We currently live in a world led by communication and new technologies that are being developed at a dazzling rate. Mobile applications, which emerged in the 1990s, have become an unavoidable global phenomenon. These even compete with websites and attract millions of users. Each year, companies who want to access this market delve into marketing strategies that focus primarily on apps. So, what makes apps so appealing and what can they bring to your business?

Mobile apps: a way to improve your brand

The way your customers view your company matters. By getting an app for your business, you will develop a modern and innovative corporate image. This will help in the branding process and will later appeal to the majority of global consumers. You will also specifically respond to the needs and desires of consumers in terms of communication, modernization and accessibility.

A way to retain and acquire new customers

Speaking of accessibility, apps allow you to remain closer to your customers. They provide your clients with an easy and fast way of contacting your company. Unlike a website or a phone number, the application is always within their reach on their phones. This will also reduce chances of your customers going to competitors. Mobile apps increase your company’s credibility through reviews and comments, which will attract potential clients.

Enhanced communication with your regular customers

Access to mobile apps is easy. You can download an app within seconds and use it at home, at work or while on the move. In addition to being accessible, they allow you to communicate with your clients in a way that websites do not. Notifications, for instance, are incredibly useful to remind your customers about events and sales. They appear directly on your clients’ smartphones and make for great advertising.

Mobile apps increase productivity

Apps are also popular among entrepreneurs for management purposes. They help to optimise sales, increase communication among employees and improve productivity. Aside from an app for your business, you can consider creating one to manage and relay information. From booking to accessing product information, everything is more readily available to your staff. Your customers may also find apps easier to navigate, thus reducing the risk of dissatisfaction.

Intelligent apps to offer better services

Why carry out surveys among your customers when your app can do it for you? Intelligent apps are very useful to collect and analyse information. This includes:

  • the number of times the application is used
  • the frequency of use of certain features
  • the location of your clients
  • the products they prefer

The list goes on. Apps allow you to understand your customers, their tastes and their needs better to offer a customised service. In addition, mobile apps have perfect synchronization with social networks. This enables consumers to share content from the app directly on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. By doing so, they are providing free advertising for your company, leading to increased sales and popularity.

In short, it does not matter whether you are a large company or a local business. Acquiring a mobile application will allow you to meet the expectations of the current market. Decide on the services that you wish to offer via the app and encourage its use among your clients. The results are bound to be positive.

Behind every successful enterprise lies a controlled communication strategy. It is essential to integrate this type of strategy into most of your processes. This applies when exchanging with current customers, potential customers, service providers or your employees. Why such a focus on communication? That is because without consistent communication, you will not be able to build the trust of your audience. It will then be difficult to drive commitment and make your business profitable.

How to effectively communicate with the parties involved in your activity? This article provides answers to this question.

Communicating with potential customers

You must be particularly careful when exchanging with potential parties. Below are some rules to build their trust and turn them into clients:

  • Consumers want solutions. No matter what product you launch, highlight its ability to solve a problem or meet a specific need.
  • Focus most of your content on the value that your product or service can bring to consumers.
  • Be creative in your communication. Think about entertaining or inspiring your audience while conveying your idea. Clients will easily remember this type of message and will automatically think of your product when there is a need. Consider using online tools to create excellent visuals or videos. If necessary, you can also employ a graphic designer.
  • Experiment by interacting with the public through questionnaires, surveys and an active presence on social networks.

Communication with customers

Acquiring new clients is much more difficult than keeping the ones you already have. To sustain your business, take care of consumers who already trust you. Here are some tips to help you communicate with them and strengthen their loyalty:

  • Always thank a customer who buys your products by sending a personalized message. You can easily automate this practice if you sell your products or services online.
  • Ask customers to return after using your products and services. Also, consider getting their feedback regarding customer experience. Example of questions are: How did they choose your service? Did they find it easy or complicated to order on your site or to contact you?
  • Set up an irreproachable customer service. Returns, reimbursements and transactions must be smooth and quick.
  • Add a live chat on your website to facilitate communication with customers.
  • Recruit and train customer relationship agents with care; they represent your brand.
  • Ask your customers to produce content (testimonials or recommendations in video or image or text format) on your various platforms. They find enjoyment in doing so and you can easily share high quality content!

