Vices offered by start-ups’
Ny plays in promoting better Tax h Excerpt:
tax policies to enable bridge the knowledge gap while also promoting tax compliance.
This is being done as a social impact project carried out through sensitization and training about tax with more focus to reach the small business owners who are not yet able to afford the services of a tax consultant. The Tax101 brings the best tax professionals and administrators on its programme to give first information at no cost to the general public.
Do you think Tax101 has been of any impact to your targeted audience?
I would say a big yes, and we are very proud of the impact our radio programme has had on both individual and small business owners, like I said before Tax101 was introduced to tackle tax knowledge challenges and also to encourage tax compliance level.
I can also say that to some large extent we have been able to educate the general public to know that there are various tax incentives and tax exemptions policies provided by the government to encourage small businesses and promote some sectors of the economy which they can benefit from, either at the state or federal level. Only very few companies with good tax consultants are enjoying these benefits and taking advantage of the information.
How are you able to pull resources for Tax101 considering you said it is a social impact project? Running a program like Tax101 is very resource demanding and capital intensive but then again it is a social impact project which is offered to the public at no cost. We have been able to accomplish all that we doing with Tax101 through the support of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and this is because the Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Mr. Babatunde Fowler believes strongly in educating the taxpayers as part tax administration system. Coupled with the great support that we have had from major tax and auditing firms across the country through way of participation as resource persons to share their knowledge as a way of giving back to the society.
What do you think firms operating in industry like yours need to grow?
What small companies like us really need to grow is patronage and collaboration from the private sector, as they are not encouraging small businesses. When small companies that offer services go to the big private sector firms, the first thing they would ask is do you have 5 to 10 years experience, some would ask for minimum of 3 job completion certificate and a whole lot of other documents even bank guarantee and performance bond. All these become a limitation to new start-up.
What Some of these big private sector companies fails to understand is the fact that good service delivery is not only dependent on experience but on innovation and creativity, as the old conventional way of services delivering may not always be the best as compared to the innovative and technology driven techniques possessed by young entrepreneurs nowadays.
I feel the big private sector firms should give more opportunities to small or start-up companies, while we understand the need for big brands to manage the risk associated with dealing with start-up companies, they should also consider the opportunity of been part of the success story of smaller firms by giving them a level playing ground to compete fairly as competition brings out the best creativity.
What does it entail to be a female CEO in Nigeria? It comes with a whole lot of challenges, especially when you play in an industry dominated by men. They tend to see you as a weaker gender that should not be entrusted or assigned some projects. Some think women are less creative and lack the ability to think outside the box or handle certain jobs but the truth is some of the best CEO and industrial leaders in the world today are women and the best decision makers are women as well.
What it entails in being a female CEO in Nigeria means that you have to work as twice as a male counterpart would do. If they are putting in 12 hours of work it means you have to put in 24 hours of work because being a female CEO, a mother and a wife means you’re working round the clock and you have to be able to multitask if you must survive. Lastly women CEO must be firm and committed to delivering project with the time frame without excuses of how the home front is equally demanding. I believe been a woman should not be a limitation to being a CEO we can do the work as much as a man.
What are EAF’S future projections?
For EAF, a projection for this year 2019 which is a new year is to execute more projects, have more clients, not necessary only the big brands but also work with small scale enterprises, maintain more brand image and offer better services that will retain already existing clients.
We also hope to do more corporate events like organizing stakeholders section, industry review and outlook, execute more social impact projects like the existing Tax101 project, which will benefit the average Nigerian businesses at no cost.
We also intend to work with other sector to bridge identified gaps as we are not only restricted tax. We hope to impact the Nigeria Economy in our best way possible.
Tax101 will still be up and running and we hope to achieve even greater milestones this year through the radio programme.
What advice do you have for young girls out there and women like yourself who are aspiring to become CEOS?
My advice is that it is never too late nor too early to start a business, I wish I started earlier. Business has no gender. What it takes is your passion, your drive, creativity and the ability for you to endure all the challenges, and if one business idea fails, don’t beat yourself, it’s all part of business experience nobody will teach you. Start again, be innovative, take risk, put in more work, again I would say Start small because there is always an opportunity for you to grow.