By Emmanuel Otori
Start-ups require capital to establish a business. Capital is the amount of initial investment plus any interest accrued early. The initial investment of a company initiative is the sum required to get things started. Both internal and external sources of funding are used by start-up founders.
Many times, a lot of work goes into starting a business, but can it survive the possibility of a brief lifespan?
Although some start-ups frequently fail in operation when they run a deficit, operate in the wrong market for their offering, lack industry knowledge, and conduct sufficient research, a business can survive and grow from an early stage of optimism.
An upbeat mindset known as optimism supports problem-solving, change adaptation, and aids in ensuring the welfare of the environment in which it resides. An environment that is optimistic fosters resilience and improves focus on reaching a realistic goal. It is a managerial tool, and employees are more likely to work harder with this mindset because a pleasant environment makes the objective more attainable and advancing.
Is optimism necessary in business? For a business that is still trying to raise the money it needs to stay afloat while also competing for consumers, paying off debt, and managing costs and sales. You need a positive outlook to be successful at every level of operation. Therefore, optimism is encouraged for increased productivity, especially for the success of start-ups.
Bear in mind that optimism alone is insufficient to generate a sustainable business; instead, a combination of enough investment and optimism results in sustainability.
A company prioritizes longevity through its tactics is considered a sustainable start-up. Because of this, it’s feasible to see a start-up making a loss but continuing to run. Typically, this is done to win back customers’ trust and supply products that will ensure long-term viability. When choosing sustainability as a business strategy for long-term value generation, consideration is given to an organization’s operation in the ecological, social, and economic surroundings. The foundation of sustainability is the lifetime of start-ups, which is why it is considered that employing such strategies will encourage this. Over the last decade, the involvement of start-ups in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) activities have increased to suffice and shield the business from instability caused by environmental attacks.
For the most part, entrepreneurs are fortunate to have sufficient funding to launch their businesses from angel investors, venture capitalists, and partnership funds, which can also last for years of the establishment before they start to realize profits. Not every start-up that receives a substantial amount of funding, however, succeeds. Most people who fail during the process do so due to insufficient market research and business ideas.
Being the heart of a start-up, a business idea needs to be specific and unambiguous. Nice-to-haves should be thoroughly documented for future considerations to prevent the allure of disorganized ideas brought on by increased output in that field. A company also loses its sustainability if it declares bankruptcy, is unable to satisfy client needs, or is affected by economic, social, and governmental circumstances. This is crucial because a business needs to be able to lessen harmful effects on society and the environment if it wants to survive.
Investment or Optimism – which is ideal?
Optimistic business owners often invest more money if their initial investment is insufficient. With the expectation of productivity in the future, an optimistic attitude has the propensity to overspend and underinvest.
While investment in a firm does not ensure the achievement of business goals, a start-up can optimistically face the challenges of investment and still achieve specified goals.
A founder with a high level of optimism improves the investment efficiency of an underinvested firm by reducing underinvestment. Because optimism provides solutions for every problem, a firm with optimism and investment strives for an effective and sustainable start-up. Therefore, it may be claimed that optimism is a wise decision.
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By Nneka Okumazie
There are possibilities that some black personalities could undo years of efforts in civil rights and towards racial equality.
The objective was for equal opportunity for African Americans to do better economically, socially, culturally and in other ways against what the experience had been, from those who were forced to come to the continent for unfair labour.
Although there has been progress for decades and it continues, some black personalities have taken it to another direction, to say whatever they want against others under cover of having some protection because of prior subjugation.
There is a music individual who, for whatever reason, would say hurtful things about others that can never bring progress except to reflect badly on his people. He would not open up about his weaknesses, compulsions, motives and directives in a way that no one has to drive society towards looking inward; instead, he would speak of others, sometimes using lines from those who hate his people, claiming his right to, and attack anyone for saying things about him.
There is a former athlete and political individual running for office on another side from regular African Americans with certain views, where the pushback has been strong even in sources where they are cautious of ‘hurting’ African Americans.
The political individual would have realized that protections seem to exist within a boundary, but that out of that opens too much.
For African Americans, the future should be excellence, not doing what is common or what every other person does, but things that are new, exceptional and ahead of others, bearing monopolistic values that many others need.
It is not to seek better treatment in a time when the economy whips everyone, and individuals would often make economic choices, limiting how much can be tolerated, without merit, so to speak.
There are already African Americans excelling in entertainment, politics, business and in other areas, and it cannot be said that they are all being held back. The necessary thing is to lead in new ways for new rewards and pedestal for the community.
