Nano, Micro, Small, Medium and Large Businesses: Igniting Funding and Capital Raising With Over 25 Different Options in a Pandemic
By Timi Olubiyi, PhD
In the country, apart from the known business challenges such as the decrepit infrastructure, inconsistent government policies, double taxation, regulation irregularities and the pandemic disruptions in recent times, overwhelmingly, lack of capital or funding issues contribute majorly to business failures.
According to findings of several surveys, one of the top challenges faced by entrepreneurs and businesses in Nigeria today is access to funding.
Seemingly, funding is the bloodline of any form of business, therefore, whether it is a startup, nano, micro, small or medium-sized business, or an established large firm, knowing how to raise capital can often make the difference between business success and failure.
In fact, funding is important at all business stages and cash which is most time refer to as “capital” in business terms majorly dictates the pace of performance in any business. Simply put capital is the energy source that all businesses need to operate, grow and mature into a strong, vibrant enterprise.
Invariably, without funding or capital, it will be extremely difficult to get any enterprise off the ground. However, the structure that exists in the business significantly affects the access to the choice of fund options.
Recall, every business has a different structure and needs, it is, therefore, imperative to state that no financial solution is one size fits all, fund options usually require different rules and steps.
Consequently, businesses will be required to carefully plan, research, learn, and understand the necessary funding option in order to come up with the right decision.
So, the big question for businesses is what are the ways to adequately raise capital for seamless operations? And this is the focus of this piece.
Capital comes into any business particularly in two ways: as equity and as debt. However, donations, grants, incentives, interventions, or subsidies can also be employed in certain aspects of a business to encourage activities in particular industries or sectors by the government.
Some government agencies and institutions responsible for this include the Bank of Industry (BOI), the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) among others.
Just like other forms of capital raising options these grants and subsidies can be initiated for either short-term or long-term purposes.
That said, equity capital involves exchanging a portion of the ownership of the business for financial investment in the business, most times it involves selling shares of the company in exchange for funding.
Equity capital is raised when a business sells its shares to investors. The ownership stake resulting from this equity investment allows the investor to share in the company’s profits.
Equity capital is usually a cheap form of funding and is an important source of capital on a long-term basis. However, sometimes it involves going public, getting listed on an exchange and also giving up partial or major control of the business.
On the other hand, debt capital is when a business borrows fund from individuals or institutions and agrees to pay them back later. Debt capital simply means loans and borrowings. The main consideration in debt capital is the ability of the business to generate sufficient returns to service the debt (interest and capital repayment).
A typical mode of raising debt capital is through bank loans. Banking institutions provide loans to individuals or businesses who approach them with a solid business plan and good business structure with capacity for repayment.
Bond is equally a debt instrument and a way of raising debt capital as well. Without doubts, it belongs to debt capital categorisation because the authorised issuer (business) owes the bondholder debt and it depends on the terms of the bond issuance.
The most significant difference between equity and debt is that, unlike debt, equity capital does not require an amortisation schedule for repayment. More so, equity capital involves the investor taking an ownership position in the business.
Significantly, there are several sources to consider when seeking business funding or any financing, some of them are expressed here.
The easiest and starting point for small businesses from context observation is usually with self-funding and personal investment, where entrepreneurs leverage their financial resources to support business operations.
Self-funding can extend to family, associates and friends for capital, otherwise referred to as bootstrapping. Both self-funding and bootstrapping lets business managers, operators and entrepreneurs leverage their financial resources to support the business operations.
Further to this is angel investment, where investors who are generally wealthy individuals or retired business executives invest directly in a business or startups owned by others.
These angel investors are often leaders in their field who not only contribute their experience and network of contacts but also their technical and/or management knowledge. Most times, this form of capital raising is in exchange for equity ownership in the business and an active management role.
Also, trade credit is another significant form of capital raising option where business suppliers are willing to transact or sell on credit.
Such credit may range anywhere from one month to three months or as agreed. This is a very good method for businesses to fulfil short-term funding needs. It is an inexpensive method of funding for any business, I must say.
