9 Ingredients for Successful Fundraising

Tips from local BDS provider, Tione Kaonga

In addition to fundraising tips shared by SEED supported enterprises in Malawi, Tione Kaonga, BDS provider and SEED Coordinator in Malawi shares his perspectives on conducting successful fundraising for eco-inclusive SMEs. 

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1. Having the right attitudes matters
Patience and fortitude are crucial in order to build a successful enterprise. Starting a business is easy but growing it requires dedication, commitment and even sacrifices.

2. Donor grants
Donor funds or grants can act as a springboard/ catalyst for the growth of an enterprise. But donor funds come with conditions which may negatively affect the growth of an enterprise. It is therefore  important to balance funds from external donors and those the enterprise can generate from its sales. Do not make the mistake of only looking for grants and neglect building a financially viable enterprise. Donors often like to contribute to an enterprise that can prove commercial sustainability.

3. Gain experience elsewhere
It is sometimes important to gain the requisite knowledge and experience by working in a professional firm before starting your own business to learn business ethics and also to build social capital. 

4. Network network network
Besides networking to meet future partners and funders, connect with other like minded entrepreneurs.

5. Assess your risks. Then take them.
No business will grow without risks. Risks assessment should be a continuous process and needs to be managed, so entrepreneurs should always take calculated risks. Be clear about what your bottomline will look like before making any investment decisions. 

6. Select your partners well
The right partners can help with building your enterprise. Providing contacts, challenging assumptions and resources to help you professionalise and build out your brand.

7. Formalise your business
Ensure you register your business and comply with all the relevant regulations. This will help with fundraising and ensuring credibility for your organisation.

8. Be clear what your business vision is.
Then pursue it earnestly. Remember, value creation to customers is of essence in convincing customers to purchase your products / services. 

9. Share and celebrate your successes.
It will keep you motivated to do more!