Code Management Group (CMG) has supported some businesses to undergo a four-month incubator programme for start-ups to pitch to investors for funds to grow their enterprises.
This was done in partnership with the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) as part of measures to bridge the start-up investment gap existing in Africa. Business ideas drawn from the various sectors of the economy were highly driven by technology.
During the four-month incubation period, the various ideas presented by the entrepreneurs were taken through series of transformations to make it satisfy the investors’ demand.
Before the commencement of the programme, the group undertook a social research approach to understand the needs of businesses in the country intensely.
Highlighting some of the measures businesses must take to meet the demand of investors, Chief Executive Officer for CMG, Fabian Sebastian Thorpe, said sustainability, scalability and value proposition must be taken into consideration.
“So three key things that will attract investment is definitely sustainability; scalability – to be able to show that the business has growth potentials; the last is value proposition, which is: whatever business idea you have should be able to demonstrate what that idea will be in the future, and that is what catches the attention of every investor,” he said.
Talking about the widespread businesses failures to succeed in the country, Mr. Thorpe attributed it to the lack of succession plan by some business owners, stating that the mindset from the onset of the business is all about managing everything and benefitting from it alone.
According to him, in order for business owners to take over and grow their businesses, they must plan to be fearless because the business community is full of obstacles and challenges.
Mr. Thorpe, advising the entrepreneurs on building the right relationships, said: “Investments are based on relationships, above money. And so by introducing empathy into your strategy for getting investment, you are actually cementing and building a longer and stronger relationship”.
Speaking on the next step for CMG, Mr. Thorpe said they will seek for partnership to establish, develop and grow the agenda. He said they also seek to establish an Impact Investment Fund (IIF) so that CMG will be a facilitator in investing into entrepreneurs.
The Executive Director of CEIBS Africa, Prof. Matthew Tsamenyi, stressed on the need to provide an enabling environment for entrepreneurs in the country; therefore, partnering CMG was a step in the right direction.
“For us, as an institution, we believe in entrepreneurship, nurturing typically the future entrepreneurs because we think that space needs to be developed, and entrepreneurs’ needs to be supported. So when this idea came, it was very easy for us to buy into it because the school is built on entrepreneurship,” he said.
The top three participants who emerged as the best after the programme, sharing their experience, said their participation in the incubation has really added much knowledge to what they already knew, and it has helped in tweaking their business ideas.