Here’s one way to raise funds for your business during an economic downturn

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Countries all over the world are in dire economic straits, African nations included. And while SMEs are touted as major drivers to help grow an economy, the truth is a lot of SMEs will crash and burn in this period. This is due to the lack of adequate funding to plow through the hard times. Yes, governments and private investors are trying as much as they can to inject startups with funds but not every entrepreneur can get in on that action. A lot of small and medium business owners are still bootstrapping and weathering the storm. So, how can a startup or SME get some extra money?

Well, have you considered starting a training program? You should and here’s why:

“Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.” – Aristotle

1. Marketable skills are in high demand.
It’s not news that there’s a general lack of skilled workers out there. A lot of young entrepreneurs and job seekers are looking to upgrade themselves with marketable, real world skills. The major problem is finding good teachers/trainers. I know how long I searched before finding a good Creative Writing school in Lagos.
So why not seize the opportunity to create another source of income? Developing a training program for job seekers will cost you a few extra hours of your time, but the returns are immense. Extra points if your training is in high demand and you’re a good teacher. You’ll never run out of business.

2. Side hustles sometimes become as profitable as the original business.
Take the story of the cross country road transport business in Nigeria. The major players, God is Good Motors, CrossCountry, and ABC motors started out as simple interstate transporters. Somewhere along the line people started requesting to have their packages delivered to other states, (especially when NIPOST, Nigeria’s postal service, became unreliable). Today, package delivery and interstate courier services are a major staple of the cross country road transport business. Think about that for a second. Your training program could become a major staple of your business in the coming years, even after the recession.

Side hustles; saving businesses since the dawn of time

Side hustles have been saving businesses since the dawn of time

3. It gives you access to your next great employee
Because you’re the one that trained them, you know who is hitting projects out of the park (and who would be a great addition to your team).

The truth is, developing a training program is not that difficult. As long as the skills you’re teaching are related to your particular business, it shouldn’t even cost much to start. If you’re into app development, running a weekly 5-hour coding class (an hour a day, Monday to Friday) could fit into your schedule comfortably. If you’re a caterer, you could teach baking or cooking classes and so on. Come to think of it, the informal sector runs this business model, albeit in a crude way.

At the end of the day, incorporating a training program into your business, or starting one on the side, is a great way to source for extra funds while building your startup.

As the adage goes, “Don’t work hard. Work smart.”


I'm 3 parts geek, 1 part funny man, and the last part is between me and my shrink. Technology Editor at Enterprise54. I write about (obsess over) gadgets, tech and startups. Send me stuff.

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