surveyed Nigerians that live abroad to find out the challenges they have faced with doing or starting a business in Nigeria. Here are the results of our survey. Our sample size has 49 respondents with most of the Nigerians that responded living in the USA.
Out of the 49 respondents – 40 do not currently own a business in Nigeria.
31 out of 40 want to start a business in Nigeria but face several challenges.
These are the 4 main challenges that they face in starting a business in Nigeria.
Lack of Information & Market Insights:
This was the biggest challenge that Nigerians outside Nigeria faced with doing business in Nigeria. A lot of the respondents talked about the challenge of getting proper insights into market opportunities in Nigeria. Without access to “on-ground information” about businesses and industries in Nigeria, it is difficult to make informed business decisions. It is even more difficult to know where to start.
Similar to business owners in Nigeria, the lack of infrastructure was the second main obstacle for Nigerians abroad. Based on the results from our survey, the infrastructure challenges ranged from – lack of power and internet to bad governance, government licensing issue and inadequate infrastructure to keep investment secure. This begs the question – what does the word “infrastructure” mean to business people?
Trust is an issue
We heard in one of these conferences that “progress moves at the speed of trust”. Our interpretation of this is that in a society where there is a lack of trust, there will be limited progress. The lack of trust was another challenge that some of our respondents brought up. It will be easier for Nigerians abroad to do business in Nigeria if they could find and work with more reliable and trustworthy people.
Inadequate contacts & network.
This challenge is loosely tied to the first challenge of not having adequate information about the business landscape in Nigeria. Most Nigerians get information about business and industries through their personal network. So if you do not have a wide network, to is difficult to get information you need to start and equally as challenging to find right partners as you execute your business.
So why do we think this is important? We did this survey not only to find out the challenges that Nigerians abroad have with doing business in Nigeria, but we also did it because we were going off the assumption (a big assumption) that if we understand the challenges that Nigerians abroad face in doing business in Nigeria, we could get some insight into why other nationals shy away from investing in Nigeria. This is very important as it affects the flow of foreign direct investment into the country.
*Disclaimer: Our sample size was pretty small, so use the data and the interpretation of the data with caution. The results of the data may not translate as the sample size gets bigger*