Further to this is private equity investment, where private equity firms raise equity capital that is not listed on any stock exchange for investment purposes.
Invariably, these firms raise funds from investors and then invest these funds in promising startups and businesses that require capital. The drawback of this funding option is that a controlling position or substantial minority position in the business is usually acquired and then look to maximize the value of their investment.
Thus, the entrepreneur might not have sole control over the business decisions, which may lead to conflict.
Looking at another capital raising option is retained earnings as a way of raising finance. It simply means businesses can reinvest any set-aside profits for business operations for expansion, equipment purchase, and development purposes.
In recent times, the use of crowdfunding to fund business operations is on the rise, where a large number of subscribers, called crowd funders, contribute or invest in a company or project.
A typical example of crowdfunding is proposing subscribers to invest N1000 and even if 1000 people invest, the business can raise N1,000,000 easily. Crowdfunding is getting popular because it is low risk for business owners and full business control is retained.
Crowdfunding continues to gain popularity with the rise of social media and the internet because it became easier to reach several people by putting in the minimum effort through this medium.
Some not too popular funding options include invoice factoring sometimes referred to as invoice advances which is an option where a business sells its receivables at a discount to get cash up-front.
It allows businesses to borrow funds against the value of invoices due from customers. Invoice factoring can be a great option if you have many corporate clients who have long payment terms or tend to pay as late as possible.
In addition to this is a business overdraft, which can be an ideal source of finance for short-term funding. An agreed overdraft lets businesses use their current business account to make payments that exceed their available balance in the bank.
Another similar source of short-term capital raising option is the business credit card. This is commonly used by structured businesses to access agreed funds on credit in the bank.
Fund withdrawal in life insurance policies and pension funds are other options for entrepreneurs and business owners. Many insurance companies have, in recent years, liberalized their criteria for allowing policyholders to borrow against the value of their policy.
There are other methods for funding such as though strategic alliances, getting business loans from microfinance providers, selling assets, access to inheritance, hire purchase/leasing, raising funds by winning contests, through co-operative society is another means, informal contributions (Esusu), gift and donations, franchising, or through on-line financing services are others but these should be used only if you need funds urgently, you are qualified and know the risks involved.
The key information from this piece is that there are many business funding options available for businesses. Therefore, business owners, managers and entrepreneurs do not have to get discouraged if one does not work out, other options can easily be explored.
To find the right fit, in-depth research and adequate due diligence are imperative, having in mind these following questions- how much is really required for the business? When is it required? How long will it take to raise the funds? What are the specific requirements to access the fund? What will the fund be used for? What is the associated risk with the fund type? From whom is best to raise the fund? How expensive is the fund? How and when is repayment? Is the business actually fundable or bankable? Because some fund option may be a perfect fit for a business situation, while others may be completely impractical, therefore due diligence is absolutely required.
Aside from every business having unique funding needs, each funding option also differs in availability, terms, funding amount option, and eligibility criteria. Therefore, each fund option needs detailed attention ahead of time. Whether a business opts for a bank loan, an angel investment, or a government grant, note that each of these sources of financing has specific advantages and disadvantages. Good luck!
How may you obtain advice or further information on the article?
Dr Timi Olubiyi is an Entrepreneurship and Business Management expert with a PhD in Business Administration from Babcock University Nigeria. He is a prolific investment coach, seasoned scholar, Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered capital market operator. He can be reached on the Twitter handle @drtimiolubiyi and via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, for any questions, reactions, and comments.
The Exciting Relationship Between Women and Mobile Money in Africa
By Rashi Gupta
The success of mobile money in Africa is well known. If you’ve paid any attention to the continent’s financial and technology spaces over the past decade or so, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that it accounts for around 70% of the world’s $1 trillion mobile money value.
You’d probably also be unsurprised to learn that in Kenya, the country that effectively kick-started Africa’s mobile money revolution, mobile money transactions now account for 56.8% of GDP. What you might not know is that mobile money has long played (and continues to play) an important role in empowering women across Sub-Saharan Africa.
