Have you seen or heard people frown when one introduces themselves as Copreneurs? It literally seems as if one comes from another planet and lacks wisdom. Today, I would like to demystify the vibes around it and hopefully, you will be educated on the pros and cons of Copreneurship.
Let’s begin with understanding the term ‘Copreneurship’. It is an arm of family business that has been in existence for generations, but is now becoming popular. Copreneurship is a term used to describe a situation where the husband and wife manage the same company. It is a branch of family business that has been in existence for many generations.
Examples of prominent family businesses are: Walmart, Ford, BMW, while we also have the likes of Eventbrite, Moonfruit, and even Falcon oil and gas in Nigeria. All these are Copreneurs (couples in business) with global relevance.
With these few examples, we can see that Copreneurship is a vital financial contributor to our economy.
Before journeying together as a couple in business, you must understand the pros and cons of Copreneurship.
|Couples are able to build with the advantage of understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses.||Couples can use their understanding of each other to manipulate things.|
|A lot of couples in business are conscious of their legal obligations and work within that framework.||Many couples who are in business together usually ignore or assume that love covers it all.
This has led to many losing the business they started together.
|Corporate governance is key to a stable, thriving copreneurship and every well intended couple in business knows, agrees and adheres to this.||Some couples negate to put structure in the business, thereby carrying the home front into the business space and causing discord and eventual death of the business.|
|Thriving copreneurs understand that emotions should be set aside when making decisions for the business. The motto should always be ‘what is best for the business ‘.||Couples who are always emotional and sentimental in their decision making truncate the growth of the business.|
|They understand that clear, delineated roles between themselves are important for communication and staff effectiveness.||Most couples fail in business when there are no clear lines of command, and this is common when the woman is the founder; because of our patriarchal society and gender bias.|
|Couples who are team players understand to work with their strengths, while protecting each other’s weaknesses from affecting the business negatively, bearing in mind that profit and the goal set is key.||Couples who do not understand that they are a team, usually allow their differences to mar their intended goal and profit.|
|Great copreneurs are conscious of separating the home front from the workspace, with the understanding that these are two parallel systems functioning symbiotically.||While some couples blur the lines between home and work thereby destroying two systems that usually are not meant to be applied together.|
Remember that the stronger your marriage union is, the stronger your business union becomes and vice-versa.
These few points above are lessons my husband and I have learnt as Copreneurs. My husband and I have run KMAI foundation together since its inception, and being the founder and a woman, I also struggled with delineation of duties, but as years went by, we had to learn the basic principles required for the business to thrive.
We have gone further to join hands in building KRING hospital, where my husband is the owner and chief medical director, while I am the executive director with clear roles and chain of command. It stands to reason that if it was not working, then we wouldn’t attempt to continue this in both spaces. Even Priscillia and Aquilia were spouses as well as business partners (Romans 16:3-5 TPT).
Finally, Copreneurship is not for everyone, but if you both feel led to work together in building your business empire, then the pros and cons above should be of great help.
Ngozi (Ngee) Okonkwo,
E.D, KRING Hospital,
Founder, Keeping Marriage Alive Initiative.
LOVE IS SERVICE.
Culled from KMAI 9.0 magazine: https://www.keepingmarriagealive.com/product/kmai-magazine-9-0/