There’s a point in every entrepreneur’s journey to success where the option is either to acquire capital or watch your business venture crumble. It’s important, for instance, to know that the right kind of funding can have a huge impact on the direction of your business venture. Especially in the case of Sierra Leone, where only 11% of the population has access to the internet (according to http://www.itu.int/net4/itu-d/icteye/) and the number for those with access to ICT training or business development skills is even less. Furthermore, entrepreneurs do not know how to go about getting their ideas funded or get training that is necessary to sustain their business ideas.
While every entrepreneur is confident they will succeed, they usually don’t look beyond that all-consuming self-belief and see whether they’re truly willing to commit to their business. Without proper guidance the average business often closes after one year based on a recent survey done by www.business.gvt.nz
If you have the next big idea but don’t have essential business skills or the funds to start your idea, then the FIRE-STARTER Business Training Course from Sensi Tech Hub is for you and this article gives you 13 reasons why, the course is right for you.
1. What is Sensi Tech Innovation Hub?
Sensi Tech Innovation Hub is the first Hub of its kind to be established in Sierra Leone since the country gained its independence in 1961. Its main objective is to build a technology innovation community in Sierra Leone that drives economic and social development through providing an open and stimulating community hub for technologists, entrepreneurs and creatives to come together, develop their ideas, and access cutting-edge tech, grants funding, events, incubation and acceleration programmes, networking, training and jobs opportunities.
2. Why, FIRE-STARTER Business Training Course?
The Fire Starter business training course is a project that’s been created to accelerate Sierra Leone SMEs through capital investment and business support. Sensi Tech Hub is well positioned to achieve this as an established business Innovation hub which has been supporting Sierra Leonean businesses with access to capital, computer courses, business support and mentoring for the past two years.
3. Course Timetable
Businesses/entrepreneurs should only apply to the Fire Starter programme if they can commit to working at least 20 hours weekly on their business. It is essential that you can attend the 12 weeks Fire Starter Business Training Course at Sensi Tech Hub, 67 Sir Samuel Lewis Road Aberdeen for 2 a minimum of two days a week.
Being an entrepreneur is very exciting and that is why most people want to be one. No two days are the same – a new challenge, new problem, and new solution. In entrepreneurship, you never know the direction the challenge will come from and that is why with the Fire-Starter Business Training Course, each successful business/entrepreneur will be allocated a business mentor who will provide weekly support to them. The benefits of having a mentor are often underestimated so to sustain each business/entrepreneur, following the 3 month business course, mentoring will continue based on an agreement between Sensi Tech Hub, beneficiaries and the mentor.
5. Business Plan
A business plan is an important tool for managing and growing your business. A well-designed plan lays out a vision of growth and the steps needed to get there. A plan is also an essential communications tool for attracting financing for your business as well as managers and staff as your business grows. 90% of businesses fail in Sierra Leone because of lack of or inadequate business plans. (Reference source) With the Fire-Starter Business Training Course, by the end of the 12 weeks programme each business/entrepreneur will have produced a professional business plan to forward their business venture.
At the end of the course each participating business/entrepreneurs will receive a certificate saying that they’ve completed the Fire Starter 12 weeks business training course. This certificate will serve as evidence that the businesses/entrepreneurs have acquired skills and knowledge necessary to manage a business.
7. Living Allowance
Each business/entrepreneur selected to take part in the Fire starter course will be given a Le50, 000/weekly living allowance to help with living costs such as transport. Sensi understands the importance of being able to move up and down or losing money. So the living allowance will help make sure that each participant is able to cover transportation to come to the classes.
8. Opportunity for funding at the end of 12 weeks training programme
We all know that without funding for your great idea it may never leave your bedroom not even with training. So, at the end of the 12 weeks programme, participating businesses/entrepreneurs will be eligible to gain access to capital through grant funding and get an opportunity to be placed in a business incubation or accelerator programme. Remember, building a successful business takes more than a great idea and a vision—it takes planning, discipline, guidance, research, and finance. The Fire Starter Business Training Course will serve as great springboard for these features.
One of the most rewarding aspects of life is meeting people and sharing opportunities for learning, growth and success. For businesses/entrepreneurs, it’s almost essential to acquire a network of good people who’ll bring advice, connections and more to everything you do, whilst keeping you grounded and providing a pathway through the many setbacks you’ll encounter.
With the Fire-starter Business Training Course, there is direct access to networking opportunities with other like-minded people, stakeholders and potential investors in the country.
10. Training from leading business experts locally and internationally
Trainers who are part of the Fire-Starter Business Training Course come from all over the world and all business backgrounds. They have a knack for competitiveness, innovation and economic growth hence they are able to produce future leaders with skills and attitudes to be entrepreneurial in their professional lives, whether by creating their own companies or innovating in larger organizations.
11. Grow your Business Insight
Most of us have the right ideas and bright ideas. A lot of us lack the business skills needed to drive that business to success. You will not know the importance of business structure until you have been given the money to start your business and you do not know the know-hows of how to structure and grow your business.
Do not make that mistake!! The Fire-Starter Business Training Course can offer businesses/entrepreneurs insights to help them grow their business ventures even after the 12 weeks course.
12. Learning new things
Learning is one of the most rewarding parts of being a business/entrepreneur. With the Fire-Starter Business Training Course you are learning everyday as the culture in the business world today is transparency; something which many business ventures in Sierra Leone lack. The opportunity to discover new insider knowledge is plenty with the Fire-Starter Business Training Course, how to adapt to a changing economy is just one of the new things you learn.
13. Fire-Starter Business Training is 24/7
As part of the Fire-starter programme, it is important to remember that to be a successful business/entrepreneur, you need to eat, sleep, and breathe what your business is about. To be clear, this doesn’t mean you need to work weekends. However, it does mean you need to obsess over what your business is about and, well…probably work weekends (at least in the beginning)
Entrepreneurs and their businesses fail when they don’t have the necessary information needed at the beginning of the idea, more so, in Sierra Leone where there is lack of technology, data, reputation, expertise or right business models. Knowing where to begin can be the difference between you succeeding or you failing.
Still Not Convince?
Listen to what past beneficiaries have to say about the Fire Starter Business Course https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6srDTSKYWk&t=302s.
To find out more about the Fire-Started Fund and if it’s right for you at www.sensi-sl.org/firestarter. Alternatively, you can visit Sensi Tech Hub at 67 Sir Samuel Lewis Road, Aberdeen, Freetown or contact us via email at email@example.com or phone on +232 79364008 to find out more. Don’t forget to follow us on our social media platforms (social media platform details) for more news and updates on the Fire Starter Business Training Course.