By Zainab Ahmad Dantsoho
Most people believe that one cannot start a business without huge capital, but that is absolutely wrong. So let me first define what capital means according to economics.
Capital is anything that increases one’s ability to generate value. It can be used to increase value across a wide range of categories, such as financial, social, physical, intellectual, etc. In business and economics, the two most common types of capital are financial and human.
But I will like to give my definition because the most neglected is the Human Intellectual faculty.
In the 21st century, capital is the ability of an individual to think using the intellectual capacity to make money in the absence of little or no resources.
I want to stick to my definition because based on analysis, our economic index can be weighed by the standard of living and income expenditures, but I come from the North where according to the average statistics of people living in poverty as of 2020 holds 87% of Nigeria’s poverty rate – World Bank
So, are there resources in the North? Of course, YES! But the problem is intellectual capital.
In a community where people can’t even feed properly and begging seems to be a way out, how do we end poverty in families and our communities? I have asked this question to myself a lot of times.
Our northern community would be great if only our brains can think about starting a business with zero naira or little or no capital. And this makes me think that in the absence of money and basic resources, the only value any society could have is thinking skill because that’s the best way to beat poverty!
Let me take you through my journey of 1 kobo.
At a point in my life, I just decided to start my own business, make money in a halal way, take care of myself, and help the people close to me and my community at large. So I asked myself, “Zainabu, what about the capital? Where will you get the required amount to start the business?” Of course, this immediately came to mind, but then I remembered capital doesn’t necessarily have to be money.
Thus, I started going to some perfume shops, taking pictures and samples of the perfumes, showing friends, advertising on my social media platforms. Then, when someone asks for it, I’ll quickly go back to the shop and get what they wanted while adding a little profit for myself. This continued for months, and I was able to save some money!
So, I realised that the only capital I have in the absence of resources is my intellect, the ability to think and make money. So, these are a few basic things I had my eyes out for when starting my one kobo business.
- Location – Where can I sell this product?
- Demands – Is the product highly consumables, highly used in my environment?
- Standard of living – this is where I have to think critically. Can they afford it? If they can, at what cost, and what’s my profit because nobody wants to start a business losing. It’s a win-win goal.
Then when it comes to branding – since I have no resources and capital of my own, whenever I want to make more profits, I usually meet the producers and negotiate with them. They make it, but then it carries my business name and agrees on percentage without losing anything but gaining. Most traders into cosmetic products typically agree with this since it offers mutual benefits.
Now, let’s talk about mind poverty, also known as mentality poverty. Mentality poverty is not the absence of cash and resources. It’s simply our way of thinking and behavioural pattern.
And I also think our average mentality is poor, and that’s why poverty in African societies seems to be inherited. We have resources, yet we are poor. It’s time to shift from the cash flow method of capital and currency to its intellectual flow because, that way, our community will grow.
If we were to cut down the amount we spend on our phones, clothing, accessories, cosmetics, etc., we would be surprised at how much we will save.
One may wish to know the advantages of this type of business. Don’t stress yourself. I will help you with some basic information.
1. It empowers you
2. It eradicates poverty
3. It`s easy to access
4. You earn without deposit
5. You can advertise from your home using your social media handles.
If you aren’t on social media, you can do Door to Door, attend events or places where you can meet many people, and take advantage of friends to friends marketing strategies. Especially for those that don’t go out.
But here are some of the challenges you will face with this type of business:
1. People may want to take credit from you, and you can’t give it out since the items don’t particularly belong to you; for me, it’s even risky giving and selling items on credit.
2. You may need more time and patience to get customers.
3. Sometimes such items may be out of stock, so that means you need to know or keep contact with the store, to what’s available and what’s not available
4. You may need one or more stores to patronise, if you want quick profits and if it’s worth the energy!
My advice to our young entrepreneurs is that we should always avoid perishable goods, except if the areas we live in have a high demand for those particular items.
Lastly, with the way our economic system is currently running, it is still possible to start a business with zero or little income. So don’t wait for significant capital. You can save and think, spend wisely, and Allah will certainly help you.
I hope you will find this article very helpful and join our one kobo community to start your business and get substantial information from us.
Why not make a move and be your boss with zero naira today?
Zainab Ahmad Dantsoho is a graduate of the Federal University, Gusau and an entrepreneur. She writes from Kaura-Namoda Town of Zamfara State. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.