How to Access Funds for Agribusiness
Starting a business has never been easy, it takes commitment, hard work, research, and money too. Well, I have heard many people say things like, “Money is not the most important”, but who says money is not important?
It’s one thing to have an idea, proceed to build up a business template, do proper research and another to finally run the business. I would have advised you to start with your own money just like others would but, what if all you have is an idea and empty pockets? If you are in that category, then this is for you.
I believe ‘you’ have decided on the type of agribusiness you want to start, planned your business, written out a business plan, done market research before considering funds. If not, please do. Peradventure you have been running your business for a while now but need money to scale your business, these suggestions would be helpful.
You may not have money, but you have “Valuables”
To access funds for any form of business, the first thing to do is to look within. Ask yourself this question: What valuables do I have? What I term valuables include properties, time, talents, and connections. If you have properties and your desire to start your agribusiness is worth more than these properties, you can lease it (them), sell it (them) or use it as collateral for a loan. Time? There is this common saying in Nigeria – “Time na money” which means, “Time is money”.
Your time can be traded for money. How? Simply take a job and save your earnings. No amount is too small, remember that you are working towards becoming your own boss and make sure to safe. Another valuable is your talent. You can start up a side hustle and that will earn you money. Examples include comedy, freelance writing, gardening, singing, etc. Finally, ask for assistance from family and friends. You can get loans from close connections without providing collateral.
Another way to access funds is to attend events and conferences. Agro events are a good place to meet various stakeholders, farmers and traders. You might even get to pitch your business idea to a ready investor. Who knows? Some of these events are free and advertised online. Network with Agric practitioners and get involved in the growing community.
Finally, apply for agro-based scholarships. Many of these programs offer grants and mentorship opportunities. If you already have an agribusiness, you might be required to provide details on your business and if you don’t, draft out a proposal and pitch deck. Lots of information are available online; all you need do is surf the net. If you really want to fund your agribusiness, the internet is a good place to search.
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