Every day I get BBM pings and
WHATSAPP pings asking me how money can be raised to fund a startup business.
Someone mailed me telling me that he has been following my writings on this
website and that they were quite
challenging and interesting. He said he had a big problem which is how he can fund his hustlers startup. Let me quote
“ Good day sir, I must commend you for the
great work you are doing on the blog
section of your website : www.
extraordinarywealthinitiatives .com /Blog . I
must tell you that they are indeed life
transforming. I have benefited immensely
from your writings. Please sir, I have a
great business idea, but I don’ t have
capital to start the business . How can you
be of help to me?”
If you are in this category , this article is
for you . Before I start this article , I must
state it categorically that there are no one
method for raising money for a startup
business. Different things work for
different people in different situations . So
open up your mind to learn new things
that can be a standpoint for your
financial turnaround .
If you are among the category of “ how
can I raise capital” group of
entrepreneurs , then read further. I will
only make suggestions here . One method
may appeal to you or they may not be
what you are looking for but at the end of
the write-up , make sure you learn , that is
what makes you an entrepreneur .
Below are few methods you can use to
raise capital to start that business idea in
your mind :
a . Raise Capital from Family and
One thing about life and business is that
you will never know what works and
what doesn’ t until you try it .
If you are in
good relationship with your family
members and friends ; then you can
approach them and tell them of your
plans. But don ’ t go about telling everyone
of your plan ; identify those who you feel
have the capacity to provide you with the
needed fund and approach them.
There is no harm in begging but there is a lot of
harm in not thinking and not doing
But as a side note , you should be
prepared for disappointments . Family and
friends might tend to look down on you,
scorn you or despise your plan . This is
because they will feel you don’ t have the
capacity to execute your plans but don ’ t
be deterred ; keep your dreams alive .
A note of warning: Don’t go about
insulting yourself in the name of
begging money to start a business. One
of the things that showcases true love
is giving . You must be able to separate
those that love you among your family
members and those that gossip and
laugh at you at your back.
b . Investors and Venture Capitalists
The problem with going this route is that
these fund providers are mean and
tough . And the chances of you been
kicked out are high . Also, they often
don ’ t invest in yet to be established
business, they will demand a higher stake
in your business and they will want their
money back faster . So for someone
wanting to start a business with just a
plan and no money; investors and VCs are
often the wrong choice because they
know that plans are often beautiful to
behold on paper . But its execution is not
a piece of cake .
Commercial banks don ’ t provide equity or
capital, except on special cases ; they only
provide loans .
And for your business to
qualify for a loan , you will have to pass
through stringent measure . Now if you
are a start up entrepreneur with nothing
but a business plan , then forget about
getting funds from the banks .
Now since the three options above proves
to be a herculean task with very high
odds , what’ s the next option . Well , just
Most entrepreneurs started business
without external financing ; meaning they
financed themselves. The harsh truth
about raising capital is that no one
believes in your dream ; no one will ever
understand your plans like you do and no
one can grasp your vision like you. So
that means you are on your own .
Secondly , only few investors will be
willing to invest in a yet to be established
business and they will only do it if the
entrepreneur behind the proposed
business is credible and has a proven
track record . Since you are a new
entrepreneur with no track record and
you are just starting your first business;
that means you are on your own . Now
that the odds are high and the chances of
raising capital from external sources or
investors is slim. What do you do ?
When no one wants to invest in your
business idea; when no one wants to fund
your business plan , don ’ t go hitting your
head against the wall. Don’ t sit on your
plan ; instead , finance yourself . Do
anything you can to raise the minimum
amount needed and start small . Keep
providing your own capital and keep
moving until you breakthrough .
The answer above is simple but tough to
implement . Fortunately , self financing is
not impossible. In fact , that was how
most successful entrepreneurs kick
started their business. Richard Branson ,
Steve Jobs , Larry Ellison, Jeff Bezos,
Robert Kiyosaki , etc all financed their
business themselves before they were
able to attract outside investments .
The point I am trying to stress here is
that you don’ t need the exact amount on
your business plan to start your business.
If you are waiting to raise the exact
amount on your business plan , you might
wait forever and still end up dying with
your dreams . What I will advice is that
you calculate the minimum capital you
can kick off with ; cross check your plan
for things you can do without or get for
free and get started .
I did not start my business with millions
of dollars in capital; and even up to this
moment , I still self finance my new
business. Another important point to note
is that none of the business I started was
sufficiently funded ; they were always
underfunded and I occasionally run short
of cash but I always find a way to
survive . Now how was I able to pull
through ? How was I able to start my
business without outside support and how
can you do the same . You will find the
answer you seek below .
