Articles & Features
Is the 80-20 principle working for or against you?
I first heard about the Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule or the law of the vital few) in an Economics class during my undergraduate years in University of Ibadan. The concept sounded cool and I really enjoyed that particular class. The next time I heard of it was in the movie ‘Why did I get married too?’
Since then, I have heard the term over and over and I recently got a copy of the book titled ‘80/20 individual’ by Richard Koch.
The Pareto principle states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
This theory was named after an Italian Economist who stipulated that in any sample population, 80% of the resources are controlled by 20% of the populace.
Interestingly, I have seen this principle at play in different scenarios till date.
We recently launched the first all-women business Incubator, and the response so far goes to buttress a conclusion I reached going by my experience in the last 3 years- only 20% (or less) of Entrepreneurs are taking all the available opportunities!
-The same 20% that have been through programmes at EDC, Fate foundation, Goldman Saach.
-The same 20% that have accessed grants from YouWin, TEEP.
– The same 20% that are vibrant membership of business networks, associations, chambers of commerce, etc.
– The same 20% that participate in business workshops and networking forums locally and internationally.
-The same 20% that have accessed the ‘impossible’ loans from banks.
Yes, it is the same 20% showing interest in registering for our programme.
I know a friend who got a 10million naira grant from the YouWin programme, was selected for the YALI/Mandela Washington Fellowship programme and met the President of the Unisted states, won another $25,000 grant for her project all within a space of 2 years. Then she called me a few months down the line to say “I just got N100,000 seed capital from the Ignite-Lagos state empowerement project!”
I’m sure you’re asking, why is she applying for a N100,000 soft-loan after all the money she’s gotten?
Well, that was the same question I asked when i learnt that the Dangotes and the Elumelus of this world still apply for GRANTS!!!
What makes the 20% stand out?
-They have differentiated themselves from the crowd
-They are informed and enlightened
-They easily recognise opportunities no matter what shade they come in
-They know where to look to get help for their businesses.
Most importantly, they are HUNGRY!
So, will you be 20% or the 80%?
Find out more about kick-SMEBizInfo business incubator for women
Bukola is Founder, SMEBizInfo.com and is passionate about helping small businesses connect with the right opportunities that will put their businesses on a global pedestal, having benefitted from a number of opportunities herself. She is Director of the Kick incubator, Lagos, the first All-women business incubator by the Fledge Co Seattle USA. She is also convener, SMEBizInfo meet-up and also runs an online community where women can access trainings, mentorship and opportunities.
– In 2012, her company won a grant from the YouWin programme and she also got a scholarship for the EDC/IBM ‘Women Enterprise Challenge’ the same year.
– In 2013, she was selected to participate in the Cherie Blair Foundation, UK mentoring programme for Women.
– In 2014, She facilitated the ‘Women in Exports Project’ in collaboration with the Nigerian Exports Promotion council (NEPC) and Osun state ministry for Women affairs, targeted at helping women access International markets with the indigenous products.
– The same year, her company was one of the 20 Women-Owned companies in Nigeria to participate in the World Export Development Forum
– In 2015, She was selected for the Women Vendor Exhibition forum, Sao Paulo in 2015 by the ITC, Geneva.
She was also shortlisted as a semi-finalist for the YALI- Mandela Washington Fellowship programme USA as well as the Grammen Foundation Fellowship programme
– In 2016, she got a licence to run the first All-women Business Incubator programme, by the Fledge co, Seattle.
Bukola can be contacted by mail: email@example.com