On Saturday 16th September 2017, Cytonn Foundation hosted Mr. Julian Kyula, Founder, and CEO of MODE. The topic of the day was “Sourcing for capital and overcoming financing challenges”. With statistics indicating that 50% of start-ups fail due to capital-related challenges, the session sought to help the entrepreneurs navigate through the early business financing challenges and set their enterprises on the right trajectory.
Mr. Kyula began the talk by reminding participants that no matter how desperate one may be, there are no shortcuts to the process of growth.
“You need to begin from a certain point and rise up the ladder as you confront the brutal facts of running a business. To start the journey, build bridges and invest, not in fancy ideas, but in people,” he said.
Mr. Kyula also emphasized three important things potential financiers are concerned about:
- A strong and clear pitch: Entrepreneurs who circumvent around too many vague ideas hardly get any funding for their businesses. Focus on having a short and clear business pitch that can lure investors to consider your proposition.
- How the money they lend is utilized: Investors value integrity in the utilization of their funds. When businesses divert funds for purposes they were not intended for, they lose credibility in the eyes of investors. It is also important that businesses use investors’ money in growing their businesses and not to finance debt.
- The stage at which the business is in: This determines the capital outlay to be invested. Entrepreneurs looking for funding should, therefore, consider their level of existence in sourcing for capital, whether a start-up or an established company seeking to grow its market share.
Participants also sought to know the challenges that Mr. Kyula faced as he was starting his entrepreneurial journey. One of the key things that stood out was his lack of accountability, often through hiring employees without conducting background checks. He also admitted to starting his first failed business, with the wrong motive of proving to his previous employer that he could also make it on his own.
The participants appreciated the practical mode of training Mr. Kyula applied and its relevance to their own financing challenges. To sum up, he encouraged them that it is possible to succeed in business, as long as you know the right thing to do and remain disciplined at it.
Cytonn eHub Season 2 continues on Saturday 23rd September 2017, with Ms. Doreen Onwong’a, of Cytonn Investments, taking participants through the topic, Legal Aspects to consider in your business.