Mrs Toki Mabogunje is the Founder and chief consultant at Toki Maboguje & Co. She is a business consultant interested in the growth and management of small and medium enterprises on the African continent. As a business consultant, Toki has a particular interest in business development, value chain development, project financing, strategic organization and management and the provision of legal and business advisory services to small and medium enterprises.
Over the last 35 years, Toki has worked in the public and the private sector. This provided her with the opportunity to attain a well-rounded perspective of business enterprise in the Nigerian, African and Global business environment. She began her career in the public service, working with the Federal Ministry of Justice as a State Counsel. She resigned as Senior State Counsel to work as Group Head Legal and Corporate Affairs for a start-up broadcast enterprise, which grew into a global business concern. Toki was part of a dynamic management team that grew this local broadcaster into a satellite television operation. Toki’s experience with this start-up operation extended to other markets within Africa, Europe and the United States. Her management expertise and skills earned her the position of CEO of the American subsidiary of the Group. In the year 2000, Toki founded the firm Toki Mabogunje and Co. (TMC) and over the last 18 years brings her skills, training, expertise and experience to bear when consulting with clients seeking to grow their market share in Nigeria, Africa or elsewhere globally.
When I asked what her advice was for young female entrepreneurs, this is what she said:
“As a young female entrepreneur, it is important you have the passion for the business you decide to engage in. PASSION because the business must excite you. That excitement will continue to motivate you throughout the life of the business. Your passion will be a source of the never-ending well of ideas which will ensure that you continue to create and innovate through all the growth stages of your business. This will enable you to remain competitive and surmount the business challenges that come your way.
However, Passion is not enough to ensure you run a successful business. You need to Plan for your business. Right at the beginning when you have the business idea, you should develop a BUSINESS PLAN. This Business Plan is your road map to establishing your business. It enables your bankers and proposed investors to extend loans and equity to you to establish and grow your business. When shared with your management team, it enables you to share your vision with them and obtain buy-in from the team. When your team believes in your vision and have shared in the business plan, it enables them to give full commitment to driving the success of the business.
It is advisable that you invest in yourself by obtaining TRAINING in business management or entrepreneurship, as this will stand you in good stead as a business manager. You will become more knowledgeable and have a greater understanding of the business side to your idea for which you have passion.
Ensure that you remain a good corporate citizen. Register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission, pay your taxes and levies, keep good records, obtain the legal licences required to operate your business. Most of all remember that you can always obtain assistance from business development providers, other professionals such as lawyers, accountants, etc., public agencies such as SMEDAN, development banks such as Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture, Development Bank of Nigeria loans through your commercial bank etc. ALL THE VERY BEST AS YOU EMBARK ON THE MOST EXCITING JOURNEY OF YOUR LIFE !! “