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Unsure of yourself? How to Pitch for Grants.

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unsure of yourself? how to pitch

The competitive nature of grants does not usually afford us the luxury of being unsure about anything when it comes to grant applications. You basically need to cover all your bases –which include asking relevant questions like, “How do I pitch for grants?”

However, learning how to pitch for grants will be an easy pea if you strictly follow the guidelines outlined in this post.

  1. Start with a story. (The Problem)

In a bid to engage your audience right from the get-go, telling a story is a step to achieving that. But hey, not just any story. It has to be a story that addresses the problem you are trying to solve in the market place.

Furthermore, it also has to be a story your audience can relate to, because all you want at the end of the day, is to get their interests aroused.

Unsure on how to go about this?

Well, a simple background check on your investors gets that problem sorted out. This gives you a glimpse of their interests and what they care about, which helps to build your story around those.

  1. Unveil your solution

The next guideline to follow in learning how to pitch for grants is sharing details about your unique product.

Furthermore, it involves sharing how that product will solve the problem stated above. But, it’s pretty essential to keep this as short and concise as possible. The goal isn’t to feed your investors with every technical detail about the product but to keep them engaged.

  1. Reveal your target market to your investors.

You would be delusional if you thought everyone across the globe was your potential target market. In the world of pitching, being specific is inherently crucial to keeping the attention of potential investors.

But remember, there’s no room to feel unsure about yourself. So do your research, know your target market, and be realistic.

Read Also: 10 SME Grants to boost your business

  1. Talk about your successes

In your journey to mastering how to pitch for grants, building credibility is pretty vital. And one way to boost credibility is to share the successes you’ve had.

Investors are basically interested in what you’ve accomplished so far; here’s your chance to blow their minds.

So go ahead, impress your investors with the important stuff like product launches, contracts, sales, key milestones, and so on.

  1. Move on to your business model and marketing strategies.

Investors are generally skeptical when it comes to your financials. They are unsure as to how you intend to make money, how you intend to reach customers, how you intend to measure your successes, and more importantly, how much will these cost.

So your business model should focus on the pricing of your products, laying specific emphasis on the anxious market awaiting product distribution.

Read Also: Winning marketing concept for growing businesses

However, marketing and sales strategies should be in place to ensure the product is distributed to meet the demand.

Furthermore, it also reveals your competition with practical strategies to dominate or put them out of business.

Read Also: How to Gain Competitive Advantage 

  1. Introduce your team

Pitching for grants will be a basic flop without introducing your team because investors invest in people before ideas.

However, the introduction goes beyond just names and skill-sets. It should further talk about why these individuals are the best people for the job. But it is always vital to share what skill-sets are missing in your team because most start-up businesses are usually missing a talent or two.

  1. Specify your funding needs and future projections.

Being specific about your funding needs and future projections clearly shows you mean business. Remember, you cannot afford to be unsure of yourself or anything in the game of grants.

Furthermore, amongst the list of things you should be specific about with regards to your funding needs are:

  • The amount of money already invested in your company,
  • The names of these investors and their ownership percentages,
  • Exactly how much you would need to get to the next level –with details of the level in question,
  • What these funds will be used for, and
  • The anticipated outcome.

However, that’s where your future projections come into play. Investors are eager to know your financial prognoses for the future. So ensure you share your projected revenue per product over the next two to four years.

Conclusively, at the end of your pitching, you should be able to achieve the following:

  • Tell me why I should invest in your company rather than your competition.
  • Why I shifting from my existing suppliers to buy from you is a great idea
  • Tell me why I should quit my job and join you.
  • Do all these in 100 words or less.

 

 

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Grant opportunities

Savannah Funds for Tech Startups in Africa

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Technology is progressively gaining predominance in African nations. It is playing a significant role in the transition from being the margin to the mainstream of the global economy.

Africa has recorded a rise in technological innovations, tech innovation hubs, and tech-related ventures. In 2016, venture capital to African Tech Start-ups was pegged at about $608 million to 1$ billion.

Investments are fast rising from Venture Capitalists (VCs), Angel Investors, the government to grow the tech industry. Savannah Funds is one of such funding for the start-ups.

About Savannah Funds

Savannah Funds, based in Nairobi, Kenya is a venture capital fund for early-stage, high growth technology start-ups in Sub-Saharan Africa. Started in 2012, they have made investments in about 20 Africa focused start-ups in countries like; Kenya Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and South Africa. They have helped these start-ups to raise over $13million in seed and venture capital funding and generated over 150 jobs.

