Entrepreneurial corporate governance

Entrepreneurial corporate governance

Growth is an outcome of successful entrepreneurship. In this journey we are forced to also think bigger through appreciating that we are corporates from the onset.

Conforming to the adage that “Rome was not build in a day”. Same with our enterprising; we have to craft, protect and govern as corporates. Almost every sector of our global economy has witnessed some sort governance in their practices (whether they managed it well or were caught unprepared).

Here we talk of preparedness. Especially knowing that the field is new to most of young businesses. Let’s be proactive as these matters will be forever part of our visioning and operations.  To those who are fortunate to have configured the same in their practices the question is what was learnt then and the way forward.

Previously before knowing the potential of our SMEs I used to see “corporates” as a terminology for the giants only (a far to reach conceptualisation). But now it is clear through engagement that being a corporate starts at that moment a business idea is launched.

Many of our promising enterprises have failed to progress in the highly competitive/complex business environment associated with dynamics because of poor governance by them and any other. Some will say it is out of ignorance but in law that excuse is not acceptable.

Mostly as perpetrators we have been litigated, penalised and even made to close their operations.  Yes this subject area has been debated by many parties in our various spaces (including scholars and professionals of our different sectors). 

Especially on the arresting powers vested in corporate governance blueprints/doctrines. In our case we should think differently especially by appreciating that it is a must do for our survival. Running a successful entrepreneurial business entails one to think deeper and relate corporate governance as a central pivot. 

Mainly in relation to formation and day to day operational issues such as the structure of our businesses, span of control, reporting channels and responsibility of the owners/partners/employees together with  living the promise(s) from the overall vision.

That is the same reason why we agreed that as owners of SMEs we should stamp ownership not only of the idea but also systems in this case those for good corporate governance. In so doing then we will be in a better position to safeguard our hardly earned and well thought business (idea and its growth). In this edition we try to unpack entrepreneurial corporate governance as the way forward towards sustainability and more rewarding business orientation. 

To start with there is need for a well-structured with order setting-up and running of the SME business (to be defined as a corporate in its early stages). Here we try by all means to advance from theories to practice as blueprints on their own are just guides not implementers.

Even supported by the fact that from one nation to another corporate governance is based on specific customised pillars. Even confusing on which one to regard as the best.

Especially when you are in a cross-border business (importing and exporting to other nations). Most of the times we are then forced to adjust for progress.  The good thing is that in Zimbabwe we have our own guidelines like the ZIMCODE of 2014 to refer in strengthening governance.

Thanks to the efforts made by relevant Ministries and bodies in coming up with these guides. Even with different views and encoding from various institutes across the globe there are some similar/specific pillars that clearly defines corporate governance to suite almost any type of business. These are issues of transparency, accountability, fairness and responsibility. When viewed from a literature review perspective these terms seem general and known not to revisit for further discussions. But most will agree with me that there is a huge cavity in implementation and practice by our enterprises.

Many of our SMEs have been labelled negatively almost in every aspect of the abovementioned such that it became a course of concern for this discussion. Truly corporate governance can have a strong effect on the brand visibility/publicity of a business owner and all its belongings. Food for thought here.

There has been an own going tradition of lacking transparency by some of our entrepreneurs. This is one pillar that is earned throughout the business life cycle.

When a customer/partner engage with your business they should know all about your business to improve their confidence for any exchange.

It is not only about having a registered company and adhering to the industry regulations and requirements for licensing.

The standard operating procedures and systems within our operations lead the way towards transparency. In some cases our SMEs do not want to give a warranty of performance for their products/services.

That is a very simple way of destroying that transparency we once displayed on our walls. As an owner of a business here you should come up with ways to clearly and truthfully engagement with venture capitalists, managers, general employees and any other.

Most of our entrepreneurs do businesses based on lies and promises that are never met.

 There is need to disclose some key matters to the responsible and related parties in order to reflect/showcase transparency in the way business is run.

All the related stakeholders will want to be part of your success story all the away into generations to come. Keeping/filing of records for future references with regards to sales, contracts, payments and any other form should be part of a business best practice for lasting transparency.

People believe through seeing and such evidence enhance the needed transparency as we grow to be a businesses of first choice. In cases where risk is likely to occur in association with your products/services/business should be openly known by those to be affected.

That’s where transparency starts. We close this edition in anticipation to share more on all other nodes in the future. Let’s ride together in this new start!!!

Dr Farai Chigora is a businessman and academic. He is the head of business science at the Africa University’s College of Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance. His doctoral research focused on business administration (destination marketing and branding major, Ukzn, SA). He is into agribusiness and consults for many companies in Zimbabwe and Africa. He writes in his personal capacity and can be contacted for feedback and business at [email protected], WhatsApp mobile: +263772886871, Website www.fachip.co.zw

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