“A pitch is a presentation an entrepreneur makes about his or her product/service to a possible investor or group of investors. A normal pitch is averagely 30 minutes while an elevator pitch is less than a minute.” _ Hanafi Olanrewaju Rabiu

Cross-section of Participants during the BSS


Ten (10) entrepreneurs took part in our poll taken between 24th of January and 2nd of February, 2018, on ‘the hardest part of starting up/ running a business in Nigeria’. All of them said, it was ‘obtaining financial capital’. The number of respondents may be small but the implication of the response is enormous. It shows the extent at which entrepreneurs rate financial problem among many problems they face.

It was based on this background among others that we directed our first BSS in 2018 towards tackling this financial problem by training entrepreneurs on how to win the $5, 000 Tony Elumelu Foundation’s grant. Thus, on Saturday, 10th of February, 2018, entrepreneurs from diverse industries gathered in the Knowledge Platform to participate in our BSS to learn about the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s application procedure and the proper responses required for successful application. The industries represented include agriculture, food processing, fashion designing, shoe-manufacturing and laundry among others.

Participants after the BSS

The application which was grouped into 10 sections has questions that are personal in nature and some fundamental business questions that any entrepreneur must have solutions for to become successful in his or her entrepreneurship career.

Ten (10) of these questions which I consider very important to any entrepreneur and aspiring entrepreneur have been selected and discussed here. Apart from competing for this grant, as an entrepreneur, your successful entrepreneurship journey is also dependent on these questions among others. I will therefore advise you to read this post to the end and pick your writing materials to note down the salient points given.

  1. About Me *

Tell us about yourself, personal bio and what led you to become an entrepreneur (200 words)
(As an entrepreneur, you must know how to sell yourself by telling a compelling story about yourself especially when relating your knowledge, your skills or experience to your present entrepreneurship endeavour)

       2. Elevator Pitch *
In 50 words or less, describe your current business or idea
(A pitch is a presentation an entrepreneur makes about his or her product/service to a possible investor or group of investors. A normal pitch is averagely 30 minutes while an elevator pitch is less than a minute.
For a successful elevator pitch, think about what is special about your business that you can tell someone within 30 seconds and he will say, ‘wow! See me tomorrow.’)

Watch Amirah Hassan (CEO Bole Place) wowing everyone during the BSS

      3. Wow Us *
What is new, interesting or different about your product or service? (list 3 things)
(Did you see that? Wow us! If you offer a product or service that is not special then there is no way you can wow any one. For instance, if you own a barbing salon, you don’t have to do things the way all barbing salon do them. You could add special services like treating hair after barbing someone, having Air condition in your shop, excellent waiting room, massaging chair, home service etc. It all depends on how innovative you are and you don’t have to break the bank to do this).  

      4. Problem Solved *
What problem does your product or service solve? (50 words)
(Your product/service must solve a problem of your target market. It is from the solution that entrepreneurs make their money and that is where your money is. Think about the solution you are offering, is it the best solution? Can you improve on it? Will your target market be willing to pay you for solving that problem?)

      5.  Employees *
      How many contractual, part-time, and full-time employees do you have?
(Full time employees work in your enterprise every day. Part-time employees work only when there is a job to do. Contractual staff are employees that work for you but are not your staff. They are posted from another company with which you have a contractual agreement. e.g Security guards posted to your company by a security outfit which you hire). 

      6. Addressable Market *
      How big is the addressable market for your product or service? (50 words)
(According to divestopedia.com, Total Addressable Market is the overall revenue opportunity available or forseen for a specific product or service, taking into account the future expansion scenarios.
You could explain this way, for instance,
“Considering the age structure, interest and other personal reasons, 80 out of every 100 Nigerians consume my product. With the present estimated population of 195,155,423, our addressable market is 80% of the entire population which amount to 156, 124,338 people.”)

       7.  Marketing Strategy *
       Explain how you intend to (or already do) market your products or services to your target market (50 words)?
(As an entrepreneur, you must have a strategy through which you want people to know about your product or services as the best product or service they should opt for in its category. This is marketing and in this 21st century, it must be inclusive of both online strategies and offline strategies.)

      8.  Competitors *
       Who are your competitors/benchmark organisations? List your top 3.
(The people or companies that make it hard for you to control the market are your competitors. So in order to be able to survive as a company, you must know your competitors and know how to beat them.
The below video is a video of Jack Ma explaining his Alibaba and how it is different from Amazon and Ebay during an event in Stanford. This will help you in defining your competitors, pitching, etc (Highly recommended).

     9.  Lifetime revenue *
     How much revenue has your startup generated since inception (in local currency)?
(A business exists to sell items (products and services). Those items are sold to customers or clients. At the point when a client purchases an item, that transaction turns into a sale for the business. This is what companies do– they sell. The amount of sales made is the revenue (income) of the business. Total revenue can be calculated by this formula:
Total revenue = quantity sold (x) average selling price
[Note that profit is different from revenue.

10.  Business Impact *
Describe what impact your business will have within your community, country for job creation, revenue generation or social development? (200 words)
(The lesson to be learnt here is that your business must have positive effect on your community, and that is what entrepreneurship is all about. You must also have it at the back of your mind that you will give back to the society at one time or the other, that is the principle of Corporate Social Responsibility.
To answer this section, pick each of what they listed above and state how your business impact positively on it. E.g. You should be able to explain number of direct jobs and indirect jobs that your business has created or will create if you have not launch. Remember to count yourself among those employed too).
Written by: Hanafi Olanrewaju Rabiu

All Coinkwara Team members are duly acknowledged for the successful hosting of this BSS. Special regards goes to Habeeb Salaudeen Abdullahi for his commitment.

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