About the Campaign
Members of St Stephen Catholic Church, Agboju, Festac, were the first recipients of Vi-M Professional Solution’s (our training and handholding partners) Business Advisory and Tax Clinic Series to assist start ups and small businesses in partnership with the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos. This Clinic took place at the church premises and there were 140 registered participants in total.
The clinic session was very interactive and the challenges experienced by the attendees (made up of micro, small and medium enterprises, start-ups, scale-ups, and those in paid employments) ranged from:
- Inadequate funds to start-up and maintain the business before the business starts generating its own income
- Inadequate skills needed for starting a business
- Little or no financial training
- No mentor or professional adviser during the early stage of the business set up
- Little or no plan for the business which leads to business failure.
The facilitators provided clear and comprehensive presentations targeted towards resolution of these issues enumerated above. Topics discussed included:
- Required skills an entrepreneur needs to have before starting a new business;
- The importance of having a good business plan and how to write one;
- Workable business ideas where funding is an issue;
- Legal framework for starting and running a business in Nigeria;
- Branding, marketing and Selling tips;
- Internet of things/getting your business on the internet;
- Structuring the finance function, internal controls and best practices;
- Tips for hiring and managing people; and
- Tax enlightenment.
One serious challenge though and impediment to full implementation of many of the suggested approaches to improving their businesses was lack of adequate funding. To several of the participants, scaling up their businesses was wishful thinking, as they do not have the required funding, and the conditions for borrowing from organized finance institutions are steep. Hence, Vi-M’s partnership with the MSME Crowd Funding Foundation to seek funding assistance for the participants who are in need of business funding.
We intend to give assistance to participants who indicated immediate need for funding the following enterprises:
|Creche and pre-school||3,500,000|
|Trading in agricultural produce||130,000|
|Catering & Hospitality||650,000|
|Media and entertainment||1,500,000|
|Music/ Album production||650,000|
|Trading in Food Stuff||250,000|
|Trading in farm produce||650,000|
|Restaurant & Catering||2,000,000|
|Bakery & Confectionery||1,200,000|
|Food Stuff trading||300,000|
|Healthcare & Training||2,000,000|
|Food Stuff trading||150,000|
We solicit for funding support towards this cause, and we reiterate that unless the elite and buoyant people in our society make it a duty point to support enterprises like this, who have the entrepreneurial drive but lack adequate financing, our economy would remain underdeveloped. A WhatsApp forum has also been created for all registered participants to serve as a continuous financial training platform, communal marketing, network sharing and problem solving platform.
Most of the participants continue to struggle to sustain their business activities, while the aspiring ones continue to look into easier and affordable means to start their own businesses.
We solicit for funds via this platform to assist these men and women build up their business, put a solid / viable structure around it, grow it and hopefully make a meaningful livelihood for themselves, their dependents and their community.
It is our hope that well meaning Catholics in the Lagos archdiocese, prospective donors on this site, the local and international communities/ organizations would come together and support this initiative of providing grants to assist these entrepreneurs.
* Please watch out for ‘updates’ to this campaign (to be published below the page) as we would be giving account of how your donations are utilised.
Pictures from the event are below for your viewing pleasure.