There will always be people in the community who would speak or act in ways to bring shame or become an embarrassment, but the lead in other areas would quickly redirect the assumption of those people for all to the necessities some of the community provides.
There is still a lot of hate, racism, and discrimination, and the experience is tough. There is also a lot of hypocrisy on racial equality or fake equal opportunity in some places; however, there must be detours from the protest-driven progress, or high sensitivity, to the sometimes building in silence, to lead others, growing in economic and advancement might.
People often blame money or capitalism for certain actions, which can be true, but human nature loves to dominate others, and money can be a tool, and it happens even when there is no money.
The future of African Americans has more internal work than external work.
[Psalm 146:3, Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.]
The mainstream and social media are replete with educational messages on the need for proper recycling, with many focusing on the dangers of plastic-made products, as they have been identified as substantial threats to the earth’s lush survival.
The reason for this message of conscious recycling habits by individuals, organisations and governments is not far-fetched, as every corner of the city could do with an improvement in waste management. One of the suggestions, which remains prominent in conversations about climate change, is the need to reduce carbon emissions in the planet’s atmosphere.
Pledging to the cause, over 130 countries have vowed to reduce carbon emissions to zero by the year 2050. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), in a report titled, ‘Education as a catalyst for climate progress’, cited proper education as a major factor in ensuring a sharp drop in carbon emissions.
It noted that education, or what it described as “climate literacy”, was key to driving awareness among individuals across the globe. Through this education, people could learn “green skills” to help nations make a “just transition” to sustainable economies.
BCG, in its report, advocates for the centring of education in discussions about climate change, as it holds tremendous power in re-tooling the minds of individuals and collective groups to help speed up the attainment of climate goals, as “there is no time to waste”, the report said.
Climate Literacy
Individual behavioural changes also play a major role in the push for climate justice. What to eat. What to drink. What mode of travel to choose? These play vital roles in either drastically bringing down global temperature levels or spiking them further.
Early education, especially for students who can become agents of change in their respective communities, will go a long way in ensuring that the message of the extant dangers is widely communicated. These young ones will serve as educators to their relatives, spurring a “multiplier effect”.
To cover this knowledge gap, the report suggests a robust awareness drive spearheaded by educators, governments and educational institutions, with a view to devising educational frameworks that put the message of climate change on the front burner.
Giving practical examples, the report cited countries such as Italy and New Zealand, with Mexico soon joining the ranks, taking the message of climate change to schools by incorporating climate literacy into their curriculums.
In other countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, educational institutions are encouraged to choose environmentally friendly infrastructure, hoping that the message will spread to a macro level.
The report highlights the point that as countries transition to greener systems, there would be a need to pay attention to workers in the existing “brown” system. It projects that nearly 77 million jobs face redundancy if employees in sectors that would take serious hits during the transition phase are not paid any attention.
To forestall this grim outlook, the report offers those workers need to be reskilled to be armed with the needed knowledge to enable them to make occupational transitions along changing times so as not to be left behind and undermine the work done.
Again, climate justice will create opportunities for a more inclusive economy so long as governments take the right steps in carrying along every member of its working population.
BCG’s Call to Action
For the transition to be just one, governments and educational bodies, need to approach climate change from a wider perspective and ramp up climate literacy. One way this can be done is to tap into the benefits that lie in using data to estimate the skills needed in a green economy and gear its educational systems to deliver individuals capable of providing relevant skills.
According to the report, every member of society, coordinated by governments, needs to sit at the table to discuss the way forward for a rapid transition and doubly slow down the rate of global warming.
At the root of climate literacy is girls and women education. These demographics were identified as the bedrock of improved climate conditions. The report clearly defined the relationship between the education of girls and women and bettering climate action.
It said that “women are often closest to many of the key levers for climate-related behavioural changes, such as in water usage, farming techniques, and cooking and heating habits.”
The transformative power of education cannot and should not be ignored, as it bears its weight on the future of climate actions globally. Education and economic opportunities empower individuals to take actions that will positively impact the movement to change the narrative around global climate conditions.
By Jerome-Mario Chijioke Utomi
God gave us a brain so that we can give him rest- T.D Jakes, American author, filmmaker and Bishop of The Potter’s House, a non-denominational American mega-church.
It is now common knowledge that floods have hit parts of Nigeria in the last two months, with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) saying that about 2.5 million persons were affected and over 603 persons killed by the flooding.
