One of the main idea in our entrepreneurship class is to start with what you have and wherever you are.
The students should identify an array of ideas for business with the following 3 criteria:
#1. The entrepreneur does not need money to get started or could start with the little money he or she has.
We did not want business ideas that create complainers: “I need a partner”, “I’m looking for money to start”, “I don’t have money to get started”, “if only I could have this or that…”
We don’t live in a socialist country like in Europe or America where the governments give money to entrepreneurs to get started, or assist them with free infrastructures and data/information. You are at your own, and complaining won’t help. We are in the darned hard fucking Africa. Pray hard, but work like if God is dead, and no government exists in the country.
#2. The students should select idea which could make them 5000frs CFA a day, from the start of the activity (the 45 days rule).
I refused the idea of asking the students to create a business plan. Business plans are NOT for first time entrepreneurs, because the purpose at the early stage of entrepreneurship is to build confidence – in the entrepreneurs – that it’s possible to make money and compound it.
A business plan is often a confidence breaker, for first time entrepreneurs.
#3. The business activity should entirely depend on the entrepreneur willpower to win. Any idea involving receiving order from customers before the activity would start are disqualified.
We don’t want lazy stories like “I stayed at bed or at home today because no one called or there is nothing to do”.
Only business ideas which bring the entrepreneurs in front of potential clients every day are accepted.
The entrepreneurs should do the activity as if it was a regular job. No excuses accepted.
Once those filters are set, we start an open brainstorming session to identify the most suitable ideas for profitable business.
The method I use here is simple. With the students we identify the top 10+ changes affecting our society then we continue to list what are the opportunities which could be uncovered from those changes.
Miracles happen. Great ideas surface.
I love awakening people.