Businesses Need More Than Just Money To Thrive – Mitchell Elegbe


 Mitchell Elegbe, the Founder/GMD of the Interswitch Group, has said that although money is necessary, it is not sufficient enough to make a business thrive. He explained that it was more important for entrepreneurs to identify the problems they are trying to solve before venturing into any business. 

Elegbe made this call while giving the keynote address at the annual Lagos Business School MBA Entrepreneurship Expo and Contest with the theme: ‘Entrepreneurship and business innovation’.

He highlighted that the more value customers perceive, the more they are willing to pay for goods and services. He also spoke about the different types of entrepreneurs: the hustler-preneur, life-styler, dealer-preneur, maker-preneur, jack-of-all preneur, slugger-preneur, travel-preneur, side-preneur, Do-side preneur, geek-preneur, and incubator-preneur.  He noted that the knowledge you have as an entrepreneur determines the kind of problem you are expected to solve.

He concluded his session by advising business owners not to make business plans based on time, but on seasons. He said: “Do not work so hard climbing a ladder only to discover it is resting on the wrong wall. Don’t get too busy with your day-to-day activities that you forget the main reason/objectives for starting that activity in the first place. Beware of activity hype and remember that there is a lot of disruptive hype.” 

After his keynote address, Mr. Elegbe answered questions from some of the over 300 participants on the online Expo, where he emphasized the direct correlation between problems and opportunities and urged budding entrepreneurs to see problems as opportunities to create solutions, businesses and employment.

The keynote address was followed by a panel session of four panelists reviewing it, sharing their business experiences as well as giving tips for new opportunities. All the sessions of the Expo were moderated by Dr. Henrietta Onwuegbuzie who is the Academic Director for the Owner-Manager Programme and Project Director for the Impact Investing policy initiative at the Lagos Business School.

Panelists at the LBS MBA Entrepreneurship Expo and Contest included Paul Orujiaka, CEO of Auldon; Richmond Okafor, CEO of Cleanmax Industries Limited; Stephanie Obi, Business & Marketing Strategist, ST HUB LIMITED and Lawrence Egunjobi, an Entrepreneur. 

The Lagos Business School MBA Entrepreneurship Expo and Contest is a project aimed at empowering entrepreneurs across Africa with business acumen and soft skills, building sustainable businesses, giving free business advisory, providing training and pairing them with relevant life-long mentors.

This Expo ended with a pitch where some entrepreneurs pitched their business plans to selected judges and had an entrepreneurship exhibition. The criteria for participation   included: the nature of the problems being solved, quality of the solution proposed, business model, sustainability plan and operational effectiveness.

Professor Enase Okonedo, Lagos Business School Dean, in her closing remarks, disclosed that the Lagos Business School will continue to give entrepreneurship in Africa all the support it can, to tackle the looming issue of unemployment in Africa.


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