Had a conversation with a friend just this past week that led to our discussing just how big a role our parents play in financially investing in our business ideas; or lack thereof. This was from the entrepreneurial perspective. We had initially discussed what a taunting task it is to find start up capital to finance ones idea into a successful business operation, especially in Botswana and Africa.
As discussed in my previous post (Which is still today, one of Entrepreneurs.my MOST READ Post here), banks and business start up loaning organizations aren’t advisable in that they charge ridiculous interest rates on start up loans that eventually cripple the business; and most, especially small scale businesses collapse under the pressure. This therefore leaves governmental assistance, which for the first few years of operation, the founder operates under the microscopic view of the said organizations, until the loan is paid.
It does not in any way help that they pay back the loan interest free, at a time they aren’t prepared to do so or making just enough to do so, let alone survive.
A point was raised in our discussion that if our parents would for a second not look at us as their babies, but as business partners and not just offer emotional and psychological support, but also invest in our business, we’d be far much better placed for a successful venture. Of course there has to be boundaries set and legal documents if need be, for this relationship to not be abused but treated as a professional one.
The process of applying for financial assistance takes time and a lot of paperwork is needed; which in this case will be dramatically reduced. Moreover, the first profits made can be re-invested back into the business as both founder and investors have a mutual interest in the business and both wish to see the business expand.
Not to overlook the fact that not all parents are financially secure to afford such investments, but like any other business, this is a risk. It may or may not work, but it is worth a chance. If my parents were to put up say one of their farms produce for sale to finance my business; or mortgage their house to do so, then I could have sufficient capital to start up and offer more than enough ROI to repay this and finance a bigger project. It is understandable that money is not readily available. But resources are. And they can be used to the said extent.
Weigh options between getting a loan that will cripple the business and hinder continuation after wasting so much time and energy trying to get it running, after wasting so many resources only for it to fail and for someone to steal it right from under your nose; and having your parents offer the little that they can that you can grow into the amount you need and get the business steadily growing? Calculate the risk and weigh your options. A snail’s pace is still progress. Half a glass is a glass half full. Its whichever way you choose to look at it.
This is also looking at the fact that as an entrepreneur, you have the patience and faith to see your business persevere. And when you know exactly what you want and where you are headed, it really does not matter if you get all the capital you wished for. Even half the capital you want can still get you started and you will always find a way to make what you have work for you.
This has a tremendous potential of growing Africa’s entrepreneurship capacity and the continent becoming less dependent on financial assistance from developed countries and rapidly reducing the inflow of foreigners who come into the continent to start up their own ventures. Its not that we do not have great ideas, its just that financing the ideas seems almost impossible.
If we can finance our farming initiatives, the importing of fruits and vegetables would be cut down as we could take advantage of our rich soils and grow our own. The importing of fashion accessories could be drastically reduced as we could finance our own creative talents; especially seeing as the current fashion trends all started in Africa; and are even using African print cloths.
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