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Friday, 3 July 2015

How to Kickstart Your Big Idea without Funding

Our Young Person of the Month for June 2015, Adepeju Jaiyeoba from Nigeria dished out four (4) lessons from her personal experiences with 'Mothers' Delivery Kit' a product produced and distributed by her organization, the Brown Button Foundation. We thought to share these with you to help you move that awesome idea off the ground into the market.

Read: How to Kickstart Your Amazing Idea without Funding

Over the last couple of weeks, I have received messages seeking advice from individuals with lots of amazing ideas they are struggling to kickstart due to lack of funding. I'm sharing my personal experience with Mother's Delivery Kit and drawing some lessons from it.

Mothers' Delivery kit was started in 2013 with 30,000 Naira (about 130 USD), our first production batch was 200 kits. Today, we have non equity seeking investors, zero loans from banks and have sold over 20,000 kits. What are the big lessons for start ups here?

1. Start small. Wanting to start big with a bang is often a challenge we face when starting our company. However, easy does it. Our first production at Mothers Delivery Kit was 200 kits. Today, we have produced over 20,000 kits. Starting small is key especially when funding is a challenge. By starting small you are also able to minimise risks by measuring market response to your business.

2. Prune your idea to size. We all have big dreams. Very big dreams. But where funding is a challenge, we must be willing to prune our ideas and find growing slowly acceptable. Mothers Delivery kit is a smaller version of a bigger picture, it was simply pruned to size to fit our budget.

3. Focusing on people, knowledge and network before cash. Many of those who reached out to me focused on cash. They needed money and it was all they thought they needed and wanted. However, one key lesson is this, there are more than one ways to get investors in your business. Build trust and friendship especially as investment is all about trust.

4. Leverage fully on available resource. So you have a spare room in your house? Why don't you start your office from there? Recruit volunteers to assist your work, talk friends rendering professional services into providing some free advice or services for your company. Minimise cost as much as you can.

Ideas are cheap, implementation is the real deal! Remember that some of the best ideas the world would have had today are in the graveyard. Don't over plan, don't over think, just get started! Commit to take a step towards implementation today.

- Adepeju Jaiyeoba

Adepeju Opeyemi Jaiyeoba (OD’s June YPOM ) is a Nigerian trained lawyer and founder of Brown Button Foundation, an NGO established to help curb the high mortality rates in Nigeria. She is a White House Emerging Global Entrepreneur 2015 and a 2014 Mandela Washington Fellow inspiring many young people to achieve their dreams.


  1. Tips Oked... You can also checkout great tips on how good business leaders started their business @ How We Started our business

  2. I have a wonderful idea connected with professional academic writing services but I have no idea where to find money for its realization. That's why your tips were very useful for me and I will use them for my business. Hope I will succeed with this idea.


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