1. Assess your personal traits
Do you really possess what it takes to be
an entrepreneur? Starting a business is
not all about the money to be made or the
capital to be raised; it has to do with the
mindset . What I am trying to say in
essence is that your mindset , your
perception is more important than money.
To successfully raise money and start a
business, you must be tough as a nail .
You must develop a tough skin and learn
how to take disappointment without
losing your enthusiasm .
Nobody is going to give you his / her hard
earned money on a platter of gold and in
fact , nobody really cares about you or
your plans so you must be prepared
mentally to weather the storm . Your will
to succeed must be so strong that it can ’ t
be deterred by negativity, criticism and
disappointments . Your will to succeed is
more important than money especially
when you are starting without money.
Life is not a bed of roses.
2. Enter for entrepreneurship contests /
Just like I said earlier, life is not a bed of
roses . Your quest to raise capital might
require you to fight or compete for it . If
no one will lend you money, then you can
as well get the attention and fund you
need by fighting for it. I prefer to use the
word “ fighting ” rather than “competing ”
because the no one is going to give you
money on a plate of gold; no one is going
to spoon feed you. Like I stated earlier,
you are on your own, so you have to fight
for yourself .
Look around you and see if you can find
an entrepreneurship competition or even
any competition you think you are
competent enough to compete in .
Participate in entrepreneurship contests ;
if you have a skill or talent , see if there ’ s
a competition locally or nationally that
require such talent and join . After all ,
there’ s no formal rule or pattern for
raising capital. Anything goes .
3. What can you do to raise money?
No one is willing to invest with you, so
what do you do to raise money? My
answer is that you can do anything legit
to raise the kick off capital you need .
Anything at all ; as long as it gets you the
needed capital and you are not breaking
the law or hurting someone . If you have
a skill or talent , then use it to make
money. For instance , if you are skilled in
bookkeeping, web design , writing ,
speaking , playing football or whatsoever ;
then use it to make the capital.
Now what if you don ’ t have a skill or
talent ? Then you should get a job and
work on your business part time. Most
people , even my close friends never
knew that I did some menial jobs just to
raise capital to start my first business
when I was in the university. I worked in
series community pharmacy in lagos as
an undergraduate pharmacy student just
to raise money. It was excruciating for
me but the experience and money I got
from it, paid off at the end .
I have worked with a lot of problematic
bosses who are good at criticising and
fault -finding . Yet i was happy doing their
job With my end result in view which
was to raise capital. I have been kicked
out of several casual jobs because I was
either lazy or couldn’ t meet up with the
needed working speed or capacity my
employers wanted . Yet, I never gave up . I
bounced from job to job until I got the
little capital I need .
The question now is: are you willing to
work hard today , to live a better life
tomorrow ? Are you willing to sweat it out
today , so that you can be an entrepreneur
or an employer of labour tomorrow ? Now
I am not asking you to follow my steps.
No . I think there are easier ways to work
to raise capital but you will have to find
4. What can you sell to raise capital ?
Do you have any tangible asset you can
sell to raise money? That is a question
you must answer if you are really serious
about starting a business. I have seen
entrepreneurs who sold off their
belongings and kick started their
business. The truth is that sometimes , you
just have to make sacrifices now for a
better tomorrow . Anything you think you
can sell now to raise money, sell it .
In the process of building my first
business, I invested everything I ’ ve got
in my business and I ran out of cash .
What did I do ? I borrowed from a close
friend to make ends meet as I keep track
of the necessary skills to put in place to
grow my business and to keep food on
the table , while struggling to get my
business going . It is when you are in
need you will know who and who are
your real friends . Anybody can tell you I
love you but when it is time to showcase
that , you will know who and who TRUELY
LOVE you . I also had to maintain a low
profile those period just to keep my
personal expenses low . It was tough and
un – conducive but I did it.
I did it because I had in my mind ; a
picture of the future . I knew where I was
going and what I wanted in life but
unfortunately , nobody shared this
ambition with me . I got to where I am
today all alone without outside support or
investors. I even had academic challenges
back then in school just to pursue my
dream and it wasn ’ t really a funny stuff ;
in fact , it made me cry back then .
“ Where the mind is willing, it will find
a thousand ways . Where the mind is
unwilling, it will find a thousand
excuses .” – Anonymous
In conclusion , I want to re- state the fact
that there is no formal rule , protocol or
pathway to raising capital. You just have
to do it anyhow . If that business is
important to you; if your dream to
become an entrepreneur is strong , then you just have to….continue reading on the source website, EXTRAORDINARY
Written by: ANTHONY OBI