How to Write a Business Plan 101

So, you have created a new product/service and want to start your own business but don’t know where to begin. We, at BiD Network, come across Business Plans from exciting entrepreneurs everyday and believe that we can help. Whether or not you are starting your business from scratch or empowering it to grow – a business plan (continued to be called a BP) is a necessity, in particular if you want to attract investors. A BP also helps you to define or improve your strategy. BP’s come in many different formats because there are many different companies and/or websites that claim to have the best way to write one. But, there is one section that every BP has in common; the Executive Summary. The Executive Summary is the most important part of any Business Plan. It is the one section where an investor will decide whether or not he wants to read the rest of the BP. An Executive Summary should be a concise account of why your business will be “uniquely qualified to succeed”. But, hold off on writing your Executive Summary until you have answered all the following sections. The Business. General company description including the target market and gap in the market that you are filling. It is also important to state the Company’s mission statement, goals and long term strategy of the business. Products & Services. Explain how your product/service works and why a consumer should purchase it. What is the value that is created for customers and the market. Feel free to go in depth because this is ultimately what you are trying to...

Women in Business Finalist Named in Forbes List

She has already won BiD Network’s Women in Business Challenge 2013, and now she’s named in Forbes “30 Most Promising Entrepreneurs Under 30.” Affiong Williams, founder of Reelfruit has been acknowledged for her motivation to expand her dried fruit and nuts business outside of Nigeria. In an interview with BiD Network in 2014, Williams told other women entrepreneurs to “really think big! I want to encourage them to remove any constraints that might hold them back from thinking they can own the business of their dreams.” That is exactly what she is doing.  “We favored entrepreneurs with fresh ideas and took into account their business size, location, struggles and determination. Senior editors then debated and argued over the final 30” Since the Women in Business challenge, Williams has been able to create new products that include; integration of dried fruits and nuts into a packaged mix, a local fruit drink, and a new cashew brand. Having developed these new products, Affiong Williams is seeking to expand into the lucrative airline industry. Williams has also been increasing her staff by bringing up the total of employees to twelve by the end of 2014. The Forbes Africa 30 under 30 is an annual list of most promising entrepreneurs to look out for in the future. The entrepreneurs are selected by the Forbes Africa readers and carefully judged by a selection of judges from the editing staff.   To see the full Forbes Africa 30 under 30 report, click here. To see the interview of Affiong Williams by BiD Network in 2014, click...

Business plan competition: IFDC CATALIST-Uganda

IFDC, BiD Network and IRIS Consulting & Training are proud to announce the 2nd edition of the IFDC CATALIST-Uganda Agribusiness Challenge. This business plan competition is meant for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in or impacting the value chains of cassava and oil seeds (soya bean and sunflower) in Northern Uganda; rice in Eastern Uganda; and Irish potato in South-Western Uganda, who are in need of technical and financial support to start or expand and professionalize their business operations. Entrepreneurs are invited to submit their business plans to become eligible for various services geared towards accessing finance and markets. About IFDC CATALIST-Uganda IFDC CATALIST-Uganda aims to sustainably commercialize smallholder agriculture through improved productivity and market development, resulting in marketable surpluses that raise incomes in Uganda, and increase regional food security for the wider East Africa and Great Lakes Region. A systems approach is employed to develop integrated cropping systems around priority commodities – Irish potato, cassava, oil seeds and rice – combined with an accelerated cluster development approach appropriate for Uganda. In addition, services are offered for input market development, output marketing, linkages to Dutch and other agribusinesses and investors, and improvement of the policy environment. The first cycle of the IFDC CATALIST-Uganda resulted in 165 business summaries being submitted and subsequently 50 full business plans after an extensive period of training and coaching. Congratulations to all partners and entrepreneurs that participated. Ten to fifteen businesses are now being selected for matchmaking services with investors and other businesses, and those not selected in the first edition are welcome to improve and submit again in this second cycle. Participation...

Impact Investing: a trip to Rwanda!

