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Technology

What you need to unlock capital and speed up growth

investor at the NSE
An investor at the NSE. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Let us cut to the chase and agree that capital is needed to start, run and grow a business of whatever ambition.

Creative capital comes from the founders but CapEx and OpEx require hard cash and it is simply a question of whose money gets deployed.

Despite the brouhaha over the availability of capital for startup enterprises especially in technology where the product is intangible, the truth is that traditional hurdles remain; the proverbial family and friends living in the same economic conditions may be hard-pressed, reluctant even, to participate in any enterprise while corporate centres of capital still call for security or other show of capability. Granted, self-preservation and de-risking is a fact of life and business.

Assuming that you have put time and applied your creative capital to get to a minimum viable product that validates the customer need and has a defensible business model, how can you access capital necessary to take things to the next level?

STORYTELLING

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This has two facets, and both involve connecting with a key public. The first is between what founders think the value of their offering is and what consumers actually extract and the second is understanding the motivations of a potential investor. On the consumer side, getting a deep appreciation of where your product or service lies is important for sinking roots and driving utility. The best source of capital is a paying customer and aligning to their interpretation of value will appeal and attract others. Investors are deeply agenda driven and loosening the purses strings also calls for discovery of what their agenda set is. Not all capital is created equal.

Look around and gems are hidden in plain sight. Soil merchants continue to appeal to our desire for the tangible and achievable. This has seen large tracts of land subdivided into plots that are snapped up on a promise of future value appreciation. Cunning and charismatic fellows make the gullible part with money under the guise of some amazing secret sauce that can deliver extraordinary returns.

The latter is criminal enterprise but the purpose of both is to prove that there is available capital.

The recently launched Capital Markets Authority Regulatory Sandbox could offer a way for innovative financing models that can see businesses graduate into the Growth Enterprise Market Segment at the bourse.

Mastery of your narrative(s) and innovative fundraising is what you need.

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