Tuesday, 28 May 2013


This article deals with some basic principles and approaches required in building sustainable enterprises. A quick survey of Nigerian youths would show a high push towards entrepreneurship. Varying theories and reasons have been put forward to explain this trend, while it still remains unclear if these push towards building enterprises are as a result of lack of readily available jobs or an innate character of the average Nigerian youth, the need to create sustainable enterprises cannot be over emphasized in lieu of the current global economic conditions. 
A Youth Agro-entrepreneur must incorporate the model of sustainability into their personal life – thoughts, beliefs and motivation for it to be successfully reflected in their enterprise. 

Below are some basic bullet points from a lecture with a sustainable farming expert Father Godfrey Nzamujo attended by members of the Youth Agro Entrepreneurs at the Songhai Farm Porto Novo site, Benin Republic.

  • An enterprise is all about “People who make things happen” – people who are capable of mobilising, inventing and creating.
  1. Enterprises are created, grow or die because of people. 
  2. An entrepreneur is a person who wants to make money or fame by harnessing the opportunity sets around him/her to satisfy the needs and desires of different social groups.

An enterprise is driven forward by its human resources, the technology it chooses to employ to fulfill the Needs and Desires of its Clients through the Products and Services it offers.

Entrepreneur – Leader – Manager

Who Is An Entrepreneur?

  • A person who has a reasonable understanding of his future clients (customers) or their present needs and desires – also their latent needs and desires
  • A person who has a reasonable knowledge of how to procure any sets of goods and services corresponding to the needs of a set of a social group.
  • He/she has an unyielding drive to bring those goods and services to his clients the fastest way possible
  • at the cheapest price possible
  • of the best possible quality
  • in a sufficient quantity and
  • on demand.
A key to building great enterprises lies in the Leader and Manager level personnel as well as a dedicated and happy work force.

Sustainability cannot be imposed on a an enterprise, but instead should be built into the culture of the enterprise from the very on-set.

Young Agro-Entrepreneurs need to strive in attaining Level 5 Manager/Leader qualities to drive and inspire your team.

The concept of level 5 managers/leadership traits are

Level I :

Highly capable individual makes productive contributions through talent, knowledge, skills and good work habits

Level II :

Contributing team manager would typically be able to contribute individual capabilities to the achievement of group objectives and works effectively with others in a group setting.

Level III :

Competent manager organizes people and resources toward the effective and efficient pursuit of predetermined objectives.

Level IV :

Effective leader level traits are those who can catalyze commitment to the project and vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision stimulating higher performance standards.

Level V :

The Executive Leader builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will. The Level 5 leaders channel their ego away from themselves and into the larger goal of building a great company. It’s not that level 5 leaders have no ego or self-interest. Indeed, they are incredibly ambitious – but their ambition is first and foremost for the institution, not themselves.

In a nutshell,

Humility + will = Level 5

Level 5 leaders are a study in duality: modest and willful, humble and fearless.