 

Communicating with your team

Be it your in-house staff or your service providers, you must always motivate your team. If the people who work with you are satisfied with their objectives, they will become your best ambassadors.

  • Your team needs to know your short and long-term goals. It is important for them to know where you’re going and what you want from them.
  • Get reports from your team members on a daily basis. This can be done either through face-to-face meetings or via video conference. Always ask what you can do to facilitate their job.
  • Develop personal relationships with your team through your communication. Share your life outside of work and encourage them to share theirs. Such a relationship encourages your staff to take initiatives and dedicate themselves to the company.
  • Involve your team when problems arise or decisions need to be made. Ask for their comments and ideas, even if you don’t use them in the end.
  • Openly congratulate and reward team members. Praising a team member in front of his peers is the best way to boost him for the future.

Take care of your communication with all the parties in your company. From customers to suppliers, colleagues and potential customers, all require special attention.

With the myriad of existing means of communication, you can make your business thrive and grow.

Communication between the members of your team is crucial to make your company achieve its objectives. Difficult communication wastes time, creates distrust and becomes a source of stress for your employees. These are the ideal factors for mediocre results. However, there are several measures that you can take to make your employees work better together. Here are 5 tips to promote harmonious collaboration between colleagues:

 

1. Promote human contact

Considering the variety of internal communication tools that companies employ, human contact is often deemed negligible. Some of your staff would rather send an email than walk to a colleague to talk over an issue.

Try to encourage your employees to get together for coffee. They might also benefit from a small informal meeting in the morning to get the day going. These will allow for a lot more productive discussion than a series of virtual messages would. Moreover, meeting face-to-face strengthens the bond within your team.

 

2. Correction: ‘reasonable’ human contact

While face-to-face communication has many benefits, it can also have some negative effects. For instance, walking up to someone to ask them about various small matters can become quite overbearing.

Before interrupting a colleague, it is important to look for signs of his/her availability. One of these might be to check whether the door to his/her office is open or closed. Another sign that someone is focused on their work would be when they are listening to music via headphones. In case the person is unavailable, it might be best to come back at a later time or to send an email.

 

3. Organise meaningful meetings

Spending time together brings team members closer and helps to identify common interests. In meetings, employees get to know each other and communicate properly. While these will not make all of the colleagues friends, they are an opportunity to understand everyone’s motivation. This will in turn also work towards making communication much easier. Also, if face-to-face meetings are not possible, video conferences are still a viable option.

 

4. Hang out with colleagues

If you want to create bonds between your team members and improve communication, consider bringing them together for fun activities. Arrange lunches together or go for drinks after work. Team building events or simply relaxing days out can also be helpful.

These moments bring your employees closer to each other and definitely end up having a positive impact on their teamwork.

 

5. Encourage respect and honesty

Improving communication requires commitment from the whole team. In order to achieve this, you should establish a corporate culture that promotes respect and honesty.

When there is an issue, your employees should be able to express themselves as much as they should be listened to. If you send an email or use any other technological means of communication, take the time to reread your messages to check the tone. Thoughts may manifest differently in text than in real life.

 

With seamless, respectful and effective communication, your team will become more productive. It will be easier for your employees to work together towards a greater goal: the success of your business!

Be they comedians, YouTubers, models or even bloggers, they are more importantly the new faces of Mauritius’ influencer marketing sector. For example, Vincent Duvergé and his friends can be seen at Chantecler, while Neeshi Beeharry is the brand new endorser for Patel Optics. Influencer: is it a promising job?

From YouTuber to influencer

Probably one of the most recognisable faces across the Mauritian Web, Vincent Duvergé, under 25 years of age, is already a major influencer. The young YouTuber quickly seduced his audience thanks to his parodies and mimics on the video platform. Today, brands contact him to promote their products. Making use of a familiar face that Mauritians already appreciate seems to be a winning formula for many companies.

What is influencer marketing?

