Startups are set up by entrepreneurs, those who identify business opportunities and take advantage of it by coming up with innovative and creative new ideas which would be of value to the society. ‘In essence entrepreneurs are characterized by the need to break new grounds and attain new heights’ (Komives, 1972; McClelland & Winter, 1969).
Startups are essential to the development and growth of our societies which why is important that the environment is conducive to encourage and promote these startups to thrive more. Basically we would be looking at some of the major issues entrepreneurs and startups in Jos are faced with in the society today.
1. Asides lack of funding, one major issue an entrepreneur in Jos has to face is lack of basic amenities and infrastructure. Jos has a poor transportation system which makes it difficult for startups to soar better and this could in the long run make them relocate somewhere else they feel is more convenient as uLesson explained ‘in order to access better regional flight connections and attract talents’. Another is the problem that even established companies and organizations in Nigeria are battling with and that is the issue of poor or no power supply which would mean that these startups and businesses have to find alternatives like generators and solar. Finding solutions to these challenges would mean the startup spending more and that is not good for business.
2. Till of recent, not many people had an idea of what a startup is or what it does, talk more of utilizing them and their services. Startups and businesses outside the state and country have received more patronage from members of the Jos community than those within. To change this narrative, more awareness needs to be created to educate the public about the startups available in their environment and why they are important. Our schools should put in more efforts in teaching students about technology and startups as well as inform them of the importance of having them in our society. Social media is an effective tool that can be used to convey this message as well as having tech oriented programmes on radio and television.
3. Ask most entrepreneurs and they will tell you that the government have not done a good job in helping startup businesses or entrepreneurs grow. The cost for registration, high taxes and duties placed on the business and certain polices further cripples start ups in Jos rather than give them strong footing. It is necessary that the state government begin to look into ways of making the registration process cheaper and easier as well as reduce the amount of taxes being paid since these startups are still trying to financially survive. The government should also to establish the right policy framework that can effectively spur the development of sustainable
4. Let’s start with the fact that the majority of the populace in Jos do not appreciate or show these startups so much love to encourage them. Both the government and the public in Jos most times would rather trust and patronize the products and services from outside the state or country. The best way to help startups grow is by commending their efforts, this fuels them to put in more effort. Whether an app, a car, a business, or whatever it is, knowing they have the blessings of their environment would help them overlook many challenges just to make sure they meet up to the expectations the public has of them to deliver.
5. ‘A major problem most people have with states in Northern Nigeria and Jos is that there’s a history of security issues with numerous riots in the past and although this has not happened in a while, is difficult for many to consider the City as safe. This has not only discouraged entrepreneurs from starting their businesses in Jos but has also affected the way existing startups operate. Investors and venture capitalists might not be confident to invest in Jos because they are scared of losing at the end of the day.
These and more are some of the challenges businesses and startups in Jos are faced with regularly. Startups contribute immensely to the growth of the economy if they are given the necessary platform to thrive. These problems can lead to great losses to companies as well as defeat their aim to promote healthy competition and boost the economy.
Massive, well calculated and deliberate efforts must be put to see how to change what is obtainable at the moment because ‘entrepreneurship( startups) can indeed promote poverty alleviation and encourage innovation’ (Landes, 1998) which is what Jos urgently needs .