It is equally pedestrian information that within this period, houses and farmlands have been submerged in Lagos, Yobe, Borno, Taraba, Adamawa, Edo, Delta, Kogi, Niger, Plateau, Benue, Ebonyi, Anambra, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Imo, Abia States, and the Federal Capital Territory.
Speaking in absolute terms, a flood is a natural disaster.
A natural disaster, going by information available at Wikipedia, a global information power horse, is “the negative impact following an actual occurrence of natural hazard in the event that it significantly harms a community.”
A natural disaster can cause loss of life or damage property and typically leaves some economic damage in its wake. It includes events such as a flood, earthquakes, or hurricanes that cause great damage or loss of life.
While Wikipedia’s intention for classifying flood as a natural disaster is understandable and commendable, some questions immediately come to mind as to whether the current flood in Nigeria ravaging communities, villages and towns truly qualify as an act of God/natural disaster.
In the applied sense of the word, it cannot, in all honesty, be qualified as a natural disaster/act of God anymore despite the fact that it has taken a great toll on Nigeria and its economy,
Aside from the lackadaisical attitude displayed by past and present governments, the above opinion is predicated on the mountains of early warning signs, which ought to have activated some remedial measures but were not hearkened to by any of the tiers of government.
In 2012, for example, when a flood of similar magnitude and volume first occurred, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ), as he then was, during a visit to flood victims in Lagos, promised to create an artificial/dry lake to contend with a future surge in flood.
As at the time of leaving office in May 2015 (that was 3 years after the promise was made), not even a pit had been dug.
Between 2015 and now, President Muhammadu Buhari, who succeeded former President Jonathan, did next to nothing to resolve the issue of flooding in the country, which has become ‘word made flesh and now dwells among us’.
Let’s assume that he (Buhari) lacks the needed leadership and creative prowess to generate ideas in this direction, one should have expected him to, at the very least, implement/execute the proposed dam in Adamawa State as suggested years ago to take care of flood eventualities. After all, leadership is a continuum. There is also a saying that if you cannot create, copy!
The truth is that we failed as a nation in all these directions, and today, we still describe the flood as an unexpected occurrence.
Looking at this phenomenon and other litany of neglect and leadership failures, I refuse to share from that belief system.
Referencing T.D. Jakes, God gave us brains to solve our problems so that we can allow him time to rest’.
But instead of doing the needful, we fail in our responsibility as a nation and attribute the same failure to God. What is happening today is totally, squarely and completely leadership failure. It is a sign of an absence of foresighted leadership in the country. It tells a story of people that poor leadership has drained their rational will-a nation devoid of proactive leadership but filled with sets of reactors masquerading as leaders.
Most fundamentally, the inability of the government to manage the ongoing flood further serves as proof that ‘poverty of our leaders certainly does not mean material poverty, but lack of commitment to duty, lack of vision and greediness characterized by corruption’. That is the only possible explanation.
If not poor leadership, how do we explain the fact that each year, the three tiers of government periodically gather to share the National Ecological Funds and yet, cannot tackle the issue that is as simple as flood?
For a better understanding of the argument, the ecological fund was established in 1981 through the Federation Account Act 1981, on the recommendation of the Okigbo Commission, Decree 36 of 1984 and 106 of 1992, as well as the allocation of Federation Account modification order of 2002 subsequently modified the act.
The prime objective of this initiative was to have a pool of funds that would be solely devoted to the funding of ecological projects to ameliorate serious ecological problems nationwide.
This is at variance with the practice elsewhere in the world where funds are set aside, especially for a natural disaster.
In the United States, for example, there are at least four major pieces of federal legislation enacted for this purpose; the water quality Act of 1965, the water Pollution Control Act and its amendment of 1972(PL92 500), the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1976 (PL 94 800), The Toxic Substance Control Act of 1983 (PL 94 469) and Comprehensive Environmental Response. Compensation and Labiality Act of 1983 (CERCLA) (PL96 510).
This law all makes provision for funding and other facilities for the protection, monitoring and remediation of the polluted aquifer. The funds are added to the existing periodic statutory allocation to the United Environmental Protection Agency and are also readily accessible to local governments and individuals.
Looking at the above explanation, it will elicit the question as to; why is an ecological fund not readily available for use in a period such as this?
As the flood rages, the question that is important as the flood itself is; what is the nation doing to prepare for the next one because we know that it will happen again in the nearest future?
Utomi Jerome-Mario is the Programme Coordinator (Media and Public Policy) for Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), a Lagos-based non-governmental organization (NGO). He can be reached via
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