Weekly Theme 22: Thinking about Start-up Capital
As you have now written your Business and Financial Plans, or have nearly finished writing them, you will have considered how to start your school enterprise. This week we will look into how you can raise money to do this. You can also learn more about it in our educational resource Pack 3 – Imagine, Create, Develop. You can find our resources on our website by clicking here.
When you start a school enterprise, you might have a great idea about what to do, but you might think that it is not possible because you do not have enough money. This money is called start-up capital.
There are several solutions this problem!
Solution #1: use your resources. Look around you. Is there anything free you could use to run your school business? Maybe your school has a farm which you could sell produce from. Do you have any skills that people need? Some students are talented at manual work such as carpentry and you could make furniture to sell. Why not pass on your wisdom to the next generation by offering paid tutoring to younger students?
Solution #2: reuse, recycle, resell! Just because you don’t have enough resources to run a long-term business, it might not mean that you don’t have enough resources to raise some money. A good idea is to recycle old resources from the community. For example, the students at Vidyadhiraja High School did not have enough money to start their incense business, so they made and sold pens out of newspaper and ink refills to generate the money they needed. Great idea! Do you have access to anything cheap that you can reuse, recycle, and re-sell?
Solution #3: fundraise. Fundraising means raising money for a specific cause. This is done all over the world by people who do something small in order for other people to donate some money to their chosen cause. You might have noticed too that it includes the word FUN at the beginning!
There are many things you can do to fundraise for start-up capital:
- Hold an event, such as a welcome day. You can do fun activities such as sell food and drinks, play games to win small prizes, play music or put on a play for an audience.
- Get sponsored. A way to persuade people to donate money is to do something challenging. Examples of this could be to run a certain distance or learn how to spell new words. It could also be funny too, such as not talking for 24 hours!
- Fundraising is also a great way to market your business, because when people donate money they will be interested in what you are doing.
Solution #4: loans or investments. You could ask local businesses or parents to contribute a small amount to your business. This means that when you generate profits, you will pay back the loan you have borrowed. If they have given an investment, you would have to give them a share of your profits, which you should agree on before they make the investment.
Solution #5: make deals. Even if you have enough start-up capital, it is always wise to try and save money wherever you can. If you need to purchase goods, try and form a deal between the school and the seller. If you tell them that you are trying to start a school business in order to try and win a worldwide competition, and so that you can learn about business and generate money for your education, people may want to help you by giving you discounts. It also is a chance for you to learn about forming relationships with important contacts.
You could also offer to print their logo on your promotional material or products as a sponsor of your business. Many businesses like this because it gives them free marketing and they become known for being associated with a worthy cause. An example could be to offer a printing company a chance to print their logo on your posters, leaflets, and product labels if they are willing to give you a large discount on your printing costs.
We hope that this has given you some ideas about how you can start your school business without spending too much money. Do you have any ideas about how to do this that we have missed out? We would love to know what they are, share them by commenting below!
School Enterprise Challenge blogger, Lily.