Are you worrying about how to start your African business with no capital in hand? It is no secret that African business startups face a huge challenge in accessing finance, and the tragedy really is that many never get started as a result of it. Or the slower growth makes them impatient and they put their venture on hold. Here are 4 tips how to avoid getting stranded
1. Start a business that has little capital requirements
Don’t plan to open a supermarket or import solar power solutions if you have no money to invest. No other advice may give you more hope than this one: There are business ventures that simply require no major capital input: sell your knowledge and services instead or products, start small and focus on your big vision with discipline one step at a time, or start an online business. Many African entrepreneurs have done just that and today they run hugely successful businesses! You simply need to find an area that has a clear gap in the market and that you feel passionate about, so you can see it through! I have shared many posts how African entrepreneurs have started extremely successful businesses with no capital in hand. Here is one of the most popular ones in case you missed it: $100 – How These Poor African Entrepreneurs Started Extremely Successful Businesses
2. Build mutual partnerships
Again, this is of high value and you can use it actively as a start-up or a growth strategy: Look for people who have access to something you need and then see what you could offer them in return. Let’s say for example you don’t have land, but want to start an agribusiness with poultry or flower production for example. You can find someone who is happy to give you the land to start production if you offer him for example the knowledge about a popular cash crop and a percentage of the sales you will make – a lot of people own land, but do not have much knowledge about non-traditional methods and markets or if they live in the cities, they don’t even want to get into farming themselves.
Maybe you want to start an online publication, but you cannot afford the web designer. Ask someone to become your web designer for a reduced fee, and in return you will have a free advertisement on your blog and online publication with his services, so he can get exposure and more clients through you.
3. Bring producers or other small businesses together – run a platform
Again, such a powerful strategy, which really works across sectors. For agribusinesses it could look like this: you gather farmers who are already producing into a cooperative – you will enable them this way to produce in bulk and you find the buyers for them. Or bring together a group of small businesses that offer private accommodation for tourists, or children entertainment, advertising and business services, wedding services, that manufacture local baby products and so on. Now you build a platform – for example an online market place – where you gather their products or expertise for a certain niche together getting a percentage of every single sale made through your platform without handling any of the products yourself. If done well, you can make considerable income only by empowering a niche and aggregating their service and products in a single place, which you are running. It also works as an offline company, for example an agency for translators, cleaners, professional speakers …… you are becoming the hub for a certain niche bringing certain skills and services together while you coordinate the work among independent freelancers or small businesses offering them the exposure and more clients.
Yes, there is increased access to crowdfunding sources these days, because crowdfunding is gaining in popularity. You can fundraise on existing crowdfunding platforms online for Africa such as VC4A, or build your own little crowd funding group to kick-start your investment or business in Africa. It works in a way that you all ship in putting some money forward towards a joint investment or start-up. Or if you don’t have any capital at all, you could propose to the group to run the business (so investing your time), while 2-3 people invest their money and get a share in the company. Crowdfunding is something that would work among friends or within a local community and has great chances to work out for you if you are credible and present a compelling case. Remember, a compelling case is rarely just a new idea, it is usually a concept on which you have already worked proving the viability of your business concept and your dedication. People invest in people with stamina and proven concepts and rarely just in great ideas.
There are many ways around the lack of capital, just continue to keep the flame for your business dreams alive and continue to search for avenues. Get started!
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Source: Africa Jumpstart