BiD Network strives to fulfill its mission in helping investors gain access to capital. We achieve this through our matchmaking services and different events aimed at connecting entrepreneurs with angel/impact investors. One of such events is the Impact Investment trip to Rwanda from November 8th to November 13th. Two of our Investor Matchmakers will be joined by a group of angel investors and visit several local entrepreneurs. The overarching goal of this trip is to close the physical gap between entrepreneurs in emerging markets and angel investors. For a week long, investors will be able to meet entrepreneurs in Rwanda and see what it is like to do business in East Africa. Investors will also be able to soak up the local culture and travel alongside like-minded change-makers. Rwanda: Land of Promise   Rwanda, known for its tragic recent history, has remarkably developed over the past decade and is nowadays one of the continent’s most well-developed countries. The economy has strengthened, with per-capita GDP (PPP) estimated at $1,644.310 in 2014, compared with $416 in 1994. Its breathtaking scenery, the warmth and kindness of the people and rising business opportunities make it a place worthwhile visiting. The Rwandan genocide had a major influence on the already fragile social and economic status. Thanks to large amounts of monetary aid by: western nations, the IMF, and World Bank – the post-conflict GDP growth rates have been around the 8% annually. Rwanda actually had a staggering 13% GDP growth two years after the genocide, in 1996. Why Impact Investing?   “The bottom line is that impact is being generated by the underlying operating entity. As investors,...

Success story: investment for Ugandan eco-resort Banana Village

21 years ago, Jemimah Semakadde started an eco-resort near Entebbe in Uganda. Initially meant as affordable holiday accommodation for local travelers, today Banana Village welcomes visitors from all over the world. With the help of BiD Network, Jemimah was able to find the investment needed to further expand and improve her resort. Banana Village was founded in 1994. “We bought the place to build a family home. However, the property is quite extensive and this brought us to the idea to start a budget accommodation to cater for our local people who could not afford the more expensive hotels, especially for their honeymoons.” Around 2000, more and more visitors from outside Uganda and Africa started to discover Uganda and enjoyed their stay at Banana Village. Via the website and Trip Advisor, guests from all around the world find out about the resort and share their recommendations. Still staying within an affordable price range, Banana Village is able to offer a comfortable place to stay in a peaceful and natural environment: “it is what people come here for and what they enjoy most.” What did you need the investment for? “From the start, we have been able to reach a domino effect: as we would build one hut, it would provide us with the money to build the next one, and so on. It has been going on like that until I received the investment needed and was enabled to put a much bigger effect on the property.” Before the investment, Banana Village had 21 rooms. The loan made it possible for Jemimah to add another 9 rooms at once,...

Business trip Rwanda: April 2015

Last month, we went on a business trip to Rwanda to visit BiD Network entrepreneurs and to meet with both existing and new local business partners: current partners African Innovation Prize, Inkomoko, Ejo Partners and new partner Educat. The visited entrepreneurs are currently part of one of our programs, such as the United Entrepreneurship Coalition (UEC) and/or the IFDC Shape & Lead Program. Some we had already met before, others we met for the first time. We were excited to finally see the businesses that we have been working with and to hear the entrepreneurs passionately explain about their business plans. Some of the businesses visited are now ready for finance and offer interesting investment opportunities. Others are still developing and improving their business plans, but are on the right track to become ready to present themselves to investors as well. Read on to learn more about the businesses visited! Tekutangije Tekutangije is an innovative business in clean cookstoves that we have been working with since our Growing SMEs event in 2012 and that is now participating in our IFDC Shape & Lead program. Entrepreneur Isidore showed us around in his factory, located just outside Kigali, and demonstrated the sustainable cookstove he designed. This innovative cookstove can be used on both a small and a larger scale and is being sold to households and schools. Tekutangije’s cookstove distinguishes from their competitors’ because of its price/quality ratio. Tekutangije currently has 10 full-time employees, 20 employees upon request and a large number of piece workers. Among these piece workers are (ex)prisoners, who are given a job opportunity in return for a...