To wrap up our tweet chat entrepreneur series, we had a quick chat with Tayo Oyedeji, CEO of Overwood to learn more about him, his business and what it means to be an entrepreneur in Nigeria.
Here’s what he had to share:
Tell us about your company Overwood?
We created Overwood to give Africans a chance to invest in safe, high-yield instruments (starting in Nigeria). The key focus is fund safety.
We have a local currency product, a children’s education fund, and a USD product all at Overwood. Overwood makes safe investments available to all Nigerians through our tech-enabled investment platform. Our focus is on the safety of your fund overwood.ng.
What we tell people is that you should put the money you want to grow but can’t afford to lose in OVERWOOD. Your funds will grow daily in a safe environment.
Why did you decide to create an investment firm?
There are two big problems with finance in Africa.
2. Fund safety.
We wanted to address both with a tech-based accessible fund that is focused on fund safety. We started in Nigeria but are already looking at Rwanda and Kenya next.
What are your 3 biggest lessons in entrepreneurship?
1. Understand the market.
2. Understand yourself
3. Execute like crazy.
Let me explain further.
This thread explains my views on starting a new business.
Planning for 2021?
Forget about your passion; think about market dynamics.
– A THREAD
— Dr. Tayo Oyedeji (@tayooye) December 28, 2020
Market first, then improve your skills, then create great operations. Passion is a lagging indicator. Always start with a market problem. Your passion will come as you build competence, attain mastery, and make money from your idea.
As an entrepreneur, what is the smartest decision you’ve ever made for yourself?
I learned quickly that the goal of entrepreneurship is to make money by making a difference.
If your goal is 100% profit, you will cut corners.
If your goal is 100% altruistic, you should start a charity instead.
I dance carefully between profit and mission.
When it came to launching your business, what kind of support system did you have in place?
None. I didn’t come from a rich background so I had to build from scratch. But I was fortunate to get a scholarship to study at great universities in the US/UK and got good jobs as a result. Then I saved like crazy so that I would have enough capital to start a business.
In your opinion, what ways can Nigeria better support entrepreneurs?
Low-interest business loans are the biggest need in our country. Business loans today range from 20% to 84% per annum. That needs to change to single digits. It’s difficult to succeed in business when you are carrying a double-digit weight before you even start.
We also need a strong business incubation model. I am working with a group of investors to build an incubator that will help and fund small businesses.
If you knew what you know now before starting your business, what would you have done differently?
I would have started sooner. We all underestimate our capabilities. I always felt I didn’t have the skillset to build a business but I am glad that OVERWOOD is gradually becoming what we envisaged. We are all stronger than our perceptions of ourselves. Let’s go for it and win.