That’s important because, despite gains in representation (in 11 African countries, women hold over a third of parliamentary seats, more than in Europe), gender inequality remains stark across Africa. While there are obviously differences from country to country, women throughout the continent fare worse than their male counterparts in a number of measures, including wages, investment, access to capital, and education.
Of course, mobile money can’t fix all of those issues on its own. That requires serious investment as well as shifts in policy and societal attitudes. But it can play a significant role in making life better for women across the continent, especially when it comes to financial inclusion.
Taking care of business
That’s not just conjecture either. Research conducted on behalf of the World Bank shows just how substantial the impact has been. It notes, for example, that mobile money has enabled Kenyan women to move away from subsistence farming and towards business and retail, helping alleviate poverty in the country.
The research further notes that, for individuals and households, mobile phones can help reduce transaction costs, lower travel costs, improve welfare by smoothing unexpected income shocks, increase security, and facilitate remittances.
Perhaps the most significant impact, however, lies in what mobile money can do for female entrepreneurs.
Using mobile money leads to a 19.8% increase in the likelihood of female-led businesses receiving investments from outside sources. Given that the average capital investment by female-owned firms is more than six times lower than the average for male-owned firms in Africa, that’s especially critical.
That same World Bank research shows that such female-owned businesses are then more likely to invest that money in fixed assets and their business’s expansion, more likely to offer credit to customers, demand credit, and have better relationships with suppliers.
A state of constant evolution
It’s also worth noting that mobile money has evolved considerably since it landed on the African continent, further enhancing its ability to empower women.
Advances in interoperability, for example, mean that it’s easier than ever for people and businesses on different mobile money systems and in different countries to send and receive money. That has massive potential benefits for female entrepreneurs as it allows them to sell their products across borders without having to rely on traditional international e-commerce infrastructure that can be costly, resource intensive, and require business owners to travel away from home on a regular basis using unsafe or unreliable modes of transportation. Unlocking new markets is vital for any business’s ability to scale and grow.
In the coming years, mobile money will continue to evolve in new and innovative ways. And if history is anything to go by, then women will embrace and benefit most from those advancements.
Breaking barriers across borders
That’s because financial inclusion is the most effective way of reducing inequalities. That’s especially true for women. And few technologies have fostered that kind of inclusion as successfully as mobile money has. It has given unbanked communities and people in remote and rural areas the kind of access to financial services that would’ve taken far longer if they’d had to rely on traditional financial institutions. The fact that it’s had such a profound and lasting impact in elevating women across the continent should, therefore, never be underestimated.
Rashi Gupta is the Group Chief Operating Officer at MFS Africa
Nigeria’s Naira Redesign; Avarice Versus Envy
By Prince Charles Dickson PhD
Two neighbours came before Jupiter and prayed to him to grant their hearts’ desires. Now the one was full of avarice, and the other ate up with envy.
So, to punish them both, Jupiter granted that each might have whatever he wished for himself, but only on condition that his neighbour had twice as much.
The Avaricious man prayed to have a room full of gold. No sooner said than done, but all his joy was turned to grief when he found that his neighbour had two rooms full of the precious metal. Then came the turn of the Envious man, who could not bear to think that his neighbour had any joy at all.
So, he prayed that he might have one of his own eyes put out, which meant his companion would become totally blind.
Vices are their own punishment.
How does the above relate to Nigeria—especially in these times? What constitutes a crisis worthy of leadership attention? At what point is enough really enough? I will write a few paragraphs’ gists with us. For better understanding, let me tutor us!
Nigeria has been facing a currency crisis for several years now. The country’s currency, the Naira, has been steadily losing value against major foreign currencies like the US dollar, Euro, and British pound. The following are some of the factors that have contributed to the currency crisis in Nigeria:
- Overdependence on oil exports: Nigeria is a major oil-producing country, and the economy heavily relies on oil exports for revenue. The fall in oil prices in recent years has led to a significant reduction in foreign exchange earnings, thereby putting pressure on the Naira.
- High inflation rate: Nigeria has been experiencing high inflation rates for several years. This has eroded the value of the Naira and made it more expensive to import goods and services.
