The problem of many start up enterprises, whether social or business enterprises is their ability to move past the idea stage through to the execution. According to a report by invoice.ng, many startups in Africa amounting to 80% of them fail at idea to pilot stage. Malawi, Angola, and Uganda are reported to be the leading countries with a high rate of business failures in Africa. There are many reasons for this but we won’t focus on them. We would rather focus on how you can push your ideas into the world’s list of successful social enterprises.
The first thing you should consider is why you want to begin. What drives you? Why do you really want to have this organisation in existence? Why do you not want to join the work in another organisation with same goal as yours? Have this honest conversation with yourself. Ensure that you do not just want to bear “Founder”. The reason is that flimsy drives fail at some point. What carries you on is a genuine drive for change. Knowing that no one might solve that problem in the way that you would is enough drive.
The second thing to put in place is ideas for funding. In one of our blog posts, we shared ways through which you can access funds for your non-profit. Click here to read. You have to have figured out ways to get at least start off grants. This is so important as you can do little without money especially if your social organisation requires money to be run smoothly which is the case for most.
Thirdly, it is often said that the faintest ink is sharper than the sharpest memory. Write down your thoughts and your execution plan in a comprehensive format. This should contain your objectives, methodology — as though you are about to write a proposal. Do read our article on writing excellent proposals here.
Additionally, communicate your goals and plans to trusted persons. This is for accountability purposes. If these people push you to do what you want to do, that’s a great advantage.
It is important to understand that yours can be one of the few organisations that can scale through ideation and into execution. Make up your mind to succeed like there is no other option and indeed, you have no other option but to succeed.
Another important thing is to understand policies. Get the counsel of lawyers on what the laws in your area say about non profits and strive to meet it’s demands. It is different for many countries and it is so important. This would inform how to prepare for registration, set up your board of trustees and know how to eventually run your organisation.
Do proper research on the area you would like to go into. Ask the right questions from people in that space, read up materials, consult organisations in that sector of social work and ensure that you’re up to date. Imagine if you’re setting up an organisation for the making of legislations to combat female genital mutilation in Ebonyi state, Nigeria and not knowing that such a legislation exists. So you see? Research is important.
If you can do these well, Impacty believes you’re made for the stars.