Monday, February 08, 2016

Pitching to the Elusive Investor

Today, I succeeded in ticking off one of the items on my MBA Bucket List: Speak in public.
Dr. O shared some interesting insights on how to prepare an elevator speech. An elevator speech is a speech given to persuade a potential investor in 30 seconds or less (the estimated time it takes to move from one floor to another in an elevator). Things to keep in mind when developing an elevator pitch:
  • Clarify your target
  • Write it down
  • Answer 3 key questions (Who are you? What do you do? Why your product and not another?)
  • Tailor it to the audience
  • Simplify terms (no jargon)
  • Practise
Then came the interesting part. We were asked to develop a 30-second elevator speech for Fola Adeola (a popular Nigerian businessman and politician) and 10 volunteers got to pitch to a trio of investors (fellow classmates, not real investors).
The tension was high and you could hear a pin drop in the classroom.
At the end of the presentation, the class voted for each business idea. Here are the results:
  • Shipping management (27 votes)
  • I.T business (5 votes)
  • Cocoa export (5 votes)
  • Pepper canning (2 votes)
  • Farming (2 votes)
  • I.T company (2 votes)
  • Foreign-exchange transfer (2 votes)
  • Expansion of training institute (1 vote)
  • Leadership training (1 vote)
  • Microfinance (0 vote)
What interested me about the voting pattern is that the social enterprises (training and microfinance) got the least votes while the purely commercial ventures (shipping and cocoa exports) got the most votes. It raises the following questions:
  • Does this mean that social entrepreneurs are better off seeking grants from ''benevolent'' international organizations rather than pitching to ''profit-conscious'' business investors?
  • Should venture capitalists embrace good corporate social responsibility practices by establishing a fund specifically for social entrepreneurs?
  • Can social entrepreneurs increase their chances of getting funds by getting their numbers right?
If you're a social entrepreneur, where do you usually source your funds?

My MBA Bucket List: 50 Things to Do Before I Graduate

Whether it’s in my personal or professional life, I like setting goals and objectives and holding myself accountable for achieving them. So, I figured my MBA experience should not be an exception.

I created a ‘Bucket List’ of 50 things I want to do before I graduate. As can be expected, I have already started off on some of them. Nevertheless, I intend to share my progress on this blog every fortnight from now until December 2017.

Here’s my list of 50 things I plan to do before I graduate:

2.     Attend a conference and make 5 new contacts
3.     Join a study group
4.     Read a book on Communication
5.     Give a speech in public
6.     Get a LinkedIn recommendation from a staff
7.     Decide: Wunderlist or Nozbe?
8.     Give a tutorial
9.     Find a mentor – faculty
10. Read a book on Personal Finance
11. Learn speed reading
12. Reach my ideal weight
13. Become proficient in Evernote
14. Read a book on Consulting
15. Read a book on Business Creation
16. Subscribe to a business magazine and read it every day
17. Celebrate Mass in the chapel
18.  Learn how to tie a tie
19. Attend a recollection
20. Do a physical review during  Wellness Day
21. Use Google Drive
22. Read a book on Value Creation
23.  Attend the Christmas Party
24. Take the MBTI
25. Use Focus@Will
26. Wake up at 5 a.m for 66 days straight
27. Read a book on Marketing
28. Use StayFocusd
29. Publish an article in a management journal
30. Use Say it & Mail it Recorder
31. Use EggTimer
32. Engage a total stranger in small talk for 1 hour
33.  Attend a dinner party
34. Learn more about myself – Life Project
35. Discover personality type – Strengthsfinder
36. Track my daily habits for 66 days straight
37. Read a book on Sales
38. Get a LinkedIn recommendation from a faculty member
39. Write a book about leadership
40. Get a LinkedIn recommendation from a classmate
41. Read a book on Value Delivery
42. Launch a CM book
43. Complete a CSR Project
44. Complete a Consulting project
45. Take a course in strategy
46. Read a book on Productivity and Effectiveness
47. Find a mentor – alum
48. Travel abroad
49. Write a Business Plan
50. Store all my notes online

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Monday, February 01, 2016

Keep Moving Forward.

Did you ever watch Meet The Robinsons?  Keep Moving Forward

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Friday, January 22, 2016


If you're in Lagos, here's how to:
This evening, e v e r y b o d y will be at Freedom Park for Afropolitan Vibes, the monthly outdoor music festival.  You're worth it. 

Sometime soon, there'll be an app for things like this, to help you find activities of interest when and where you need them.  Promise...working on it, accepting support
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Happy weekend, everyone

#Digital Financial Services in Nigeria: The Start of a Movement

Access to financial services is a critical factor in the transition in and out of poverty—and while we have made significant progress in driving financial inclusion around the world, two billion remain unbanked globally. In Nigeria, 4 out of every 10 adult Nigerians are financially excluded—and there is still much work to be done to reach the national goal of financially serving 80% of Nigerians by 2020.

On January 21, 2016, Lagos Business School (LBS) launched a new research project titled “Sustainable business models for delivering digital financial services to lower income unbanked citizens of Nigeria.” In conjunction with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the project seeks to better understand the delivery and access constraints, and the barriers to developing viable business models that will drive financial inclusion for all Nigerians.

Here are key takeaways to remember from this project:
  • Poverty is not a static condition. Millions of Nigerians transition in and out of poverty each year, but access to digital financial services, like a mobile wallet or digital bank account, can help people pull themselves out of poverty for good. Let’s expand #FinancialInclusion in #Nigeria. We can build a more inclusive, vibrant economy for all!
  • Fact: it’s expensive to be poor. But with digital banking, the poor can better manage resources and save for the future. Be a part of building an economy that includes and benefits everyone. Lack of access to #FinancialServices can make being poor even more challenging. Going #digital could help change this in #Nigeria. #DigitalFinancialServices can help reduce those costs & allow Nigerians to save for the future.
  • Financial exclusion remains prevalent in Nigeria.  Lagos Business School is working to understand how we can build an effective digital financial system that is practical and appealing for everyone—no matter where they are. Access to #FinancialServices can help alleviate the stresses of poverty. Help Nigerians help themselves #Nigeria
  • By 2020, Nigeria aims to have 80% of its population financially served. We’re at 60% today. #DigitalFinancialServices  can help us get there! By understanding the challenges and being creative in finding solutions, we can reach our goal of building a more inclusive economy for all.
  • Innovation is critical to expanding financial inclusion in Nigeria. This year, Lagos Business School students will develop potential business models to help the private sector bring innovative digital financial services to our unbanked poor.  Innovation is the key to greater #FinancialInclusion in #Nigeria. What’s your big idea?

Follow Lagos Business School on Facebook and Twitter for more information about this groundbreaking project.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A practical syllabus

From Coursera

Become a Digital Marketer

Become a Data Scientist

Become a Web Developer

Become a Manager

Become a Mobile Developer

Become a Financial Analyst

Discover hundreds more courses in our catalog.

Previously recommended Financial Markets.   More Coursera we love on UpNaira. 
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