__Case study: a “legalpreneur” for SMEs…
Every once in a while, I read a comment and I think it should become a post. Today is one of those days. This is not because I want to promote anyone’s specific business but because you can all learn from each other how to stand out amongst a crowd of entrepreneurs on this platform and beyond, and also be inspired.
Congratulations to Mrs Barinaada Bema Alexander in Lagos, Nigeria for your legal entrepreneurship venture focused on start-ups and SMEs. We have never met nor spoken before, and I don’t know (yet) from direct experience if you are a good lawyer… but to all of you on this platform: What parts of her “pitch” comment earlier this week do you think caught my eye?
“Dear Sir, #StriveMasiyiwa I am a young lawyer with 5 years post call experience from Nigeria.
After my law school I was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2015, I did a mandatory Youth service in the law office of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria for one year. Few months after the service I was absorbed in a shipping agency where I worked as it’s Company Secretary/Legal Adviser. I was there for about 5 months before I tendered my resignation when the working condition became unbearable.
In Nigeria and perhaps other developing countries, SMEs are a major player in promoting National Economic Growth and to a large extent they help in reducing unemployment
I realised early on that one of the major problems faced by many SMEs (small and medium enterprises) is lack of access to legal Service.
I realised that they are a vulnerable set of people with special legal need and attention than what the traditional law firm can offer.
I realised also that there are no dedicated law firms that are SME focused.
Knowing all of this, and understanding the peculiarities of small business owners I decided to set up a specialised SME inclined law firm called Barinaada Legal that caters for the legal needs of SMEs.
The primary aim for establishing and registering Barinaada Legal is to provide SMEs with legal support and act as their legal bodyguard so that they can channel their energy, efforts and resources into growing their businesses.
I have a community on Facebook called Law and Business Community where on a regular basis, I dish out legal content that I know will help small business owners to thrive.
I am also the Convener of the legal round table which is a quarterly physical meet up where entrepreneurs can gain legal clarity about their business as well as network with other entrepreneurs.
My Facebook Timeline and Instagram page is a virtual law firm for anyone who wants legal clarity about business. Every Tuesday is free legal consultation where SMEs can book a free session with me.
The vision for Barinaada Legal is to be the go-to Law firm for SME related legal issues not just in Nigeria but across Africa as a whole and so we are open to partnerships and collaborations that will make this vision a reality.
As a young lawyer this is how I am contributing my quota to the growth of SMEs in Nigeria.
Thank you Sir, for all you do for SMEs.”
Well done to this “legalpreneur” for identifying a need and launching a business to reach out and address it.
I wonder who among you knows that SMEs create about 80% of new jobs in emerging economies? That’s a big potential market for some of you. SMEs are huge drivers of innovation and economic development…
And, of course, we nearly all start out as SMEs!
__So why is it that young entrepreneurs and small business operators in general do not seem to have enough access to quality lawyers and legal services? Why do so many not know their rights, or how to protect them?
Do you have good knowledge of the law, including basic contract law, labour law and other national laws and regulations that affect your business? If yes, how did you learn? Let us know. Where are the gaps?
Personally, I would love to see courses on commercial law, financial literacy and entrepreneurship, starting in high (secondary) schools. Within just a few years, a new generation of entrepreneurs would start to emerge, equipped with skills, knowledge and #mindset to launch the next Amazons of this world…
What are you waiting for? And if you’re not waiting, great! What are you up to? Share your inspiring news, if you’re ready.
To be continued. . .