My name is Nathaniel Okwoli. I am the founder of Booklify.ng, A platform that allows writers publish and earn from their stories.
I’ll be discussing on how I get grants and how to leverage the various opportunities available to grow your business.
Let me start by saying that there are two major ways you can get grants:
1. Through super innovate ideas
2. Through super amazing traction
Some of us here have been awarded grants and would agree that it’s not an easy endeavor but it can be easy once you know the right thing to do.
- If you’re applying as an idea, you have to tell your story well and be very convincing. Most organizations give out grants to ideas which have social impact. Take a writing course if you have to, to learn how to craft your story well. Successful grant recipients are those who have mastered the art of story telling.
These ideas must stand out, be very innovative and captivate the reader’s attention.
When organizations fund ideas, it is the individuals they’re investing in. They’re giving you grants because they believe you have what it takes to flesh out the idea into a successful organization. So you should be able to provide information on your track record as an entrepreneur and leadership experience.
Build your resumé through achievements.
- If you’ve already started something, you have a better chance of getting grants. However, your traction is the most important thing the grantors are looking at and the social impact of your solution.
While VC’s grants look out more at your accounting numbers and growth metrics, non-profits organizations look out for the scale of your social impact.
Here are 7 points on how to get grants. This is not an inexhaustible list.
1. Join a community of smart minds. For example, this group is constantly creating awareness for it’s members on Grant opportunities and how to leverage on it. Some days ago, seven members of this group were selected for the recent Agritech Incubator.
2. Search for Opportunities: There are several platforms you can follow to get updates on Grant opportunities. Opportunitydesk.org, opportunityforafricans.com, Tech blogs etc. You should also follow foundations that offer grants, on social media, such as Tony Elumelu foundation, Ford Foundation, Wikimedia foundation, Microsoft foundation etc. Google’s AdWords program for nonprofit organizations offers $10k monthly ad credit for non profit organizations.
3. Seek Guidance: Talk to previous grant winners of the specific grant you’re applying for on ideas of how to structure your application. If possible, get their application proposal and study it and the type of information they provided.
4. Let your application reflect/contain the criteria the grant organization is in the look out for. Tailor your application proposal towards those criteria they want. That means you’ll have to find out those criteria from their website or through research.
Suggested Read: Seven Mysteries in African Startup Scene
5. Don’t take it lightly. Apply like everything depends on it. Research, and spend enough time writing and reviewing your application. Always keep revising your pitch, perfect it and make sure it is rock solid.
Don’t apply with cliché ideas. Some applicants are too loyal to their ideas even when there’s nothing remarkable about it. Let your solution be innovative such that it immediately captures the interest of the reader. Most times, these innovative methods/ideas should lie in your solution’s processes.
6. Pray about it. Let God take charge. I pray in all my applications. God rewards hard work.
7. Caveat: There are few organizations giving grants to ideas. So it’s advisable to start small and grow. Building your idea/company to be better positioned to create value, jobs, receive grants and make profits.
That’ll be all for now.
Go out there and write winning proposals and pitch to success.
I’ll entertain questions if there’s any.
Question: Is grants free? and what is the different between grant and VC investment?
Grants are equity-free and not loans either. They are completely free.
They don’t expect anything other than you use the money wisely for what you are to do with it.
Most VC’s ask for equity in return and exit after some time.
Side Attraction by BHL:
Just to chip this in..
People want to give successful people money. That is why you see that it is easy for someone who is worth 1million dollars to raise 10million dollars than someone who is worth nothing or less even if the latter has a brilliant idea. Idea is worthless without the right team to execute.
Grantors want to fund people who are already showing success!
There is no difference between grantors and investors only that investors want the money back while grantors want impact in return.
So when you are applying for a grant. Don’t sound like a beggar. Sound like an achiever that needs to achieve more. Sound like a successful person that needs more to impact more.
No one wants to associate with a failure. Flaunt your success! Exaggerate it.. If you like.. Just make it big. Let your success be undoubtedly obvious to them!
Guess what? Grantors boast about the ventures they fund..e.g The Tony Elumelu Foundation flaunts its backed ventures.. It is their pride!
Why would the Tony Elumelu Foundation fund a business that has already won many awards and leave those that haven’t for once?
Think about it.
Why would people want to listen and read about someone who has met with the vice-president than someone who hasn’t.
Why would you respect someone who had dinner with Donald Trump than someone who hasn’t?
So you must show that you are that kind of venture they can be proud of and be happy to show to the world!
About Top Entrepreneurs Forum
The Top Entrepreneurs Forum (TEF) is a pan African entrepreneurship platform founded on October, 2016 by Babatunde Hakeem Lawal fondly called BHL. The forum seeks to cross pollinate ideas, insights and opportunities via its highly diversified and extensive networks among its members at different stages in their business pursuit.
You can become a member via WhatsApp by joining through this invite link: