3 years ago, there was a grant released for startups, a friend of mine called to help access the fund for her. She has this business idea of producing engine oil. I wondered how prepared she is and the capacity/experience to run the business.
All the questions threw at her to assess her capability to successfully run the business, was verbally answered with no in-depth thoughts. The giants brands already existing in the market, she boasts hers will beat theirs. *Smiles
I sent the application form for the grant to her. After going through, she got angry that why would they ask all the questions just for one to get the grant.
In 2019, a lady into fashion designing verbally convinced me of the brand she is building. Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship grant program was ongoing then. I downloaded and printed out all the questions because I know she didn't have knowledge of digital skills.
I invited her over and gave her the print out containing questions about her business. "Go home, sleep over the questions, answer them and when you are done, return them so I can help you review and submit".
After three days, she returned the paper and said she can't answer any of the questions about her business. I wept! I collected the paper and then started counselling her.
I keep encountering startups like the duo above. I feel so much concerned and wish I could do more to help them.
I frown at most philanthropists and wealthy individuals who give such startups capital to invest in their business. Allow us to train and empower them with the needed skills so your money will be well invested and utilized.
We are a click away. So many oppournities are wasting and our young people are not tapping into them. Let's build them up and prepare them ready for oppournities.
©Udegboka Nkechi (Ada Africa)