It is increasingly become obvious that times are hard but only tough people who take tough measures can survive these tough times.
To come out of these tough times, steady the economy and ultimately propel it forward again towards growth, business owners in Nigeria in particular must begin to look for avenues within which to innovate in their businesses. By complying with sustainability principles and constantly looking for ways to improve value chains, designing better products and services, developing and adjusting their business models to meet up with sustainable standards, local businesses can begin to reap immense financial and social benefits.
In practical terms, innovations will emerge when businesses devote time and effort to finding specific ways to promote equality and financial inclusion, reduce cost, eliminate or reuse waste, and improve value chains in supply, operations and in the workplace. Businesses can also foster innovation by choosing to constantly challenge existing conventional methods and technology. By implementing innovation, smaller companies with limited resources can begin to successfully challenge established incumbent businesses and ultimately carve out a competitive niche for themselves. Larger businesses and multinationals can move and create new industrial trends and chart the course of business practices within the industry for years to come. Equity Bank, Kenya did this successfully with their introduction of ‘agency banking model’ which now provides financial services for people in rural areas, their success has led to massive growth and expansion of the bank to most East African countries.
Without doubt, sustainability is the key to unearthing new innovations which will yield top and bottom-line returns. To maximize these returns, the responsibility falls on business owners, sustainability professionals and practitioners to begin to chart new, inventive methods of integrating sustainable business principles into their day to day business operations. Such innovations will unlock the doors of progress, especially in this trying economic climate.
‘Sustainability is a very ingenious way of becoming more productive. It is a productivity strategy, but it also inspires some innovation-driving activities.” – Jorge Barba
Source: Sustainable Business Newsletter, January, 2016.