7 Bootstrapping Tricks For First-time Entrepreneurs

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Not all startups have the luxury of getting investors from the very beginning. So, you have to fund your business out of your own pocket. This is what is called bootstrapping.

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While this is a good way to start a business, bootstrapping is more difficult than it might seem especially for first-time entrepreneurs.

Here are 7 bootstrapping tricks to make funding your own business easier.

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1.Carefully pick your co-founder

When bootstrapping, the majority of the work is done internally, so co-founders need to complement each other’s skill sets. If you’re good at different things, you have a better shot at being able to do everything between the two of you thus keeping expenses low.

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2. Have a business model that generates cash ASAP

The most successful bootstrapped companies have a business model that generates cash as quickly as possible. Without any cash inflow, you will exhaust your cash pool before gaining any serious traction.

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3. Reduce personal expenses

Without a salary, you won’t have money to spend–so don’t expect to live a luxury life when first starting your company. Consider every purchase and only spend what’s necessary.

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4. Do not outsource jobs you can do yourself

When bootstrapping, hiring someone for a job you could do yourself is a foolhardy expense. So, whether you are very busy or not, you should never outsource jobs you can do yourself.

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5. Watch out for intending investors

Bootstrapping does not mean you should not watch out for prospective investors. So, keep an eye out for people who may be willing and able to invest in your business. Build relationships with them, but don’t ask for money until the time is right.

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6. Start marketing before you think you’re ready

Many entrepreneurs wait until their product is ready before they start marketing. This is not advisable especially if you are offering a product that people are interested in. Therefore, find good, cheap, effective ways to reach your potential customer in the early stages of your business. And whatever profits you do make, put as much back into marketing as you can.

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7. Invest instead of spending

Don’t spend money on anything that doesn’t have the ability to put money directly back into your business. View the expense of these items as an investment, but be sure the investment has the ability to provide you with a positive Return On Investment.


Welcome to the new Green World of Farmcrowdy

The Nigerian agricultural sector is gradually becoming a focal point of discussions as the economy continues to recover from recession.

On today’s edition of Office Tours, we visit the headquarters of Farmcrowdy, a digital agricultural platform that is simplifying the level of involvement of corporate and non-corporate Nigerians in the agricultural sector.

Farmcrowdy matches indigenous farmers with sponsors and at the end of the farm cycle, the proceeds are shared between farmers and sponsors.

So far, Farmcrowdy has sponsored 6,170 farm units with the help of 996 sponsors. The platform has engaged 3,088 farmers across eight Nigerian states through the company’s outreaches.

 Join me as we see the new space where the humans of Farmcrowdy work out of!

On arrival, you are greeted by a map of Africa artwork

The faces on the map are those of farmers, field specialists and individuals impacted by the platform.

A walk through the entrance reveals the comfy reception area

The carpet grass on the wall is a deliberate choice because Farmcrowdy is about agriculture. Early spoiler: There’s green in almost all parts of the office.

We move on to the ‘Engine Room’

The Engine Room is an open space that is void of cubicles or dividers. Every table represents a department.

The empty seats are those of field specialists who are barely in the office

The field specialists engage farmers and help them in various capacities for optimum farm production.

A screen on the wall shows realtime updates on milestones reached

The company’s motto is clearly visible on the wall to remind everyone of the collective goal of ’empowering farmers’.

There’s an indoor event space that doubles as an interview area

And here is the Community Wall, which represents the 23 early team members of Farmcrowdy

Each member has been promised a bottle of champagne in their name if the company reaches the desired valuation as a business in 2018

Green Room / Meeting Room

For every busy office there’s need for some privacy and that is what the green room is meant for. Cozy furniture surrounded by tree imagery on both sides of the wall.

Private office

Sleeping Pod

Most tech companies are known for long extended work hours. To cater to the need for a nap, there’s a room designated for that purpose.

Meeting Area/Private Workspace

Working in an open space can be distracting sometimes. Employees who require less distraction can use the private workspace.

The Yellow Room

Eating takes place here. There’s an in-house cook that uses a menu created by the staff to provide lunch meals.

Staff Lounge

The staff lounge is a display of Farmcrowdy’s flexible work structure.

Employees are encouraged to ‘play hard and also work hard’. The space is a large room with bean bags, a couch, snooker table, console games and everything fun. It’s a relaxation centre or, rather, a cool off zone.

Conference Room

Balcony/Outdoor Events Space

Outdoor company events happen here. Employees who need some fresh air while working with limited level of disturbance can also use this space.

Our tour through Farmcrowdy’s office shows a company culture that embraces openness and a lot of employee interaction. The interior design of the office space is based on input from various members of the team. Big thumbs up to Farmcrowdy.

