"Support My Business" vs. "Invest in My Business"

by Joshua Agonya, AVODA Director of Marketing

Over the last few years, as I have engaged with entrepreneurs, I have heard this statement again and again: “`Support My Business”. It’s literally everywhere. For some reason, the word support has overcome our entrepreneurship vocabulary. I learned the hard way to avoid the word phrase “support me”.

When I wanted to do a postgraduate diploma in business administration at African Business Institute, I didn’t have the $2,200 needed to get going. The work I had at the time was not paying much even if I saved the entire year.

So, I wrote to a few people and asked them to “support my study”. I didn’t get even one respond.

As school got closer, I realized I had to change my strategy – change my vocabulary. I wrote several emails targeting specific people and asking them to “invest in me so that I could be equipped to invest in others”. I got several responses. From then on, I understood that people don’t want to feel pity for you, at least not those who consider you able. When it comes to business, I learned that people want to invest in you or your business.

I still hear a lot of “support my business” when what should be said is “invest in my business”.

The Non-Government Organization (NGO) charity grant mindset has really damaged entrepreneurship. In fact, I know a few entrepreneurs who move from grant to grant because they FEAR investors. Even more, they fear being held accountable for someone else’s money. This fear has crippled entrepreneurs who would have done amazing things had they chosen investment driven entrepreneurship instead of “grant-preneuship”

In light of this new mindset approach, AVODA created a 2-week, Fast Track Bootcamp, Next Steps, to empower entrepreneurs and business leaders to know all the sources they can have for raising funds for their businesses in the post-covid era. . . and the language which each source demands and responds to best. AVODA’s dedication and innovation to entrepreneurship training continues to bring me proud to be part of the leadership team.