Nigeria - Expanding from a booth to a business
Youth Inclusion and Education - Committed to empowering socially at-risk young people
The EGI Business Centre –backed by Total–, the EGI People’s Assembly and Fortis Microfinance Bank, provide office space and training to help local firms develop. Udo Benson, founder of Adbent ICT* Services, has benefitted from it.
I wanted to be self-employed. So, seven years ago –despite a degree in accounting– I created a telephone booth. People with no phones would then pay to use mine. When I heard about the EGI Business Centre, I thought it could help me grow my business. Thus, three years ago, I launched Adbent ICT Services to supply the 3G Wi-Fi networks that the Nigerian telecom giants did not provide in this region. Today, my company has two employees and the annual turnover rose from 15.5 million nairas (€71,000), in 2013, to 18 million nairas (€83,000), last year. I am very proud of it and I intend on pursuing this development. In the five years to come, my ambitions are to reach a turnover of 40 million nairas (€184,000), to hire from 10 to 15 employees, and to settle in my own office complex. I also want to broaden my business into maintaining and repairing mobile phones.
How the EGI Business Centre helped
For the moment, I own one of the 31 offices in the EGI Business Centre which was inaugurated in 2011. It offers training and business mentoring services that have been of great help to me. For instance, I was shown how to keep an account book and how to do stock and inventory management. Total also helped me prepare for the federal government entrepreneurship competition that provides grants. I successfully passed it as I was granted 10 million nairas (€46,000) which I have invested in the required technology for the 3G Wi-Fi network. Along with Total, I am working on expanding this network in service stations. We currently have this service in one station and our objective is to deploy the network to four others. Simultaneously, I want to provide 3G Wi-Fi to our local schools and clinics and also, of course, individuals.
* Information and Communications Technology