Young African Women Entrepreneurs Offer Advice on How to Start a Business With No Money

Voices of African Women Entrepreneurs

“The easiest way to get funding is to build a team. You will be surprised at how quickly your idea takes off when you have a solid group of people equally passionate about your idea. Also, like our parents say, two (or more) heads are better than one. The diversity as well as the expanded network will amplify your chances of funding the venture.”  —  Bilikiss Kola-Abiola, CEO of award-winning company WeCyclers

\”Money is good but the lack of it should not stop YOU. Think of ideas that won’t cost much money. Save and work towards the big idea. Again, if you want it badly enough, you will work hard to get it. I think young people want things to happen overnight. Well, it won’t. Tuface has history, so does Emem Isong. It’s a process, a journey, and young people must be ready to walk the walk. Okon Lagos was not the first script that I wanted to produce but I knew that no one would give a newbie like me more than a certain amount of money so I thought of an inexpensive script that I could easily raise money for. I still haven’t produced that first script – I am still waiting for the right time.\”

—  Executive producer, and co-founder of the Royal Arts Academy, Uduak Isong


“Money is not everything. It is a false comfort. Money will not stop a “real entrepreneur” from starting a business. Work until you have saved enough – find investors, ask friends and family, borrow. Money should not stop anyone from fulfilling their dreams. Money is an accelerator – whether you are going in the right or wrong direction, money simply accelerates you in the direction that you are already going in. Sometimes the lack of money helps you come up with innovative strategies and different solutions. For most small businesses, the lack of money should not be a barrier to starting, although it might be a barrier to growing. The most important thing is to start. If we had waited for the perfect financial conditions, we would probably still be at the drawing board stage.”

Rapelang Rabana, Founding CEO of Yeigo Communications and ReKindle Learning

\”Look inwards. You will find something you can do that won’t cost much and might help you get the money for something bigger.\” —  Modupe Macaulay, CapitalSquare


\”There will never be a time when there will be money so my advice is to start now and start small.”  —- Jane Ole, Elizabeth Waldorf Designs


(1) Start small and grow big. (2) Try to fund your business yourself or ask your family and friends for money. (3) If you really want something, believe in your product or business model and you will succeed. It’s just a matter of time and for how long you can endure. (4) Focus on your goals and don’t get distracted.

Nkem Begho, Managing Director of Future Software Resources Nigeria Limited, and winner of the 2012 Etisalat Nigeria Prize for Innovation


\”Yes, you need money to start a business, but is it possible to bootstrap your ideas? Start small and work your way towards your identified goal. You can also hold on to a part-time job if you have one.”

Iheoma Obibi, Intimate Pleasures


\”Be creative! Start the business in steps and stages. Also, look for investors even if it’s from friends or family (however, make sure you get agreements in place before borrowing any money.) Look for grants and funding opportunities in your local area.\”  —Ronke Lawal, Ariatu PR


We hope that this provides you with a unique perspective to overcoming the fear of starting and encourages you to take the necessary step needed to start your business idea. Don’t let money serve as a hindrance. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve your goals, and live your dreams.










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