By Rita Okoye, Lagos
Having trained and empowered over 100,000 African Entrepreneurs through his work as a founder, trainer and coach at Daniel Folley SME Clinic, Daniel Odunayo Folorunsho, professionally known as Daniel Folley, an internationally published photographer/filmmaker, tech and digital entrepreneur has come to the conclusion that no country can grow without the success of its SMEs.
The serial entrepreneur made this revelation while recalling his foray into tech and digital entrepreneurship, alongside photography and film-making.
‘My late dad, Patrick Olufisan Folorunsho, was a filmmaker I was 14-years old when I lost my dad a few years after I went home and saw my mum unpacking some of his old stuff and I saw a tripod and a camera in the bag, I asked her what a tripod was used for and she told me that it was part of my late dad’s equipment, I was in my 100 level studying mass communication at that time, so I picked them up out of curiosity and planned to figure it out. The rest is history.’
Speaking further, he said; ‘I was already a Digital Entrepreneur, after a meteoric rise to stardom and rated Nigeria’s top wedding photographer in 2015. I wanted to do more to contribute to the growth of others, so I needed to fix a bigger problem. Knowing that no country can grow without the success of its SMEs and that government alone cannot fix the problems in this sector.’
He added; ‘Being an entrepreneur myself I decided to focus on supporting SMEs with digital skills, quality education and technology. This gave birth to Digital Medium Africa in 2017, in 2019 we started the Daniel Folley SME Clinic and in 2020, seeing the challenges SMEs were going through with access to Technology, a problem we were already equipped to solve; this gave birth to my Tech Startup softlink.ai the world’s easiest landing page, sales funnel and website builder; a business solution software that enables SMEs and creatives to build landing pages, websites, send emails and accept payment anywhere in the world in a few clicks, built in Nigeria, by Nigerians, for the world.’
Speaking on why he has been helping fellow entrepreneurs grow their businesses, he said: ‘Without PayPal, eBay would have failed woefully, it is important that we all know that the world today is flat, brick and mortar stores for business are becoming more irrelevant. You can run an entire coaching and consulting business from your home, order food, household items or professional services from the internet, seek legal advice from AI software, buy a private jet online.
‘Unfortunately, issues like; digital inclusion, financial inclusion, smartphone penetration, cost of mobile data, level and quality of education has affected the quality of entrepreneurs in the SME space and truncated their productivity. It is 100 times easier, cheaper and faster to acquire a customer online today than it was 10-years ago, with the use of Facebook ads. But many SMEs are still unable to take advantage of this opportunity due to the steep learning curve. This is where I believe I have been called, to break the virtual shackles and mysteries fellow entrepreneurs have with growing their business, by providing them with affordable world-class training, support services and access to essential technology to accelerate their growth and in turn increase the GDP of Nigeria and Africa by extension.’