Monday, 6th December 2021
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Young african women entrepreneurs offer advice on how to start a business with no money – Mary Olushoga

The AWP Network poses this question to young innovative African Women Entrepreneurs and here is what they have to say about starting a business with no capital.
Mary Olushoga

Mary Olushoga

The AWP Network receives letters and emails from young Africans in various parts of the world asking if it is possible to start a business with no capital.

Haleemah, a young woman based in Nigeria writes, “In a situation where the person has an idea, skill, and passion but no capital, what do you suggest that they do? How do you suggest they start a business with no startup capital?”

The AWP Network poses this question to young innovative African Women Entrepreneurs and here is what they have to say about starting a business with no capital.

Bilikiss Kola-Abiola, CEO of award-winning company WeCyclers writes, “the easiest way to get funding is to build a team. You will be surprised at how quickly your idea takes off when you have a solid group of people equally passionate about your idea. Also, like our parents say, two (or more) heads are better than one. The diversity as well as the expanded network, will amplify your chances of funding the venture.”

Uduak Isong, Executive producer and co-founder of the Royal Arts Academy states, “Money is good but the lack of it should not stop you. Think of ideas that will not cost too much money. Save and work towards the big idea. Again, if you want it badly enough, you will work hard to get it. I think young people want things to happen overnight. Well, it won’t. Tuface has history, so does Emem Isong. It is a process, a journey, and young people must be ready to walk the walk. Okon Lagos was not the first script that I wanted to produce but I knew that no one would give a newbie like me more than a certain amount of money so I thought of an inexpensive script that I could easily raise money for. I still haven’t produced that first script – I am still waiting for the right time.”

“Money is not everything. It is a false comfort. Money will not stop a “real entrepreneur” from starting a business. Work until you have saved enough – find investors, ask friends and family, borrow. Money should not stop anyone from fulfilling their dreams. Money is an accelerator – whether you are going in the right or wrong direction, money simply accelerates you in the direction that you are already going in. Sometimes the lack of money helps you come up with innovative strategies and different solutions. For most small businesses, the lack of money should not be a barrier to starting, although it might be a barrier to growing. The most important thing is to start. If we had waited for the perfect financial conditions, we would probably still be at the drawing board stage.” says Rapelang Rabana, Founding CEO of Yeigo Communications and ReKindle Learning

Modupe Macaulay, founder and CEO of CapitalSquare Lagos adds to the conversation, “Look inwards. You will find something you can do that won’t cost much and might help you get the money for something bigger.”

Jane Ole of Elizabeth Waldorf Designs writes, “There will never be a time when there will be money so my advice is to start now and start small.”

Nkem Begho, Managing Director of Future Software Resources Nigeria Limited and winner of the 2012 Etisalat Nigeria Prize for Innovation offers some tips. She states, “Start small and grow big. Try to fund your business yourself or ask your family and friends for money. If you really want something, believe in your product or business model and you will succeed. It’s just a matter of time and for how long you can endure. Lastly, focus on your goals and don’t get distracted.”

Iheoma Obibi, Founder of Intimate Pleasures, a Lagos-based sex toy company writes, “Yes, you need money to start a business, but is it possible to bootstrap your ideas? Start small and work your way towards your identified goal. You can also hold on to a part-time job if you have one.”

“Be creative! Start the business in steps and stages. Also, look for investors even if it is from friends or family (however, make sure you get agreements in place before borrowing any money.) Look for grants and funding opportunities in your local area,” says Ronke Lawal of Ariatu PR
Popular Lagos twitter handle @GidiTraffic states, “I created @Gidi_Traffic out of nothing. The only thing I had then was a mobile phone and internet access. Money is not an excuse. If you have a good idea, money should never be a hindrance. When I created @Gidi_Traffic, I did not plan to make any money.

I only wanted to help commuters’ deal with the traffic situation in Lagos. Do not let money serve as a hindrance to your goals. You do not need money or large capital to start your idea. Make sure your idea is feasible and simple enough that it can be implemented. ”

We hope that this provides you with a unique perspective to overcoming the fear of starting and encourages you to take the necessary step needed to start your business idea. Do not let money serve as a hindrance. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve your goals, and live your dreams.

We will follow up on this conversation with a workshop on crowdfunding. Please stay tuned for details. Want to add to the conversation? Please tweet
@Africwomenpower. We want to hear from you.