Companies are increasingly using social media to get closer to their customers and gain greater visibility. Influencer marketing thus refers to the use of the popularity of influencers to promote products and services. This method is gaining in importance in Mauritius and throughout the world. Considering that 70% of millennials rely on the recommendations of influencers before making a purchase, there is no longer even a trace of doubt. The vast majority of young adults seek inspiration from influencers, and brands are not about to let this opportunity slide.

Driving trends and promoting sales

These social network “people” already have a substantial number of followers. This popularity enables them to influence a lot of users. This can be achieved through product testing or by becoming a brand ambassador. One such example is Laetitia Darche Sauzier, Miss Mauritius 2010, who is now an ambassador for Huawei in Mauritius. However, popularity alone is not enough to influence consumers’ purchasing decisions. These influencers must also act as true professionals.

What type of future awaits influencers in Mauritius?

Few Mauritian influencers can currently make a living out of this “profession”. However, the companies or agencies with which they collaborate regularly send them gifts and products to test. Depending on their popularity, they can be contacted by several brands. Joel Capillaire, who has more than 9,000 followers on his Instagram account, is hired by three brands. He even happened to go to Malaysia and Singapore to take pictures for a travel agency. However, income is not stable and until this concept grows in Mauritius, most of the influencers have another simultaneous occupation.

Influencer marketing on a worldwide scale

Nevertheless, at international level, a large number of influencers manage to succeed. Swedish blogger Lina Lindholm covers 100% of her life costs through the means of her Instagram account, which currently has more than 100,000 followers. The same applies to female YouTuber Lilly Singh, aka IISuperwomanII, who now has 14 million subscribers to her channel and no less than 2.5 billion views on her videos. A true success story for the 30-year-old, and certainly a glimmer of hope for our talented young Mauritians!

Every year, thousands of start-ups are born and you might be one of them. While you may have found the right way to develop your business, you still have to work on gathering an audience.

Good communication is the key to promoting your start-up, but this year calls for new ways to attract attention. Strategies such as web advertising, telephone marketing and the creation of a website are simply not enough anymore.

Following the shift in trends, new marketing strategies have been developed. Here are some of them:

 

Develop a content marketing strategy

Content marketing is one of the first solutions you can turn to. Apart from being extremely affordable, its benefits are also more effective.

You can create any kind of content to attract the attention of your audience. From blog articles to infographics, including videos, podcasts, guides and white papers… you have a wide choice! Having various types of content will increase the chances of them being shared on social networks and going viral.

You can go even further by transforming one type of content into another. For instance, a video can be created from various blog posts. This will allow you to capture the attention of a larger audience around the same topic.

However, any content marketing strategy that you decide to implement should go through SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

Being careful about SEO will be essential to boost your visibility on search engines. To ensure that your content is optimised, you should firstly try to learn more about SEO on the internet. You can also turn to SEO professionals.

After creating your content and optimising it for search engines, you will have to promote it. You can do so via your site, in newsletters or on social networks.

A content marketing strategy should allow you:

  • To make your mark within your industry
  • To be credible in the eyes of netizens
  • To educate your audience about your products or services
  • To Improve your SEO and bring traffic to your site

Some tips

Make sure you know your target before you start creating content. Afterwards, you should regularly measure the performance of your strategy so as to improve it.

Creating webinars

Videos are currently a very popular format. They can be used to create an enormous variety of content: interviews, testimonials, presentations for your company, and many more. So why not webinars?

You can easily introduce your company to the world via Facebook Live or on YouTube. Videos also allow you to promote your product(s) or service(s) by stating its/their characteristics and benefits.

Some tips

Promote your webinar a few days or even a few weeks before actually posting for more viewership.

As for the presentation, it’s always a good idea to favour an enthusiastic tone. Netizens usually pay more attention to dynamic presentations.

 

Partnerships with influencers

Influence marketing is ‘the’ strategy which works for adverting.

While it may not be as strongly present on the Mauritian advertising scene as it is abroad, influence marketing is a very promising strategy. For this strategy to be effective, choose web stars who communicate to a target audience similar to yours. This will allow them to effectively promote your products to a wider audience.