Savannah fund is Africa’s leading technology seed fund and accelerator, offering $25,000 to $500, 000 investments in early-stage tech start-ups. Savannah fund says it aims to bridge the early stage or angel and venture capital investment gap that currently exists in Africa by combining capital with mentor networks both in the region and from Silicon Valley via an accelerator program and a follow-on independent seed fund.

Benefits

A key piece of the Fund’s overall strategy is to address the skills and experience gap of entrepreneurs in the region through the Accelerator Program. The accelerator program is designed to help emerging entrepreneurs build a company and launch a product. Early-stage companies participate in “cohorts” and are exposed to a program to learn from experienced local and high value and reputable mentors that have built global technology brands that are also very hands-on as would be expected by angel investors.

They have built a curated curriculum of mentors in an over 2 hours sessions every week for 3 months. This is to enable start-ups see over 12 mentors dedicated over 30+ hours of mentoring across all the start-ups, face to face at the iHub, Kenya. Some of the mentors provide technical assistance and can become partners in the business to help in marketing, selling or to connect with the right customers. They also provide links to specific resources, such as the UX design lab to help improve the design or usability of applications.

The Fund’s Accelerator Program deploys relatively small amounts of capital ($25-30,000 to each company in exchange for 12% equity stake) to a cohort of up to 5 start-ups at a time for 3 months.

As part of the investment, there will be a $2,500 program fee that comes out of the investment to cover expenses incorporation, legal and office space. So, net funding is between $22,500 – 27,500 after expenses.

In addition, if a start-up is strong enough at the end of the program, Savannah funds can fast track application to their partner investor 500Startups Accelerator in Silicon Valley which qualifies for $100,000 investment and US re-incorporation.

Eligibility

Applicants will be chosen through an online application and interview process but successful teams should apply with not just an idea but an initial prototype, early customers and revenue.

You are eligible to apply for Savannah Funds if you:

  1. Have a product in the market with some traction and need more resources and partners to scale your ambitions for the long term and global company.
  2. Lack of the connections, and social proof/validation to talk to tech-focused investors.
  3. Want to partner and learn from other entrepreneurs who have done it before and tap their networks for advice so you don’t repeat the same mistakes others have.

Application

Currently, the application for the program is not announced. The date for the next cohort despite not communicated yet can be gotten from their application portal. Simply follow the link and register for their newsletters to get updates.

To Apply or access their FAQ, click here

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Grant opportunities

Federal government business grants

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federal government small business grants

Contrary to popular misconception, Federal government business grants are not free money to fund personal businesses or personal start-up. However, they do offer federal benefit programs to aid families and individuals in becoming self-sufficient.

But, the inquisitive-you asks, “What exactly are Federal Government Grants?”

  • They are government funds that empower projects and ideas to stimulate and boost the economy.
  • They are grants that support critical initiatives, innovative ideas and research, and other programs listed on CFDA (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance).

In other words, organizations and institutions with innovative projects that will benefit a section of the population or the nation, in general, are primary recipients of the Federal Government Business grants.

Therefore, the only way you can become a beneficiary of grants from the Federal Government is when you a part of these organizations or sectors.

So, a few of these grants are listed below

  1. Federal Government Business Grants For Agriculture

This grant funds the agricultural sector in Nigeria. So a farmer registered under this association is automatically a beneficiary of this grant. Furthermore, it also supports small businesses intending to develop scientific entrepreneurship and technology around the federation.

However, to be eligible for this grant, you and your organization must strictly stick to the goals and objectives of this grant.

How to Apply

  • Visit grant.gov to get information on accessible locations for the forms.
  • Fill in the necessary and accurate information required by the Federal authority.
  • Submit and wait for feedback.
  1. National Institutes of Health Grant

NIH is a federal government-owned institution that provides funding to small business owners and companies involved in the research and development of innovative medical technologies.

Eligibility

  • Companies or organizations applying for this federal government business grant should be research-based.
  • Furthermore, they should be innovative commercially.

How to Apply

Visit Grants.gov for a detailed guide on application procedures.

Read Also: 5 Easy Single Moms Small Business Grants

  1. YouWin Connect Nigeria

YouWin is an annual Federal Government initiative to fund innovative business enterprises and ideas with the goal of job creation in mind.  Furthermore, it aims at developing and executing those ideas.

Eligibility

  • You must be a Nigerian between the ages of 18-45 years.
  • You must have a post-secondary education
  • A fully detailed business idea with the ability to function in Nigeria and employ Nigerians must be submitted.

