Entrepreneur Development

One of the areas where economic development can be leveraged is in developing the entrepreneurs involved in starting business ventures. According to Harvard Business School; “If failure means liquidating all assets, with investors losing most or all the money they put into the company, then the failure rate for start-ups is 30-40 %.  However  if failure refers to failing to see the projected return on investment, then the failure rate is 70 to 80 percent.”. This is a terrible, and significantly avoidable, waste of entrepreneurial talent.

Preparing and supporting new business leaders is crucial to improving the odds of success. As in agricultural development, preparing the ground before planting increases the harvest; so preparing the entrepreneurs through education can increase the business yield. There are many programmes created by government that help individuals to become  entrepreneurs. However often the focus is on theoretical “schooling” and not through the personal, first-hand experiences, of the type that Nelson can provide.

While numerous enabling programs exist, offering services in business planning, technical development, market analysis, financial forecasting, etc., few enabler managers or entrepreneurs have been through the fundraising process.  As such, most programs fail to prepare entrepreneurs for the capital raising process.

Entrepreneurs are left facing various challenges, including:

  • Inability to identify an appropriate source of capital
  • Lack of understanding of common investment instruments
  • No understudying of, or preparation for, the investment process. What happens after a pitch?
  • Misalignment of priorities between the investor and entrepreneur
  • Limited knowledge on due diligence requirements
  • Misalignment of structure and valuation
  • No focus on the exit event for investors