Entrepreneurship 101: Winning Over Investors in the Business Landscape

Starting a business can seem daunting, especially in Ethiopia. 

If you are not prepared to handle stress and challenges, it might be wise to wait until you’re ready.

As an entrepreneur, from convincing your family and friends to support you to taking responsibility for every aspect of your new business, including dealing with tax obligations from the Ministry of Revenues (ገቢወች), you have a lot on your plate.

Imagine you have a side startup, whether you’re a student, someone who works for a company, or simply someone who is dreaming. Consider pursuing your dream and don’t let anyone discourage you. The main thing to focus on is that the idea you are working on is going to solve the problems of others.

As you’ve decided to invest your time and energy in your new venture aimed at solving a problem, you’ll need capital to get started. 

Depending on the size of your company, you may begin by seeking funds from your family, friends, or someone you know who is willing to assist you financially.

The goal is to secure the funds and get started. If you need more significant capital, you can look for investors who are involved or interested in the Ethiopian startup/business industry.

Steps to Identify Innovative Ideas That Convince Investers

There is still much to be done here in Africa, especially in Ethiopia, and we are still underutilizing our mind while facing many problems every day. 


Nowadays, our lives are filled with demanding yet impactful challenges for young people who are committed to dedicating their time and energy to addressing people’s problems.


Here are 8 basic steps to create an innovative idea accepted by investors:


1. Find Your Unique Solution: Don’t aim to repeat a solution. Someone else has already established a brand related to that problem. As a newcomer, you can’t win the market’s sophistication using a copied idea with a different name.


Consider all the ride companies in Ethiopia, we even commonly refer them ride as a whole. Every subsequent business is usually referred to by the name of the first company launched. Therefore, you should find your unique solution.


2. Solve Real Problems: Think about solving the problems of others. That way, you will help your customers as a whole. It is also the best way to make money.


3. Don’t Worry, be Imperfect: The initial result of your first work will likely have many flaws. 


Try to brainstorm your idea with anyone you think shares the problem you are innovating a solution for. Revolution comes later.


4. Constant Improvement: Listen to others and iterate. 


The best companies innovate year after year. You must update your innovation as much as it needs before pitching to investors.


5. Craft a Memorable Slogan: Select concise words that clearly describe what your solution will offer to potential customers. 


Take one of Nike’s slogan as an example: “Just do it.”


6. Create a Well-Organized Pitch Deck: Think of it as the CV a candidate sends to a recruiter.


7. Master Your Introduction When Pitching: Customize your introduction, first impressions matter. It is like a headline in a write-up, if your intro doesn’t work, the investor will automatically leave you.


8. Embrace Polarization: Polarize your idea, item, product, or service. 


Don’t be afraid to polarize. In the popular presentation by Steve Jobs when he announced the iPhone’s entrance to the marketplace, he created polarization around his product among the existing products, which led him to receive a direct response from the audience. 

Essential Consideration Before Entering The Market

For most entrepreneurs, the challenge isn’t only the money but also gaining acceptance for their new product or service in the marketplace is the hurdle for them.

Building a strong network can open doors to potential customers. 

Many potential customers ask questions like, “Who have you worked with before?” “Where did you come from?” “Who recommended you?” Some even inquire about your connections. To address this, it’s advisable to have an advocate, not necessarily your investor, but maybe someone who supports your idea and whom you trust your target customers will respect.

Thank you for reading! You can find more actionable write-ups on our articles page.