CREDITS: Office Tours is a production of techpoint.ng


Ugochi Obidiegwu is also known as The Safety Chic

Nigerian safety entrepreneur, Ugochi Obidiegwu, popularly known as The Safety Chic, has been shortlisted for the Rising Star of the year category in the Safety and Health Excellence Awards 2018.

She made the shortlist of 75 entries across nine categories from more than 150 entries.


Ugochi, a cabin crew and safety officer for Nigerian airline, Aero Contractors,  is passionate about increasing safety consciousness in Africans, providing a one-stop solution for all things child safety.
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Through her Train Them Young Initiative (2TYI), she provides a one-stop solution for all things child safety – an annual School Safety Summit which happens in May, Movie Day with The Safety Chic; child safety story book series – The Adventures of Muna 1 & 2; creating innovative safety products – poster packs which serves as a visible reminder of safety precautions, and social media advocacy via @TheSafetyChic where she shares tips, articles and videos that help people become safety aware.

Rising Star of the year

The awards will be held at the prestigious VOX Conference Centre on 11th April 2018 at the NEC, Birmingham.


The Safety and Excellence Awards, an initiative of the Western Business Exhibitions, will encompass the long-established British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) Awards that promote the importance of innovation and underline the highest standards of excellence within occupational safety and health.





5 Interesting Technology Trends For 2018

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It does not really count if you are a tech enthusiast or an ordinary consumer, you will always look forward to the tech developments especially the tech trends that will make a difference in the future or New Year.

We highlight 5 technology set to define 2018.

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1.Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) will be bigger this year. More and more organisations will embrace AI which is made possible through machine learning algorithms and will be incorporated in uncountable applications.

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2. 5 Generation Technology

This year, developers and engineers are getting ready to make a new generation of internet possible. By the end of 2019, 5G networks and phones with 5G will be available.  5G internet has the potential to be almost 10 times faster than 4G, making it even better than most home internet services.

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3. Data overload

In 2018, data collection is going to become an even higher priority as companies have seen the advantage of collecting consumer data. With consumers talking to smart speakers throughout their day and relying on digital devices for most of their daily tasks, companies will soon have access to big amounts of personal data.

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4. Automation

Automation is inescapable as robots are becoming more effective in performing jobs. AI has become advanced enough to replace at least some white collar jobs for years. 2018 may be the year that we see more sweeping job transformations and companies making big technology changes by automating functions.

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5. IoT becomes Blockchain IoT

The Internet of things (IoT), which involves adding smart sensors to connected devices so that users can do things like asking Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant to turn off the lights or order a pizza. Combining IoT with blockchain —or BIoT—brings in a whole host of new services and businesses. For example, BIoT can be used to track shipments of pharmaceuticals and to create smart cities in which connected heating systems better controls energy use and connected traffic lights better manage rush hour.

Top 5 Money-Saving Tech Hacks For The New Year

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There are so many ways to save money in the New Year and one of such is via technology. This is because when it comes to our digital or tech life, it may be difficult to put a lid on your spending especially if you are a tech whiz. Since we are in the New Year, we deem it fit to highlight some money-saving tech hacks.

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1.Don’t assume expensive means quality

The perception that expensive means quality is a notion that needs to be changed. An overpriced gadget does not necessarily mean it is durable. This is why it is advisable to do your research before you buy any tech item.

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2. Do your research

When it’s time to buy a new tech device, there are a lot of things you have to consider.  But,  if you don’t do your research beforehand, you could end up with something much more expensive than you actually need or something of lower quality. Buying the right product for your needs will ensure you won’t waste money.

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3. Buy refurbished

If you are in the market for a new laptop, phone, or any other gadget, buying refurbished is one of the cheapest ways to save some money. Refurbished products are just as good as new products. However, endeavour that you fully scrutinise it to make sure it’s up to standard.

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4. Do not rush to buy

You do not have to buy a tech gadget as soon as it is unveiled or released. At that very time or period, it will be expensive notwithstanding if you can afford it or not. If you tarry for a while, you can buy it for a lot lesser.

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5. Sell your old devices

When some persons buy a new device, they prefer to give it out rather than selling it. Why not sell that device for a good price and make some money off it? As such, take good care of your current gadgets so that you can sell it at a reasonable price.

5 Tricks To Get More Turnover This Year

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As a startup, you may think it is impossible to market what you do. That’s no excuse. These proven tips which will assist you in getting the word out about your business and watch as it grows.

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1.Give your product away

If you are very sure about your product, you should give it away without collecting a dime. Once customers taste this unexpected your product for free, they will line up at their local store to buy it or even request that the store carry it.

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2. Attend networking events

Taking advantage of networking events to push your business. You will probably meet people who are interested in your product and are either willing to partner or patronise you. If you can, you can create your own event.

