The current economic downturn is forcing many businesses to close. But some entrepreneurs say it could be an ideal opportunity to lay a solid groundwork for future growth.
Samuel Adegbile of Nigeria is the chief executive officer of Naija Motors, a car dealership based in Washington, DC.
“Some of the challenges [to getting started],} he says, “came [from] financial institutions. We had to prove ourselves in order to get financing [to buy] vehicles and own equipment.”
“As time went on,” he continues, “we could prove that we are capable and have a positive cash flow. It wasn’t really that bad. I understand why they [set strict conditions] because they want to make sure that you can pay [them] back and that you will be in business for a while.”
When asked what inspired him to start his own business instead of being an employee, he said “the fear that one day you will get very old and have to fall back on social security, and it won’t be there. So I started early to control my own destiny and not have others determine what I would do or what I will be when I am 60 or 70.”
Adegbile says, “In the country that I came from, everyone has a second business on the side which is their own practice or business trade. That gave me the encouragement when I came here. There is opportunity here. Banks and institutions are willing to help you do that, get established and you take advantage of it.“