What you should know before applying for business grants. – Insights from a CSR Manager.

There are many organizations in recent times who offer grant support to innovative social entrepreneurial ideas. These grants however are not given to just any person or any idea. The Social entrepreneur seeking the grant must prove the worth of his/her idea before the support would be offered. Tigo Ghana is the leading supporter of social enterprises and ideas through their digital change program organized periodically in Ghana.

 

The Head of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) team of Tigo Ghana, Gifty Bingley, attended this year’s BarCamp Tema which was held at the Rotary Center (Club House) in Tema on the theme, ‘Create Sustain Impact’. BarCamp is a program organised by the GhanaThink Foundation in all regions in Ghana. This year’s BarCamp Tema was graced with the presence of top leaders from Tigo Ghana. Gifty Bingley shared some great key insights on what social entrepreneurs seeking financial support should work on before approaching funders. She emphasized that every social entrepreneur should invest in their enterprise by first working on the objective of the enterprise, their goals, the problem the enterprise seeks to solve, set timelines and define strategies on how the solutions will be implemented. “You must know the objective of the social entrepreneurial program, the target group for the program plus the successes hoped to be achieved by the end of a period.” she added.

Gifty Bingley also mentioned the need for ‘people skill’ in the process of grant application.  “You must believe and invest in your own idea. That is the only way someone would want to support you. You can walk up to any Tigo office front desk and present your ideas to our staff. They would be glad to listen to your idea. Make your come along with a well prepared proposal. People need to show that they are hungry for results and want to achieve something great with their entrepreneurial ideas. Provethat you believe in the idea by investing in the idea yourself. The investment might be in the form of time, money or other personal resources sacrificed to achieve that.  Objective, ways to go about it, what exactly you need support with, what you would be doing with the money when you are offered. Talk only doesn’t help. Entrepreneurs must go through the pain of putting their ideas in a presentable document to present to potential investors.” She further explained.

Young social entrepreneurs must have a business plan. A business plan is a written document which comprises the idea, objectives, vision and mission as well as the short and long term plans of the social enterprise. This business plan would present to your potential investor, a concrete idea of what you want to do and why you deserve that support.

Gifty Bingley also shared some reasons why some proposals are rejected.

 

A grant application will be refused or rejected due to the following reasons:

• Lack of package benefit to the organization i.e. it could be monetary or promoting the brand of the organization, among others.

• Scanty content of proposal

• Incomplete proposals

• Lack of online platforms to provide more information about the idea or enterprise. Create online platforms that potential investors can easily visit to know more about your idea. Facebook accounts, twitter accounts, blogs and websites are great places to begin. Maximize the use of social media platforms to promote the idea. Investors also search for innovative entrepreneurial ideas to invest in. If you have an online platform, a simple search on Google would help you get that grant.

• Lack of passion in the idea. Believe in what you do.

• Lack of succession plan.

 

BarCamp Tema was supported by Tigo Ghana and Making All Voices Count (MAVC).

Join our network on our social media platforms Facebook: Barcamp Tema | Twitter: @barcamptema | Google+: BarCamp Tema

Checkout some of the pictures from the event via the Barcamp Tema Facebook page