 

As seen above, 2019 is not the year for widely spread marketing systems that are slow-rising. Instead, it calls for innovation and favours those who are strategically creative. So do not hesitate to try new ways to promote your start-up; it will need the boost.

 

Turbine is happy to see women taking the lead in businesses. We have with us Valerie Imbert, a woman entrepreneur who proves that entrepreneurship is genderless. Valerie is an ROI marketing strategies expert with the skills of deriving and fully implement budgeted marketing and communication action plans. She is also the managing director of Europestone Management, a company offering creative brand strategy, targeted public relation and marketing structure.

Valerie shares with Turbine her experiences as an entrepreneur, a woman and a mother.

A woman entrepreneur’s journey

Hello Valerie. 

  1.  Tell us why you have chosen to become an entrepreneur.

I am a person who is very project-base. I like to do things differently, be challenged and meet new individuals. I chose to be an entrepreneur 2 years ago because the previous business model of being a manager or director in an organisation was no more convenient to me. I have 3 years cycle in different companies and then i was always bored by my job. I decided to change business model – big jump for someone like me who was quite afraid of various insecurities and who was a very corporate person. To be honest, I am very happy of this move!!!

  1. Describe one day of your entrepreneurial life. 

My morning routine is as follows; I wake up at 6 am, drop my son to school at 8 am, go to the gym up to 9 am. At 9:30 – 10 am, I start working. I have a lot of meetings with clients, spend a lot of time on the phone negotiating and juggling between clients of completely different fields, and/or do marketing/administrative work on my laptop. I usually either have a rapid lunch or a business networking lunch. I finish working around 4:30-5pm so as to be home for my 8 years old son homework. 6 pm is the start of play time with my 2 years old daughter up to 8 pm when both of them go to bed. Sometimes, I need to work 2 or 3h more after dinner but most of the time, i spend my evening with my husband, chilling out.  

  1. Is it convenient to be both an entrepreneur and a mother? 

200% convenient. All mothers should be entrepreneur ! lol. Even if you need to have this state of mind but being an entrepreneur allows me to have flexible time and when you are a mother, you need to be able to master your time. Being an entrepreneur allows me to go and fetch my son after school and have an ice cream with him or a half day fun, and then work after dinner to catch up. I can handle all the tasks of the house, do the shopping, have personal time for my sport or wellness. i would never be able to do all this if I was an executive working 7 am-8 pm. I feel that every single hour of my day is optimized and I can fully benefit from both my work and family.  

  1. Will you encourage other women to start their business? 

A big YES for all the above reasons. and also because i think that women are very organised and skilled to be entrepreneurs. Many women lack confidence in themselves unfortunately. Mauritius is still a very ‘macho’ society where we need to stuggle. I now have the choice to work with whom i want: that’s a real freedom.     

  1. What does Turbine’s co-working bring to you and your business?

Turbine has been very interesting for me. At first I was working from home and this was not so convenient with the kids. Turbine has allowed me to really separate my private life from the professional one. When i host my clients at Turbine, it is more serious and convenient than at home.

The nature of my activities allows me to be able to work in an open space – we don’t need archives, we do not have confidential documents, everything is dematerialized. Having a staff also, i wanted her to have a social life and colleagues in a good atmosphere. I chose Turbine also initially because it was 2-5 mins from my home – school – gym and supermarket. This village-lifestyle created by ENL is fabulous in moka.  

Also, Turbine co-working has allowed me to have 2 new clients!

  1. How did you and your employees feel working from Turbine?

Turbine has a very nice atmosphere. We are leaving because my family is moving to the north of the island but I do not think that I will find a better place – which is also very good value of money. I would highly recommend Turbine, i currently recommend and will continue to do so. 

Thank you Valerie! We wish you all the very best in your endeavors and keep inspiring others in your journey!

Turbine has the pleasure to receive 20 years old Matina Razafimahefa, CEO and founder of award winning best social enterprise of Madagascar, SAYNA. The competition was organized by “l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie” in March 2018 and a Madagascar incubator, Incubons.