- Weak economic fundamentals: Nigeria’s economy has been characterized by low productivity, weak infrastructure, and a poor business environment. This has led to a lack of investor confidence, which in turn has contributed to a weak Naira.
- Foreign exchange restrictions: The Nigerian government has put in place several foreign exchange restrictions in an attempt to conserve foreign exchange reserves. However, these restrictions have led to a scarcity of foreign exchange and have further weakened the Naira.
The currency crisis in Nigeria has had several negative impacts on the economy, including rising inflation, high unemployment, and low economic growth. The government has taken several measures to address the crisis, including devaluing the Naira and introducing foreign exchange policies aimed at stabilizing the currency. However, more needs to be done to address the root causes of the crisis and put the economy on a sustainable growth path.
In light of these, we decided on a Naira redesign. A currency swap naturally followed it in the Nigerian context. The fact of the matter was, there was no campaign to enlighten the masses. There was no form of advocacy; the ordinary man on the streets did not know what to expect and did not understand the entire process. Who we be sef? And after all, what do we know, it came with a cash crunch… the last time Nigerians experienced this was in the 1980s. Why the naira design, we still don’t have a grasp.
A nation with no sense of emergency; maybe that’s why we don’t have any natural disasters, albeit self-inflicted floods, that can and should be avoided. We are not bothered about the crisis, the Central Bank chief went ahead with his mandatory role of redesigning the Naira notes, he did not tell the minister for finance, the ministry was left in the loop, and those in economic and national planning were not aware. The national assembly was as usual, not beyond an assembly.
We all started the blame game, the apex bank chief feeling like James Bond and others went on the defence. We were told that it was targeted at politicians who wanted to buy votes for the upcoming (now concluded) elections. The politicians played their roles, went to court, government carry government go court. Nigeria is indeed a country. Governors threatened banks, banks punished citizens. And one ponders, if indeed we are 200 million Nigerians, why should we bear the brunt of the thievery of barely 1%? Abi Nigerians politicians pass 1 million?
We are a people that just do anyhow, go anyway and in the end, nothing happens. In the interim, banks were touched in parts of the country, no one was held liable, while other parts just moved on painfully. The old notes disappeared, and the new notes were nowhere to be found. If Venezuela was picturesque, Nigeria is the reality; Nigerians were buying naira with naira, and all the authorities did was, at the best rant and dramatize.
The central bank said they had destroyed the old notes, they said the new notes were not enough or were being printed. Who is printing, and why was the printing not done first? Why reduce the old notes and not make available the new notes? We just dey play! Banks are operating at the lowest capacity; electronic banking is, at best, working in babalawo mood. The more you look, the more your eyes hurt from seeing nothing. We are possibly impossible people. The governors had alleged that contrary to the CBN defence that they had destroyed the old notes, the notes were there, and months after, we know better, the old notes are appearing, after the dance of the naked at the nation’s apex court, the old notes stay till the end of the year.
However, the damage done to small businesses and the fact that Nigerians have painfully learned the difference between cash at hand and cash at the bank cannot be quantified. For a policy that ordinarily should have enhanced the security features of the currency and prevented counterfeiting because the new Naira notes were supposed to feature new designs, images, and colours, which are meant to reflect Nigeria’s diverse cultural heritage. Counterfeiting has been on the rise, with even the ordinary Nigerian not knowing anything about the new notes, as counterfeiters are producing fake notes every day.
Public confidence in our naira is at an all-time low. We are supposed to have witnessed a reduction in transaction costs for businesses that handle cash transactions. But it has rather tripled costs, many argue that the new notes are not more durable than the old ones.
This exercise has killed the economy; all the aims for which the two neighbours came before Jupiter and prayed to him to grant their hearts’ desires, have failed because we are a nation full of avarice, and the other eaten up with envy, nothing works according to the original plan, until some interests are being served, when will it change—only time will tell!
