27 Nov NEXTi2i Organizes a Two-Day Virtual Bootcamp
On the 20th and 21st of November 2020, the New Entrepreneurs Xchange for Transformation: Idea to Impact Project (NEXTi2i) organized a virtual bootcamp for fellows and aspiring entrepreneurs who needed some guidance, to draw their Business Model Canvas. The two-day event witnessed lectures from seasoned and accomplished entrepreneurs who were so generous to share with us, the stories of their businesses, from a Business Model Canvas perspective. Our guest speakers included Lady Omega-Hammond of Ampersand technologies, MacCarthy MacBathy of HOPin Academy and NEXTi2i’s very own; Dr. Gordon Adomdza.
The business of the day started with Lady Omega-Hammond, founder of Ampersand Technologies. Sharing some insights on what a business model canvas (BMC) is, she said that, ‘the BMC is a canvas that helps a business to put a structure to what they are doing. Unlike a business plan, the BMC helps you to categorize the different parts of your business so that you are able to identify the ins and outs of what will help your business grow or what will be the building blocks for your business. Elaborating further, she stated that the BMC serves as a roadmap for entrepreneurs and it is important that they do not just know it, but understand it. ‘Not every box on the BMC can be ticked from the beginning, for some, you need to go through certain experiences.’ Responding to a question on the role that customers played in making her BMC, she said that, ‘customers helped me do customer segmentation and streamline her services as they were multiple industries and services being requested from the beginning.’
Following her presentation, our bootcampers were once again treated to another impactful session from Eugene Eluerkeh, the chief operations officer at Options Mart Limited. According to Eugene, in putting together a business model, companies should prioritize how they intend to create, deliver and capture value. This, he says, would determine how entrepreneurs operate their businesses and what to focus on. Sharing how the Options Mart has evolved over the years, bootcampers learned that the revenue stream which only captured product sales has now diversified to accreditation fees and service partnership fees. Their customer segments have increased as well and this comes on the back of business experience, evaluating bmc and learning from competition. ‘Your BMC must be focused and dynamic: focus on the mission and vision and dynamic to accommodate risks and uncertainties’, says Eugene.
Bootcampers were then paired with fellows to help them draw up BMC for their business ideas. Sharing some feedback, boot campers were excited about the project and how they had been enlightened to rethink their approaches to starting or operating a business.
Dr. Gordon Adomdza, NEXTi2i Program Director, kickstarted the day with a presentation on the Value Fulfilment Blueprint (VFB). He said that VFB is at the centre of ensuring that whatever its conceptualized, gets delivered to the customer in a delightful manner. Volunteering to share how his grasscutter business fulfils value to his customers, Mathew Ndekudugu was guided by Dr. Gordon to rethink the path to customer fulfilment by considering different journey maps and to look at his business in a way that he has not, before. Dr. Gordon advised that in creating or fulfilling value, one should not only focus on the transaction but what happens before and after the transaction.
Also, MacCarthy of HOPin Academy made a sterling presentation on his company. He advised budding entrepreneurs to grow their ventures organically as fast growth is not sustainable and may lead to a crash. He also stressed on the need for entrepreneurs to have a consistent story in telling the inspiration behind their businesses as that is pertinent to brand image. Highlighting the importance of the Business Model Canvas, he urged entrepreneurs to be unafraid of structures ; ‘do not build your company around you but around a system that can work, even in your absence’.
Participants had another opportunity to be paired with the Ashesi Venture Incubator fellows to work on their VFBs. From feedback shared by our bootcampers, we are impressed with the impact that the two-day event has made and do hope that patrons of the bootcamp commit to applying what they learned and practiced.