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3. Send a weekly e-mail

If you want to maintain the relationship with your customers, there is nothing simpler than creating a weekly e-mail that provides something of value to them. You can send the email once a week or daily. The important thing is to ensure the emails are relevant to the receiver.

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4. Sponsor an organization

Many local organizations are not that expensive to sponsor for a year if you consider the so-called per meeting cost. If your product or service is a good fit with their audience, you will get exposure every time the organization sends out an e-mail and a mention every time they meet. Attendees always remember and appreciate companies who sponsor their favourite organizations.

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5. Create a cool giveaway

When thinking through what your company will give away make sure it’s something customers won’t want to throw away or easily lose in their desk or bag.

2 Innovators emerge winners, as notable personalities share Key Lessons for regional renaissance at The Ola Ndi Igbo Inventions and Innovations Fair

Emeka Nelson Ugwueze (l) and Martin Mbamalu (r) were the joint winners of the 2017 Ola Ndi Igbo Innovations and Inventions Fair

Enugu, Nigeria- “AKPAIKE (Power box) a portable hydro electric generator” by Emeka Nelson Ugwueze and “Firewood Saving Stove” by Martin Mbamalu emerged as joint winners of the 2017 Ola Ndi Igbo Inventions and Innovations Fair


– an initiative set up by a group of passionate, credible and committed young Igbo professionals and hosted by South Saharan Social Development Organisation to honour and celebrate individuals of Igbo descent who have distinguished themselves in their profession on a global stage – held at the Oakland Amusement Park & Events Centre, Enugu yesterday.

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Chairperson BOT South Saharan Development Organisation, Dr Chichi Aniagolu Okoye

The pitch event held earlier in the day where participants picked “Alignment Gauge and Oil Pump Machine” by Timothy Kogbara as the People’s Choice Award. 25 innovations were pitched at the event to a panel of judges made up of Professor Barth Okolo, former Vice Chancellor University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN); Engr CN Agulanna, DG/CEO Projects Development Agency (PRODA); Fred ‘CFA’ Agbata, Producer/Presenter Channels Television Tech Trends; Udo Jude Ilo, Head of Nigeria Office, Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA); Dr Jacinta Johnson, Technical Consultant United Nations Development Programme; and Obiora Okolo, Regional Manager Nigerian Breweries.

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Dr Jahlil Tafawa Balewa Flanked by Dr Oby Exekwesili (r) and Prof Bartho Okolo (l)

This year’s edition, themed “REVITALIZING THE CAN-DO IGBO SPIRIT: SHOWCASING INVENTIONS AND INNOVATIONS FROM THE SOUTH EAST,” provided a platform for entrepreneurs, inventors and tech innovators to pitch their ideas and attract financial and mentorship support from the Sponsors – Fidelity Bank Plc, MTN Nigeria, Ford Foundation, Ellington Electric, Nigerian Breweries Plc and South East Society of Professionals (SESOP).

Delivering the Keynote Address, Former Minister of Education, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, admonished Ndi Igbo to make values the bedrock of their attitude. “If we are desirous of revitalizing the can-do Igbo Spirit, we must begin to look away from oil and develop human capacity. A Nations backbone is built on events like this. We must make human development a foundational value. The values of the people are the bedrock of their attitude. As such, every system is a function of the values that form the underlying structures of her people. If everything is taken away from you, the only thing that will remain is character. Values must never be compromised’ she concluded.

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Cross section of participants at the event

Other speakers at the event included: Dr Jahlil Tafawa Balewa, who spoke on “A country united in the progress of its people;” and Dr Jacinta Johnson, “Be inspired to become an innovative leader.”

K9, performing his hit track “Kokoma” at the event

Cultural performances from Ikeogu Oke, the winner of 2017 NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature,; Deji Ige, Performance Poet; Amarachi Atama, founder of OJA Cultural Development Initiative; Udu Bunch Dance Group, and one of Nigeria’s fast rising performance artists, K9 – spiced up the event.


4 Ways To Build Your Business Brand

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The importance of building a business brand can not be overemphasized, it really can be considered just as important as setting up the business itself.

We share 4 tips to help effectively build a business brand.

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1.Define Your Brand

To build a great brand, you need to first define that brand, know what it means, what it stands for and what concept or idea you want to equate it with. To define your brand, you can start by writing down all characteristics that describe what you want the brand to be or represent, and the exact way you would like the brand to be perceived. Once you have the list, you can progressively fine-tune it to enhance your brand and make it stand out from competitors. In the end, the list should give a clear understanding of what your business is capable of doing, what it should be known for and how it should sell products and/or services without compromising its values.

