When it comes to heading a successful business, the amount of money you put in is equally as important as the amount of time for the services you provide in return. People often go to extreme measures to keep their business buoyant, some options being more realistic than others. Anyone can start a company but what determines where that company will stand in 6, 12, or 18 months down the road is not only sales, but the funding and capital behind the business. You need to be able to keep the lights on, compensate your employees, keep food on your table, and ensure operations don’t come to an unexpected halt. Many businesses start, grow, fail, and either bounce back stronger, or just get scrapped.
The Nigerian government has over time put in place some funding programs to help Nigerian entrepreneurs, few are listed below.
1. The Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program (GEEP) – GEEP is an initiative of the federal government of Nigeria and Bank of Industry (BOI). The GEEP program offers a no-interest loan scheme with a one-time 5 percent administrative fee for costs. GEEP to date has disbursed 23,400 loans to artisans, traders, farmers and entrepreneurs across 13 states. You can make GEEP part of your success story by applying for funding here. http://www.boi.ng/marketreg/
2. The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurial Program (TEEP) – is an initiative by the Tony Elumelu Foundation that provides a $5000 seed capital to enterprising young people with good ideas. TEEP requires its program participants to attend an intensive business training and mentoring course. To date, the program has reached a total of 51 African countries with an investment of over $ 4 million.
3. LoftyInc Capital Management (LCM) – is an initiative of Idris Bello and partners. The firm recently announced the launch of a new $25 million fund for African entrepreneurs, which will focus on early stage Africa-facing enterprises that leverage technologies to create social impact and tackle big problems.
Obtaining funding should start with a solid business plan. If you write a convincing business plan, then your chances of obtaining funding are greatly enhanced. Lenders and investors want to see proof that customers want your product or services and are willing to buy it for a price at which you can make a profit. The more tangible evidence you offer of this claim, the better chance you have. Below are some factors that can improve your chances to get funded by an investor or from a lender;
• Your plan should show good profit potential in a short period of time.
• The higher the rate of return you can offer investors and the faster you can produce it, the better your chances. Your plan should target a clearly defined market with enough size and purchasing power to produce a profit.
• Investors also prefer large markets with high growth potential. Your plan should clearly explain the competitive edge your product or service has over rivals.
• Show that you have made a personal investment in this business venture.
• If you don’t believe in your own venture enough to invest at least some of your own money in it, how can you expect others to? Lenders and investors like to see an entrepreneur with an important financial stake in the business; it’s a tremendous source of motivation.