Some time ago, we ran the “How I Started My Business” series on the blog. We interviewed women about how and why they started their businesses.
One of the questions we asked them was “How did you raise capital for your business”
We compiled some of the responses we received to this question, below are ten of them.
Aderonke Abiona of Bambiano
Initial capital was raised by me and my business partner who is also my husband. A lot of bootstrapping and sacrifice was done to kick off the business. As co-preneurs, we share expenses, office space, technology and admin costs between Bambiano and his sock brand N&G Socks. We also outsource services we cannot adequately handle and eliminate unnecessary costs.
Adehola Ojo Founder Of Adehola Creations
I started with about N3,000. Bought a Hot Glue Gun and some materials which I use in making accessories for sale. Then I’ll go to a Shoemaker around my area and I’ll help him make accessories for his customers while in exchange he allows me to use his equipments. Then I’ll take pictures with my phone and upload on the internet. I started buying my own tools with the money made from the sales.
I started small while working full-time and saved gradually over the years. While working I bought a few cake accessories and equipment and by the time I was ready to resign I had saved enough to pay for my training in French patisserie. What also helped was that I always lived within my means bearing in mind that I had future goals so I always spent with extra care focusing more on investments than frivolities.
I raised the capital with my personal savings, popularly known as ‘ajo’. I am good with managing my personal finance, so that helps me a lot to pull through.
Bunmi Arinbola of Elewa Foods
I started my business with just about N1000 as that was all I needed and could afford as at then. The mistake a lot of people make is that they think they need a huge capital to begin. Funding is not always easily accessible but you must not let money stop you from pursuing your dreams. How about you start small, grow and the opportunities for funding ‘would slide into your Dm.’ (Lol)
Hmmm. It wasn’t an easy one but God has always remained God for me. I started with personal savings but being that this business is capital intensive, my husband added some money as well. I did some other independent consultancy jobs. I had multiple streams of income as a backup.
I didn’t really need that much capital to start with, so what came from self and family sufficed. In some instances I went into partnership arrangements, where I did not need to pay cash, nor have, or own certain infrastructure to get the job done. I do believe in the power of collaborations.
Raising capital was not very easy. My husband and I used up all our savings and we had to borrow from friends and family as well. One major cost we had to contend with when we opened was the cost of energy. The outlet had to be powered as long as we were opened, and it did not matter if we had customers or not.
I started Wangaraufoods from my pocket money. Running a business is no child’s play, talk more of running a business in Nigeria where there is no enabling environment for businesses to thrive. We produce our own electricity, water and all other amenities. Although I have applied for a thousand and one grants from organizations that support entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, I have not gotten any yet. That does not mean that I’m giving up. On the contrary, it’s even making me all the more determined to make Wangaraufoods work.
I saved up what I could on my own but what really got things moving was a contribution I received at a time when I knew exactly what to do with it and I paid it back not too long after.
I started my business with #15,000 allowance while in school. Then at some point, I sold my car to get more capital. I also have a 9 to 5, so I constantly save personal funds for growth and expansion of my business. My mum has also been very helpful as she has given me loans and she never asks for payback.
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