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2.Encourage Your Employees To Be Brand Ambassadors

There is no better way to build a brand than to have your employees as brand ambassadors. It is important for your employees to understand the business brand, know what it stands for and embody what the brand stands for. This is because your employees are likely going to be the ones having direct interactions with the customers or clients, and if these employees don’t fully grasp what your business brand is about or what it represents, the customers or clients are unlikely to do so as well. As a business, be sure to keep your employees ‘engaged and informed’ about your business brand, train them to understand the business brand and encourage them to support the brand message in their interactions with customers or clients, and even in their interactions with each other. You can them reward them for acting in the brand’s best interests by way of incentives.

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3. Think of Your Brand as a Person

This will help significantly in brand communications and positioning. Thinking of your brand as a person will help to guide the methods and manner you communicate your brand to the general public, especially target customers. This is because seeing your brand as a person helps to give it a personality, and this personality will determine how your brand will behave in different situations. It also determines, based on that personality, how best to communicate with the general public, and helps develop beliefs, values and purposes that further define that brand and how it relates with the public and target customers.

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4. Be Consistent

Consistency helps to reinforce the character of your brand. It makes your brand seem focused and less clumsy to the public, and further helps to clarify your offerings so customers know or have an idea of what exactly to expect from your business. Additionally, it helps to establish the authenticity of your brand and build trust in your brand. Creating a brand guide can help with brand consistency. A brand guide will help to establish guidelines for your brand and ultimately keep your entire business on the same page.

Five Things To Consider Before Expanding Your Business

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Entrepreneurs are decision-makers. They take decisions on the path or direction to drive their business. One of such decisions they have to take is when to expand their enterprise. Whether you get it right or wrong, your conclusions will have a groundbreaking impact on your business. Obviously, you do not want to get such a key decision wrong and join the approximately 70% to 80% of startups that fail within 5 years in Africa. As such, Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, shares the things you have to consider before expanding your business.

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1.A clear strategy

The strategy is laying a clear roadmap ahead for the company to achieve its vision and mission. Without this, your expansion may be a totally foolhardy risk.

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2.Stability of your financial report

You should look to the data contained in your financial reports to determine the viability of an expansion at the current moment. The reports should show increasing profits, a firm handle on salary payment and good control over purchasing expenses.

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3.Relationship with customers

The truth is most companies in their early days do everything to keep their customers happy, and during their expansion phase, they fall apart in terms of customer service. Take this opportunity to build a rapport with your target group to win them over to your side. This is essential if the relationship is strained. If you cannot keep your customers happy, you really have no business expanding because there will be endless complaints which will not only ruin the reputation of your business but can also lead to business failure when you start losing them.

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4.Effectiveness of your workforce

A business depends on a well-trained, effective workforce to handle day-to-day activities. If you can rely on your staff to do their work tasks in an efficient manner, no matter what conditions throw at them, you are ready to utilize this essential resource to expand your business.

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Funding is perhaps the most important. Without capital, the business expansion will be near impossible. One trending way to get funds is through venture capitalists or serial investors who are willing and ready to invest in viable businesses. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of them by pitching to them. If your pitch is endorsed, they will pump money into your business and you can then expand.

7 Things Entrepreneurs Can Do To Stay Motivated

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Making the decision to become an entrepreneur is a fearless step from being an employee of a business to the leader of your own business. One of the first challenges they are likely to face is that they no longer have line managers to set goals and deadlines for them. Therefore, the responsibility of inspiration and motivation becomes their personal task. This is where some entrepreneurs fall short. As such, these insights will help them stay motivated.

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1.Set goals and values

Entrepreneurs must have personal goals and core values. They must write them down, read them daily and even memorize them. These should serve as a regular reminder about their purpose for becoming entrepreneurs.

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2.Have a plan

Running a business without a plan can easily make them lose focus. They should evolve both short-term and long-term plans. This will help them have a clear understanding of what they want to accomplish and how they want to achieve it.

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3.Have a ‘me’ time

Entrepreneurs are very busy people. As such, it is possible that they will be consumed by work.  So, they should endeavour to set personal time during which they get out of the rut.

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4.Think of themselves as captains

Entrepreneurs are the captains of their ships and nobody will navigate that ship for them except they do. So, they should take solace in the fact that they own the business and they have to make painstaking efforts to run it.

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5.Connect with other entrepreneurs

This is not to say that you need to copy what others are doing. Instead, share ideas and get to know what keeps them motivated. This will definitely make them feel like they are on the right track with the support of other like minded entrepreneurs.

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6.Reward themselves

Being a business owner does not mean they should not reward themselves. As such, they should be prepared to reward themselves for accomplishing their set goals.

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They should never underestimate the value of a good night sleep for personal motivation. A night of sound rest will re-energize them and significantly boost performance.