A Lagos based non-governmental organisation (NGO), Friends For Islamic Development (FID), at the weekend organised a training programme, focusing on how to grow businesses for Muslims who are in small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).
Titled ‘FID HUB 2018’, the event which was put together in Lagos by Aisha Bello Tukur, founder of FID Networks, attracted discussants among whom were Abubakar Suleiman, managing director/CEO, Sterling Bank; Bolatito Ajibode, general manager, Stanbic IBTC Bank; Saidat Otiti, CEO of Baytuzzeenah; Raliat Oyetunde, business consultant, Muslim businessmen and women, amongst others.
According to Tukur, the target of the one-day training programme with the theme: ‘SMEs In Islam’ is to create a platform for the participants, to grow their businesses and also express their ideas alongside established business owners and CEOs.
Speaking at the event, Abubakar Suleiman, managing director/chief executive officer of Sterling Bank Plc, advised participants to always choose a business that they know well and the ones that would have sustainability, just as he admonished that such businesses must be satisfying a particular need.
Citing himself as an example, Suleiman said that, if he were not in banking business, he would have been in packaging business where he would specialise in processing and packaging of food products.
“If I were not in banking, I would have gone into packaging of food products of any kind from their natural form where the price is low to a premium value where it is sold at a multiple cost
“Do what you need to do for capital to come and look for you. That is the only model of business that works,” he said.
Suleiman also noted that if Muslims translate the character of Ummah into business, there is no way their businesses will not grow.
He, therefore, urged them to go back to the history of Muslim commerce, stressing that if they carry that to their everyday dealings in business, they would have advantage in business.
Advising the numerous participants further, on the dynamics of businesses, Suleiman said that “every successful business person is quitting and starting again. If you stay with the business idea you started with, and the world moves on, the business will die. If it is also the type that is not meant for you, don’t hesitate to shut it down”.