Sometimes funding interventions do not achieve all their outcomes because the funding is not enough. At other times it is because the funding is not utilised properly, or it has strings attached. Further still, at other times (and in the context of investment into a micro-enterprise), the failure can be down to a lack of Mentorship. Because there is simply no support system to guide the entrepreneur through the challenges they will most certainly encounter.
If you’ve ever run a business, you will know that the learning curve can sometimes be steep, and not everyone is adept at finding the resources or help they need to assist them in navigating tricky times or to help them master their art quick enough.
Thus, in addition to monetary support, what is also needed for any new business owner is advice from a group of experienced people who are familiar with the industry, and the business terrain.
Let’s take one example. Say a group of young entrepreneurs receive a grant of £5,000 to buy a Corn Grinding Mill among other items for their industrial corn milling venture. They found one which has a German brand, which came to £3,999 including delivery.
But when purchasing the German brand, the entrepreneur and his business co-founders didn’t know that the Indian company that makes the Corn Grinding Mill for the German company also supplies to Brazil, and the Brazilian distributor sells the same type / range of Corn Mill for a total of US$3,200 including delivery.
That means the entrepreneurs have overpaid for more or less the same product.
If you are a novice and someone is giving you the Capital you need, but not advising you, you’ll most probably make quite a few schoolboy errors. Most of business owners know this from experience, and unfortunately some of the micro-credit interventions make this very mistake. On this point, our founder comments: “In my case, in the early years of my first business, I spent quite a lot of money, thousands of pounds on marketing that was never going to deliver the kind of results my business needed. Looking back now, I can see how unwise that was. Instead of spending on multiple advertising channels, which worked for other industries, but not the particular industry I was working in, a wiser move would have been to first speak to someone with experience, which I didnt do at the time “
Although moderately time-consuming, what is required side by side with monetary assistance is good old advice from someone experienced. Someone who understands the industry, and who knows the business environment in which the entrepreneurs are operating.
Because not every new venture can afford to spend nearly 80% of the Capital sums they have received on a single product. And sometimes it takes someone to sit down with you and look at the numbers. Otherwise, it’s easy to overspend, with little else remaining for other things (e.g. working capital – of which there may not be enough).
And in fact, as much as any seller is entitled to set the price of its products, as a new company, every penny counts. But often as a new business owner with no prior experience, you need someone to show you where the pitfalls are.
Low-income African countries ‘pay 30 times more’ for drugs [BBC – JUNE 2019]
Oshede will be working with young entrepreneurs with the help of mentors, to provide appropriate business advice. By establishing a mentorship scheme to work with the help of technology, and which is instructed by local customs, we believe we can help tackle some of the underlying problems holding young people back, helping Mentors to work with recipients in mutual respect towards identification of root problems, and devising appropriate solutions to those problems.
These solutions can then be applied locally on a case by case basis to help others achieve success be it in their educational attainment or sustainability in their micro-enterprises.
Oshede is an empowerment initiative to help people in developing regions with assistance towards post-secondary education / developing a sustainable income via a micro-enterprise.