“Tokunbo, please where can I make some investments so that I can blow?” If I had a dollar...sorry Emefiele, I mean naira for every time I have been asked this question, I would be able to afford a meal at Slow restaurant in Lagos.

Understandably, everyone is trying to increase their wealth one way or another. I know the saying goes, “money doesn’t buy you happiness”, but scientists have shown many times that a higher income is correlated with happiness.

According to the World Happiness Index, Nigerians are the 116th happiest people in the world. A very low score for a country where you can eat something as wonderful as eba and egusi for breakfast (sorry to the amala fans). The issue is that, fundamentally, our low income restricts our ability to be happy. And despite Fela Kuti’s “suffering and smiling” quote, Nigerians don’t like to suffer. Everyone is trying to plot how to make more money. 

As the Fela Kuti follower, Burna boy said, even Dangote is still looking for money.

The thing with making money is that there are many ways to do it. As you read this sentence, someone has probably thought of another new route. Anyway, as we switch into the next half of 2021, I decided to compile some Stears Business articles that can help us learn more about how some Nigerians are increasing their wealth. 

Learning from others

Before you start any business, it is important to look at similar peers in your field who are doing it right. Imagine trying to build the next “iPhone” without studying how Apple mastered the art of marketing and consumer-focused branding. But you are looking for trouble if you only focus on the people that get things right. For every Apple, there is a Blackberry—once a leader in smartphones, and now a ghost. If you’re starting a new “hustle”, don’t forget to learn from those that failed as well. 

And that brings me to the first article on the list: The fundamentals behind Shoprite's exit.

This piece outlines what went wrong with Shoprite, but fundamentally, it teaches us about what Nigerian businesses have to go through—regardless of if you’re selling groceries or not. Nigeria is one of the most volatile countries in the world. A place, where transporting goods from Apapa, Lagos to Mainland, Lagos costs almost the same amount as shipping the same goods from China to Apapa port. A country that boasts of 200 million people but has 90 million in poverty. These were realities that Shoprite had to face. And so, before you jump into your next business venture, find out what has forced others over the cliff. 

Read the full article here 


Quality data for making decisions 

Speaking of 200 million people, this next article is packed with many facts on Nigerians. Which states have the highest population? Which state has the highest GDP per capita? Which state has the most employed workers? Which states have less than 10% of their populace living in poverty? Which states have the highest smartphone ownership? 

Trust me; this is information that anyone and everyone will need to operate in Nigeria properly. Many people are making money in Lagos, yes, but what if there are many opportunities elsewhere? Oyo, Ogun, Rivers, Delta, Edo, are states that provided some positive surprises in this piece.

So as most people focus on Lagos, a few Nigerians know that there is also money to be made outside the commercial capital. 

Read the full article here 

Go further back the value chain 

One basic concept in the art of making money is producing or selling something that “everyone” needs. Sometimes, the secret is going further back in the production chain so that the goods or services you provide are needed by other businesses to provide their own services. For example, producing plastics which Coca Cola and Pepsi need to create Fanta and 7UP. 

Or, if that’s not enough for you, then there are many raw materials at the start of the production chain. Take palm oil, which is used by 50% of all consumer products—from cars to shampoo and even food.

There’s a Stears article if you're interested in that potential. 

But there are other raw materials out there like agriculture or even minerals. As we look away from oil (but with our side eye still looking), some people are moving into other mineral resources. We’ve spoken about mining gold in Nigeria in the past. But more recently, we put out a piece on Nigeria’s mineral resources

We have many options here. Coal, gold, bitumen, limestone, barite, lead, and iron ore, we have it. In fact, Nigeria has the 12th largest deposit of iron ore in the world. A hotly demanded resource used to produce steel. Even limestone might have good prospects. Both Dangote and BUA, Nigeria’s cement heavyweights, need limestone to make their cement. You never know; Dangote could be your next customer.

Read the full article here

Making financial investments

Not everyone wants to get their hands dirty, though. Making money doesn’t always require the stress of establishing a company and battling with the realities of the Nigerian economy. From finding talent to dealing with operating costs like electricity, running a business here is not for the light-hearted. 

So how about making money while sitting down at home? Well, that’s what financial markets are for. From the comfort of one’s bed, money can be made by buying a few assets with the hope that they appreciate in value. There are many options, from real estate to bonds and equities.

And maybe even cryptocurrencies?

Yes, in this new generation, people are trying to make money quickly with several digital currencies that are gaining traction. And Nigerians are not sitting down and watching. The country is as involved in cryptocurrencies as any other country out there. But the prices of these assets are very volatile. One day you think you can buy a lamborghini, and the next day, you can lose your money. However, making money with cryptocurrency is not restricted to buying and selling. The technology behind these coins is revolutionary, and there are many use cases, which are all opportunities. In this article, we break down what bitcoin was truly made for.

Read the full article here

Tech bro

Is it possible to talk about making money these days and not include our dear friends in the innovation ecosystem? I think not. If the previous generation looked at companies like GTB and Mobil as money-making companies, this generation has the likes of Paystack and Flutterwave on their minds. Right now, people are scrambling to become “angel investors”. They want to find the next Paystack to invest their money before the company gets its $1 billion valuation.

But not everyone has the thousands of dollars required to even tempt these startups. That’s why this article is so important. You don't have to spend your dollars investing in startups. Another way to get some shares is to work for them. Attracting talent is difficult for a startup, especially when you consider the competition. Corporate companies like NNPC and Mckinsey have the advantage in the talent market, and so startups fight back by offering employees equity. After working at the company for a certain period, this sweet deal of employee stock options is one new way of making it.

Microsoft’s IPO in 1986 created three billionaires and approximately 12,000 millionaires among its employees. How? By holding shares. With news stories like this, it won’t surprise me if workers soon start to value this perk more than their actual wages.

Read the full article here


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