So, you have a business plan, but of course there is that eternal problem of start-up capital that you don’t have. So what do you do? How do you start a business without money in Africa? I think there are several opportunities that can be exploited if you really want to.
Indeed, if the entrepreneurial fire really burns within you, you will surely find ways to make your project a reality. If your initial project requires large amounts of capital, perhaps you will need to develop transitional projects. Or, perhaps reduce the size of the project as a whole. For example, develop one aspect of the project and add the other aspects gradually…
In any case, if you are committed to it, don’t let the lack of money ruin your dream.
In this article, I will first give some examples of businesses that can be started with very limited means.
See more: Africa Employer of Record
Then, I will reveal some of the secrets to starting a business with no money in Africa.
Tip #1: Transition to a less cash-intensive type of business
With limited means, you should consider business ideas that can be launched without money. These include: brokerage, service delivery and event planning.
Tip # 2: Inform friends and relatives of the project
Don’t be secretive with your family and friends. Because they are your first supporters because they love you and want you to succeed. Some of them will do anything to support you.
My mother and sister sold cassava for our survival; and when I was stressing about my projects for lack of money, they did not hesitate to take out their savings.
Patrick Ngowi received $1800 from his mother to start his multimillion dollar company, Helvic Solar. So did Arthur Zang, founder of Himore Medical and James Panaito. All successful entrepreneurs today had their mothers take out bank loans to start their businesses.
It is very important to spread the word, including on social networks. You never know where you’ll get the support you crave.
Tip #3: Learn to do it all, cut expenses
Why hire employees for a business with no capital? Likewise, why rent office space and fancy equipment? Doesn’t make sense, does it?
Until your business finds financial stability, learn to wear many jackets. But learn to do it very well. From production to finance, sales, marketing, advertising… By knowing how to do it all, you save yourself the trouble of paying salaries, which is one of the biggest expenses for a business.
The fact is that you will have to eliminate as many expenses as possible. So it’s important to determine where to cut costs, where to spend.
Tip #4: Hard work is the key to creating a successful cashless business in Africa
First, be rigorous with yourself. Second, set tasks for yourself to accomplish each day. Finally, take stock of the day in the evening and check off what has been done.
A good part of your time before the birth of your business will be spent on research. Either for learning or for acquiring new skills around which your business will be built.
Learning, knowledge, skills and contacts are your key to success when starting a cashless business in Africa.
Tip #5: Consider partnership
Africans, generally cordial and fraternal, lack a sense of partnership when it comes to business. We have adopted a distrust of each other that does not help us.
It is time we understood that we build greatness together. If nations come together to do great things, why can’t we?
From connections to financial contributions, from moral support to time savings, to better expertise, partnership can be your solution.
Indeed, it can provide you with what you need to get your business off the ground. To learn more about partnership, read my article on Establishing and succeeding in a business partnership.
Tip #6: Social Networks
Use your Facebook, Twitter and other accounts to tell your friends and acquaintances about your business.
Indeed, social networks are, in our time, among the most effective ways to reach a larger audience in a short time. Thus, many entrepreneurs are already using them for free to promote and sell their products.
In the article Increase sales with Facebook, I teach how to create and optimize a Facebook business page. Read also How to make your business presence on Facebook successful.
I also show how thousands of people use social networks for their businesses. Feel free to discover the secrets of a successful business on social networks that I share in this article.
Tip #7: Find a temporary job
You will need to continue to support your family during the start-up period. So, it would be a good idea to keep your current job if you have one or to find one.
So any input will be necessary, not only for family needs, but also for your business in formation.
In short, don’t let lack of start-up capital zap your dream of starting a business. You can take this project to life with creativity, flexibility, learning and hard work. It won’t be easy, but take inspiration from those young Africans who have been there.
The hardest part is getting started. Once you start your business, if the idea is original, you will be surprised at many things.