6 Ways Google and YouTube Can Help You Celebrate Ramadan
Ramadan is a holy month that is observed by Muslims all around the world. It is a time for reflection, prayer, and community. With the help of Google and YouTube, celebrating Ramadan has become even easier and more enjoyable.
From Lagos to Nairobi, Accra to Johannesburg, Africans can access a wealth of information and resources to make the most of this special time. Here are 6 ways that Google and YouTube can help you celebrate Ramadan in Africa:
Celebrate Ramadan’s Joy with Colors and Greetings: Simply search for “Ramadan 2023” in your language on Google, and you will have access to all the information related to this month, including prayer times, recipes, and more. You can also find articles on Ramadan etiquette, Ramadan recipes, and Ramadan greetings to help you navigate the holiday with ease. Additionally, you can access greeting cards online to share with your loved ones, and scroll through our Ramadan colouring book on Google Arts & Culture to engage your inner artist and colour beautiful artwork to share with family and friends.
Set Reminders for Prayer Times with Google Assistant: With Google Assistant, you can set reminders for prayer times throughout the day, making it easier to stay on track during Ramadan. Simply ask Google Assistant to set a reminder for the next prayer time, and you’ll receive a notification when it’s time to pray. You can customise the reminders to fit your schedule so you never miss a prayer. Plus, Google Assistant can provide inspirational quotes and spiritual guidance to help you stay focused and connected during the holy month.
Shop What You See with Google Lens: By using the camera on your phone, you can search for a delicious type of dessert you’ve tried at your friend’s house, or find your next favourite decoration item to buy during Ramadan. You can open the Google app on your phone, tap on the camera icon, and use Google Lens to snap a photo or screenshot. With Google Lens, you can easily find exact or similar results to shop from or explore for inspiration.
Watch Ramadan-related videos on YouTube: YouTube is a great resource for learning more about Ramadan. You can find videos on how to prepare traditional foods, tips for fasting, and spiritual practices related to Ramadan. There are also numerous Ramadan vlogs and Ramadan routines videos, where you can follow along with the daily activities and experiences of content creators during the holy month.
Use Google Maps to Find Local Mosques and Halal Restaurants: Google Maps is a valuable tool for finding local mosques and halal restaurants during Ramadan. You can search for mosques in your area or around you and get directions to join in community prayers. You can also search for halal restaurants near you to break your fast with delicious and authentic cuisine. Additionally, Google Maps can help you navigate through unfamiliar areas when you are travelling to different cities or countries during Ramadan. With Google Maps, you can plan your Ramadan activities and explore new places with ease. Plus, you can read reviews and ratings from other users to help you make informed decisions about where to go.
Browse Our Shopping Guide for Inspiration: To help you prepare for Ramadan, Google has created a Ramadan Shopping Guide that collects trending products helpful during the holiday. When we analysed search and shopping trends, we found common themes related to home decoration, like Ramadan lanterns, which grew 20% year over year. You can browse through the guide for inspiration and find new ideas for decorating your home, preparing for Iftar, or giving gifts to your loved ones during the holiday.
We hope this Ramadan brings you and your loved ones joy — and that these tools help you find the information you need to make the most of this special time of the year.
Latest News on Business Post
- Nigeria’s Debt Profile Jumps 17% to N46.25trn in 2022 March 30, 2023
- Google to Extend Financial Services Verification Program to More Countries March 30, 2023
- 12-Month Treasury Bills Now 14.74% as Appetite Falls March 30, 2023
- China’s Investment in Africa Has Cut Need for Loans from World Bank, IMF—Osinbajo March 30, 2023
- Nigeria Seeks Ireland’s Help on Internal Security March 30, 2023
- Publishers’ Association Lauds Signing of New Copyright Act March 30, 2023
- Emirates Acquires Three DA42-VI Aircraft for Flight Training Academy March 30, 2023
- Access Bank Issues AfriGO Card to Customers for Robust Payment Ecosystem March 30, 2023
- Dangote Says N300bn Bond Listing Reflects Nigerian Capital Market Depth March 30, 2023
- Best Site to See Football Statistics, League Tables, and Fixture March 30, 2023