Startup Circles, an innovative practical business school for entrepreneurs is hosting a free business funding summit to help entrepreneurs get funding for their ventures.
Startup Circles says the free business funding summit will hold on April 20 as raising capital is often the bugbear for founders. The key to success is securing the right capital by seeking out angel investors and venture capital, according to
“This business funding summit is for entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses using funding from angel investors and venture capital. We want to help them understand what investors look for in a business and how to build a valuable business,” says Startup Circles founder Sandras Phiri.
Phiri saw a need for this when he realized that despite the huge effort to promote entrepreneurship and job creation in Africa, there is still very little being achieved because very few people know how to practically build great companies.
“We have been saying for a long time now that ‘this is the time for Africa’ and ‘Africa is the future’ but that will not happen if we keep focusing too much on theory. Like Steve Blank says we need to ‘get outside the building’ and build real solutions,” says Phiri.
Startup Circles has already enjoyed a measure of success. In just one year, the business school has 5000 people, in 50 countries, using its material. More than 100 entrepreneurs enrolled last year with a majority of the students ready to raise funding for their businesses including five students who already raised more than $1 million during the heavy lockdown. They now want to help more entrepreneurs build commercially viable and highly valuable companies that raise money, help the ecosystem produce more startups that get investment and help more investors to deploy their capital.
“There is a huge number of investors looking for companies to invest in but cannot find them because most companies are not investor ready. On the other hand, there are many businesses looking for investors but do not know what investors look for or how to present their businesses to them. Startup Circles bridges that gap.”
Phiri is also eager to fill the huge gap between the way entrepreneurship is taught in schools and the way it is in real life.
“I did an MBA but I couldn’t run a start-up or small business. So, whilst the MBA is great if you’re going to work in a big corporate or are you going to be a consultant but when it comes to entrepreneurship it fails as it is too theoretical. I found that this was the case with lots of entrepreneurs. Having interviewed over 100 founders and investors from around the world I realised that indeed the mismatch was real and we need a solution,” says Phiri.
“The way traditional schools teach entrepreneurship is like trying to teach your child to ride a bicycle using text messages. Entrepreneurship is practical. You learn by doing and that’s what we set out to do.”
Startup Circles has two target markets. The first: aspiring entrepreneurs who want to launch a venture and want to make sure it is investable from day one; the second: existing businesses who want to raise investment to scale up.
“We found that there are business owners who are very busy building their companies but don’t know how to pitch their businesses. While the business could be doing well, they miss out on massive growth which is usually made possible by external capital. We help these business owners to present their businesses in the way that attracts investors. Also, we put them in front of the investors every month,” he says.
Phiri learned how to be an entrepreneur the hard way. He grew up in a village in Zambia where he used to walk 13km to school every day.
“When my family moved to the city, we lived in a one-roomed house in a township. Both my parents died when I was a teenager so I had to hustle and be entrepreneurial… I sold sweets in primary school and bread and milk in the neighbourhood to supplement my university fees. I was an entrepreneur out of necessity but later I chose to be an entrepreneur and do it full time. I’m glad I did.”
Phiri reaped a rich reward for his effort and studies. He achieved a BSc in Computer Science, in Zambia, and an MBA from University of Cape Town. He also spent a month in Bali at Entrepreneurs Institute by Roger Hamilton.
“I have learned from Dr John Demartini and I have done the firewalk with Tony Robbins in Silicon Valley,” he says.
Experience that will be the ingredients for a course that could change your life.
To sign up for the business funding summit visit https://startupcircles.ai/investor-readiness-masterclass/