When our entrepreneurs are asked what their biggest challenge is when starting their enterprise, 99% of them say the same thing: finding funding.
Entrepreneurship is changing shape and disrupting traditional business structures, which means that it is often difficult for new startups to connect with investors, and often even when they do, there is a disparity between investors’ expectations and what a new enterprise can deliver on. Finding an investor that shares your business vision, understands the market and how quickly it is evolving is key to creating a sustainable and lasting relationship.
Where are these magical investors, though?
The internet is becoming a great way to access potential funding opportunities, especially with the onset of crowdfunding, which might suit your business more than traditional funding structures. While every entrepreneur wants to get seed funding as quickly as possible, remember to be fussy about who you share equity with!
In order to assist with this challenge, here at the Ye! Community, we have put together a list of funding opportunities: from crowdfunding sites to competitions - hopefully this list will help you get the money to get your business going!
Crowdfunding refers to investment in a business by many individuals, all of which have a tiny share in the business. It has been recently popularised with the wave of technological advancement that has recently taken place. The internet has made it possible for small startups to connect with people online, and while it started as a way to develop artistic business, any kind of enterprise can now get investors through crowdfunding. These websites are the most popular crowdfunding websites for enterprises from around the world.
Indiegogo - While this site started off as a platform for artists, it is now one of the most common crowdfunding websites
Peerbackers - They not only allow you to build up a ‘peerfolio’ of investors, but they also offer consulting services for enterprises at any stage of development
Competitions are a fantastic way to test your business idea, and get some feedback on the progress that your startup is making. While some of the below awards have closed applications for this year, we recommend you bookmark the pages and check them regularly!
The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards - applications are currently OPEN
Innovation Prize for Africa - Applications are currently OPEN for enterprises in Africa
G-StartUp - 2017 applications are still OPEN in selected regions
Ernst & Young EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ - See specific country programmes for details
Global Social Venture Capital Competition - Look out for 2017 applications
Startup Open - Keep checking for opportunities next year
This kind of investment is more inline with the traditional concept of an investor: someone who gives you seed funding in exchange for a share in your business. An ‘angel investor’ is an affluent and successful business person or personality that chooses to invest in your business. The following two methods are online methods of finding investors.
CircleUp - On this platform you can create a company profile, and connect with potential investors
One Thousand Angels - While this site is very selective about who they allow to fundraise on their site, if your application is successful, there are no additional fees and you are almost guaranteed funding
Finding funding is a challenge faced by almost all entrepreneurs starting up. The important thing is to make sure that this doesn’t leave you feeling disheartened. Try and be inventive and make what you can out of what you have, and be persistent about finding the right investor - don’t just settle because you need the funding. Also remember that you can find more tips about pitching to investors and maintaining relationships with them right here on our blog!