The picture my brain-brush was painting on the canvas of my imagination was more like a deep green woven basket with a plain white ribbon delicately tied around it. Now you ask, what’s a basket got to do with Nigeria? If you have ever made, bought or received a hamper, then you would understand the value of the basket. Sometimes people continue to use these baskets years after receiving the hampers. Needless to say that even before it was bought, the basket was a major determinant of the price or value of the hamper. However, the green basket in my daydream was not meant to be filled with wines, cornflakes or candy bars. It is a symbol of a Nigerian business with a purpose, owned by an entrepreneur who understands the principles of style and substance as it applies to his/her audience. This delicately woven, experience defined and open minded container has developed the capacity to sieve unwanted influences and present with professionalism, a well packaged product or service which is not only pleasant to behold, but as well, easy to understand and in every way, functional. This container could however be a business or the entrepreneur, together with their content and the perception they attract, we have a BRAND. Does it have to be a green basket? Yes! Every success story has a geographical origin. The men who built America did not do it with blocks and mortar, they did by building successful enterprises. Our primary responsibility as Nigerian entrepreneurs is not just to make money, but to build businesses that will endure. Even our children will forever be grateful for that kind of gift. When we have enough people with a mindset and determination to create enduring brands, then we would look around and discover we are in the Promised Land, only to realize it was the same land we built with our own hands – a BRAND new NIGERIA.
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