Business Coach

One of the most pressing challenges for entrepreneurs, especially startups, is financing. Inadequate access to finance or capital prevents entrepreneurs from effectively executing core business activities and expanding their ventures. Many entrepreneurs in Rwanda, especially startups, lack much-needed information on how to best prepare themselves before venturing out to source funding for their businesses.

In an interview with the SME Response Clinic, Clementine Mukamana, a Business Coach working at the African Management Institute as a Sourcing Associate, shared tips on how entrepreneurs can position themselves to access funds for their businesses. Here are the highlights:



Have a clear vision for your business: A clear vision provides an entrepreneur direction and purpose, facilitating better decisionmaking. According to Clementine, entrepreneurs should be clear on what they want their business to look like before seeking funding. This will help them maintain focus by prioritizing business activities that will help them secure the funds they need to kickstart or grow their business. For example, you might be interested in agribusiness. Network with people in the same industry and enrol for skills development programs to help you learn business growth tools, which in turn will help you pitch for funding from financial providers

Have proper business documentation: Proper documentation is critical for any business looking to access funds. During her training sessions, Clementine focuses on three aspects: understanding the problem your business is trying to solve, the solutions and the target market. A clearly documented business plan helps an entrepreneur effectively communicate with investors or potential funders for their business. Clementine also adds that it is critical to have certified documentation from business regulatory authorities before you think of sourcing for funds. These may vary depending on what type of business an entrepreneur is running, but the most common include business registration and tax registration documents.

Source for funds: When asked about available funding opportunities, business coach Clementine mentioned entrepreneurs should not limit themselves to traditional funding sources such as grants from donor organizations and loans from financial institutions. Funding opportunities can come from networking sessions, where entrepreneurs can meet potential customers, investors, and business partners. She also encourages entrepreneurs to enrol in training programs with an element of funding. Through such programs, an entrepreneur is often offered an opportunity to pitch their business to potential investors.


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