Starting a business is not an easy task and finding investors to support your new venture is even harder. Capital and financial leverage are definitely needed when starting your own company but how can you raise money in Mauritius? Where can you find potential investors? Are they reliable? How to pitch them and convince them to fund your business idea? Stress no more. Here are our top 7 ways of finding trustworthy investors in Mauritius.
1. Look into your inner circle, including friends and families
Sometimes, the answers to your questions are just in front of you! There certainly are true believers of your idea/concept in your entourage. Do not hesitate to ask them if they know someone who would be willing to invest in your business or if they would like to, themselves. In fact, this could be the easiest and most cost-effective way of finding investors. Although mixing personal relationships with business matters can sometimes lead to frustration or stress, it can also be a wonderful way to bond, participate in a common project and grow together.
2. Applying for SME loans and schemes
As a small business, you can request access to grant opportunities through the Development Bank of Mauritius, for example, which offers SME loans without interest and other loans with interest rates as low as 0.5% p.a. with no guarantee* (terms and conditions apply). You can also request assistance from local banks such as the Mauritius Commercial Bank, the State Bank of Mauritius, ABSA Bank and BCP Bank among others which have interesting SME schemes and loans to help young entrepreneurs, just like you, to start and sustain their businesses right from the beginning. The tricky part here is that you will definitely have to take risks, be in debt and you must generate enough income to repay the monthly instalments.
3. Incubators and Accelerators Programmes in Mauritius
A unique opportunity to find trustworthy and high-calibre investors would be to enrol in an Incubator or Accelerator programme. Not only will you be able to pitch your business idea to angels and seasoned investors, but you will also receive mentorship, access to workshops with top leaders and experts in your industry and networking opportunities with established entrepreneurs in Mauritius. Turbine is your go-to address for these types of programmes. Several start-up owners have seen their small businesses thrive within their first year of operation with our support and have been able to raise funds of up to Rs 1 million, whether through Compass Venture Capital or through budgets that can cover the costs of experts’ advice and mentoring for marketing, communication and lead conversion strategies.
4. Try to raise funds through an online platform (Crowdfunding, Crowdlending, Peer-to-Peer solutions)
Another smart way to raise funds for your start-up or small business would be to seek the help of crowdfunding platforms in Mauritius. According to Republic.co, “crowdfunding is a way to raise money from a large number of people. Large groups of people pool together small individual investments to provide the capital needed to get a company or project off the ground. Individuals, charities or companies can create a campaign for specific causes and anyone can contribute,” (Shrina Kurani, 2021). Through this method, you can raise money from local people who believe in your business idea and pay them back in different ways; either through interests or shares in your company.
You can contact Fundkiss, a digital lending platform, also known as crowdlending (hyperlink to https://join.fundkiss.mu), which has lent nearly Rs 100 million rupees to local businesses. We have seen the rise of such platforms in Mauritius for the past few years and have been able to accompany Fundkiss, as well as a new platform through our Incubation Programme. Mettenkoste’s innovative business model has enabled individuals to financially contribute to several projects, either personal or business-related.
5. Network and meet established entrepreneurs
One very important aspect of entrepreneurship is networking. Attending events that host local and international business owners can be a superb opportunity to pitch your business’ products or services to potential investors. At Turbine, we regularly organise free networking events such as ASPIRELearn and INSPIREtalk where local entrepreneurs including those who have successfully participated in our incubator and accelerator programmes can share their own journey and experiences with the audience. Bring in your business cards and share your business goals with the professionals attending our events. At the very least, you will be able to get advice, gain exposure and make meaningful connections that will benefit you in the future.
6. Angel Investment
Another way to raise capital for your small business in Mauritius would be to identify angel investment organisations looking for the next amazing business opportunity! Angel investors tend to invest in newly incorporated companies or those who are at an early stage of development and which are more likely to scale rapidly and yield high returns on investment. The Angel Investors of Mauritius (AIM) funds local projects based on worldwide practices and engage in a thorough process and due diligence to make their final selection. If you are not yet eligible for an SME loan, angel investment can be the way to go to raise capital.
7. Advertise and leverage your image online
Last but not least, as a business owner in 2021, you should never underestimate the power of social media and the benefits of communicating on social channels such as Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. It is all about spreading the word and making the right connections. Get your business out there, market the benefits of using your products and services and create magnetic content around your brand to attract potential investors online. You can also be blunt and post an announcement saying: “Investor Needed” on LinkedIn for example.
Now that you are empowered with 7 proven methods of finding investors, think outside the box and take the challenge. You may also leverage the use of Search Engines (SEO) to be discovered by those who are looking for such projects to invest in. One of the startups that went through incubation with Turbine, Lean Search, operates as a dedicated Search Engine Marketing company and can be helpful in this regard. Use the ideas mentioned in our list as a starting point and assess the best ways for your business to get noticed and access potential and genuine investors that will help your business skyrocket!