How to Apply

  • Register on the YouWin Official Website to get login details.
  • Submit a fully detailed business plan.
  • In addition, stay glued to your email for updates.
  1. Cybertipline Grant

This Federal Government Business grant focuses on empowering small businesses that provide programs to stop human trafficking and child exploitation. Furthermore, the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for the financial obligations.

How to Apply

Visit the online portal to fill out a survey from the Federal Government.

  1. National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Grants.

NIFA is a federal-owned agency under the umbrella of USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). This grants, however, focuses on nonprofit organizations, larger businesses, and leadership that tries to advance agriculture.

Furthermore, the agency disburses federal funds to tackle agriculture-related issues affecting the nation. Also, NIFA spins throughout the year, offering different grants to foster healthy competition in the agricultural sector.

How to Apply

Visit Grants.gov for a detailed guide on application procedures.

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Grant opportunities

HOW TO ATTRACT INVESTORS TO YOUR BUSINESS [Mastery Guide]

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How to attract investors

It is very important to save money throughout the business development process. Running your business right from startup from your purse will take longer than anticipated. It is highly recommended you know how to attract investors to your business and as well have a well-thought-out plan in place to reduce the time, effort, cost, and energy necessary to be successful.

It is no news that with financial support your business can experience exponential growth and reach its success potential. No man is an island, and no business is one either, so don’t shy away from reaching out to investors to inject the needed cash to boost your business.

The process of searching for an investor is an investment in its own right, but if you rightly apply your efforts in the usage of time, money and energy during your pursuit, you will have a higher chance of reaching your set goals.

Here are various proven ways of attracting investors to your business. Try to peruse with keen interest, comprehend, and apply the knowledge in attracting the investors your business need.

Knowledge of your investors

It is generally believed that what you know, you stand a better chance of attracting. In most cases, you don’t sit down at a place and expect investors to troop to you. Just like the same way you look for your product’s target market, look for your investors. You can take some time researching about the investors. Pay proper attention to the kind of investors you did want. This will help give you ideas for what they’re looking for, which in turn helps you save time and energy.

Knowing them on a personal level is a big up to you. Find investors with beliefs and interests similar to yours. It did be a whole lot easier to connect with them.

Read More: How to Penetrate your market with ease[6 ways]

Meet budget milestones

Investors want to be guaranteed that your business can give them the returns they want. And one of the ways of convincing them is to show what you are capable of. They consider the best businesses to be those with proven customer discovery. You will need a budget to get your first customers and make sure that a match exists between your business and the market. Once you succeed in reaching some milestones, you can move to pitch to investors.

Investors are sure to be attracted to your business because you have shown that you have a track record of delivering. You also need to factor in the cost in terms of expenses and travel as you seek out investors. This is because pitching investors can run into months.

Read More: How to win price way

Lean towards crowdfunding

In answering the question of how to attract investors to your business in recent times, the term crowdfunding is sure to come up. Crowdfunding is a recent form of attracting investors to business and raising capital. Crowdfunding is mainly done online. It involves posting your business idea on a crowdfunding site and letting your potential investors find it on the site. It is a way of announcing what you do to the world.

Crowdfunding can benefit all kinds of entrepreneurs, irrespective of the stage they find themselves. This is due to the fact that it has a global reach to people once there is an internet connection. Depending on how it goes, you might either get all or some of the cash you need. So when next you think of how to attract investors to your business, think crowdfunding.

Familiarize with your pitch

Your ability to attract a certain investor to your business might boil down to your pitch, and you sure have to get it right to attract such investors. At this point, no slip up is expected of you, and you have to take measures so as not to slip up.

You have got to rehearse your pitch to know it very well, know your facts like you know your name, though you don’t have to be robotic. In preparation, you have to anticipate their questions and have answers ready for them.

Be articulate, show some level of calmness, don’t be defensive or aggressive. And be sure to know your numbers so as to make the right decisions on the spot.

Knowledge of your market

As earlier established, most of your efforts should be geared towards convincing investors that your business is worthy of their investment. And you can prove that by showing how well you know your market.

Before pitching, make a thorough research about your target market. Have the numbers right and available to the investors. Let them know how in-demand your product or service is, how well you know your consumers, as well as how to get to them.

Show your potential investors how different you are from the competition if there are any. They are also better convinced when they know the growth potential of your business and the marketing strategy you intend to adopt. When next you are thinking of how to attract investors to your business, you did have a better answer nestled in your head.

Attracting investors can be quite a tedious task as are other facets of running a business. With proper drive and dedication, business targets are sure to be met. But if as a business owner you have asked the question, how do I attract investors to my business, I am sure you now know better ways of going about it.



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