‘How my mother inspired me to start my business- MD, PayPorte Technologies

Eyo Bassey

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, PayPorte Technologies Limited, Eyo Bassey, is a man of many parts—techie, entrepreneur and venture capitalist.

He is one of the most successful e-commerce entrepreneurs.   Whether it was his strong work ethic, never-give-up attitude or advice to just believe in him, Bassey is proud to say that the first support to start his business came from his mother.His mother, a civil servant, saved money to get him a computer, which he dismantled and coupled.

Without her encouragement and belief in him, Bassey said he would not have been able to live his dream. Bassey started his first business venture at 21. Raised in the Federal Capital Territory, he was conferred with the best student award in the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASCE).

Bassey gained admission to the University of Ilorin where he studied Civil Engineering  and bagged a Masters in Applied Physics from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH).

After establishing himself as a developer, he was given the contract by a state government to develop a  software for revenue collection. He introduced the e-receipt system to the government. But to execute the  contract, he needed money.

To raise funds from the bank for the job, his mother allowed him to use their house. He has since proven himself as a risk taker, founding various companies and  established   online retail shopping platform – PayPorte.

Launched in 2014, Payporte was the first to launch a 1k Store in the industry to support its customers through the economic downturn.

He started  the business  with about $100,000. He founded PayPorte at the peak of the first dot-com boom. Few entrepreneurs dared to expand into several markets, while they were in their early stages. But  he  took that plunge headlong.  It is now a highly-valued business. The launch of  payPorte  can, in some ways, be explained as the distillation of many  experiences. Bassey is a successful tech entrepreneur  and  has built an enviable portfolio. He  has been ahead of others in encouraging firms to pivot—refine or change their business models.His investments include online marketplace , logistics provision and ordering app,  among others. At Payporte, he  has built an e-commerce firm that is capital-efficient than most other Nigerian  e-commerce brands.

Despite the success of PayPorte, Bassey  maintained  that it is still morning for e-commerce in the country. He should know; he launched the company in Abuja  before  relocating to Lagos. He has seen it all—the dot-com boom and the challenge of foreign- funded ecommerce firms coming into the market. But he persevered. He is not afraid to change gears and has an uncanny ability to see beyond the short-term, and though pressure is high at the moment, his clarity of vision allows him to consider the more significant lasting effect of decisions.

Bassey is hands-on as well,  as it  involves software development  and consulting for other organisations.  He has spent the last four years as the founder/CEO Rom-Flex Technologies, increasing and expanding the business in Nigeria, Africa and beyond.

Most notable is the ‘Roll-Out Immigration e-Passport, setting up the largest e-library and e-learning hub in East Africa (MUBS Uganda)

According to him, Nigeria is a large consumer market and its openness is very exciting—it allows players to come to in and push the boundaries of innovation.

He believes that e-commerce is the future of retail and it will play a big role in Nigeria.

According to him, the toughest thing about being an entrepreneur is to contend with the choices of what to sacrifice: “You surely can’t have your cake and eat it when you are bootstrapping a business, so making choices and being comfortable in your own skin about the decisions you make are essential.”

Startup Grind Lagos’ Chapter Director, Uwem Uwemakpan, said the forum was held to highlight and proffer solutions to challenges the Lagos entrepreneur faces.

Regional Programme Manager, Techpreneur Africa,Teleola Adegoke, urged young entrepreneurs to seek capacity building opportunities to enable them grow their businesses in the face of challenges.
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