So some time back I was sharing with a friend about a crowd funding drive am doing to raise money to start a business. This campaign started with a post I made on faceboook. Imagine if 5000 of friends each contributed 100k to start a business!? That’s would be 500M I pointed out. We would start a business and the contributors would become stake holders if they so wish. Let’s get started was the response from most.
I gave it about two weeks of serious thought. I have done a crowd funding drive before that raised 24M for one of our ventures CAMPUS DOCTOR (a prepaid health care firm providing healthcare services targeting university students and students in institutions of higher learning) about two years ago so I know what it means. It’s a tall order in this corner of the world if you may ask me. So this new campaign was yet another challenge in waiting. I went through my idea book and saw an idea that wouldn’t need alot of money but had great potential. Some thing easy to execute with low hanging fruits to harvest. Snacks business I decided and came back and told my Facebook friends and followers I was ready. Let’s contribute for a snacks business.
The whole idea was to do so like we do for weddings,sickness, death and other social causes. The objective was to prove that people can come together and put money together for investment and the venture can be wildly rewarding to every one involved. We started on 9th July 2020 and have raised 3.8M since then with every one contributing 100k which is the minimum contribution for this experiment. My promise to them was if we raise the money we need (40M) of half of it (20M) then we go for it. If we fail to raise even 10M that’s 100k from 100 people then we end the experiment and refund every one’s money. We call it a day till next time.
When my friend saw people contributing money, out of excitement he went started his own campaign on the Dolphin Fund portal. He ended up angry that no one was contributing and he deleted the campaign out of frustration. This was very funny but I explained to him. People are not investing in the project but Jaluum (me) and what I stand for and believe. They’re investing in the idea of the person they believe I am.That’s what people invest in. Regardless of how noble your idea or cause is, if people don’t trust you as a person they won’t invest their money. Those who have followed me for some time know I get sent lots of money for projects by clients abroad with no complaints, guess reason they were comfortable contributing.
Social capital is one big gold mine we haven’t utilised well. The big companies we see in the USA,Europe and China were built with social capital i.e people contributed money to start them and that’s how silicon valley thrives. 70% of Americans own stocks and many earn from them long term, you could argue theyre investment environment has grown overtime.But before people start investing in you they have to have trust in your ability as a person to get things done and get them done right. Once you achieve that then you’ve achieved the greatest feat in the world of entreprenuership.
I totally understand that people have been conned and they have grown cold feed and that it will take hard work to slowly built a culture where people are comfortable with investing in promising ideas but it’s a culture we need to build. It’s high time legitmate business people occupied this space that’s currently being occupied by con men and personally that’s a space I want to explore regardless of how long it takes. Some day we’ll have that investor confidence. Today I have about 40 people who have the confidence to invest their 100k in me even when theyve never met me. It’s based on our long term online friendship and their perception of me and the things we are trying to achieve. Some day it will be 4k people each investing 100M.
Jaluum Herberts Luwizza is a Speaker,Writer, Columnist with the C.E.O Magazine and Contributor with the Nile Post.He is also a Business Consultant with YOUNG TREP East Africa’s No.1 Business Management and Consultancy firm that helps people start and grow profitable businesses.twitter:jaluwizza
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