Matina is spending one week at Turbine as part of her prize, the aim being for her to know better the entrepreneurial ecosystem, meet key people and make partnerships.

We bring you her exclusive interview with Turbine!

1. Hey Matina, tell us about you and what best describes you.

I am a young Malagasy woman, student in sciences politics at Sorbonne and a social entrepreneur! If I have to choose 3 words to describe me, I would say : fearless, crazy and adventurous ! I love having new challenges, being out of my comfort zone and I am not afraid of the unknown.  I am passionate about meeting new people and knowing their story so that i can help them or learn from them.

2. Tell us about your start-up, SAYNA.

SAYNA means intelligence. I launched SAYNA in November 2017. However, SAYNA has been on my mind since 2013  when I discovered the educational system of France, which compared to Madagascar, is free and of great quality. Back then, I thought that being a woman and that too so young, I cannot do this project. I changed my mind last year when i met Emma Rosman who built the Welcome app which helps immigrants to find jobs, friends and family in Sweden, who also happens to be young and a woman. Inspired, I decided to go for my dreams and launch SAYNA. I am so happy I did. Sometimes, just a single step and a little encouragement lead you to dare and break barriers.

SAYNA help young people rise out of poverty by training them to be a web developer. We have 12 students finishing their 4 months intense training this week. They will each be joining a company, notably Acces Bank, La Star, Axian, P4H among others.  We have 12 more trainees joining us as from Monday 18th June, pre-selected by the companies who will be recruiting them. The company pays for their training,  which is 800 Euro per student, the most affordable code training in Madagascar.
SAYNA has educational partners such as the Hacking Project and hopefully very soon Simplon, who train the students at our premises in Madagascar.

SAYNA exists because I want be part of that generation that will make this world a better place and provide better quality education.

3. Tell us about the competition you won.

I am here in Mauritius and  at Turbine because SAYNA won the competition of the best social company of Madagascar 2018 awarded by the « International organization of Francophonie» and « Incubons » a local incubator in Madagascar. Out of 30 projects, only 10 reached the final destination; the pitch. SAYNA came out as a star project. Check out the sneak peak of the award night here.

4. What brings you to Mauritius?

The prize was a business trip in Mauritius with Turbine so that I will be able to meet new clients, build new partnership and help create a good atmosphere of collaboration in our beautiful region, the Indian Ocean!

The things that I want to achieve here is simple : have new clients and partners  & give the opportunity to the Mauritian firms to have a huge social impact beyond their borders by working with our students !

How is your journey in Mauritius so far?

It is totally crazy. I am meeting interesting people, potential big clients and partners. Turbine is really an incubator with a vast network. They planned all my visits, gave me contacts, invited me to their events and even gave me a Mauritian welcome lunch!

Turbine is really such a beautiful place, the atmosphere is so fun yet productive. People here are so helpful, constructive and amazing.  One week here is too little. I am coming back for sure!

What is your vision of SAYNA?

I want to see SAYNA grow and have 10,000 digital workers all around the world in the next 6 years.

A tip?

Yes! Imagine what you would do if you get an unlimited credit card? And when you know what you would do, set your goals, plan, find the ways to achieve your goals and just go for it!

Diane Maigrot, a serial entrepreneur in Mauritius, has launched many businesses starting right after her BTS Graduation.

Diane joined Turbine as a start-up coach since May 2017 and worked exclusively with our first two start-ups Mauritius Conscious and DodoWorkPlay. Diane now work full-time at Turbine and coaches many start-ups in various fields. She shares with us her  entrepreneurial journey and experience of being a coach for start-ups.

Diane, tell us about your entrepreneurial journey?

I started my first company at the age of 22. Young and motivated, I took up the challenge and started from scratch, experiencing the ups and downs, the do’s and don’ts, the must and must not that make up an entrepreneur’s journey. Today,  I can proudly say that I know all the steps that an entrepreneur has to go through in order to successfully launch his or her business. I ran Tibo & Zia for 16 years, a company that I nurtured as a baby. It has really been one of the best experiences of my life. I rebounded from kids clothing to car washing by creating Ecowash in December 2015. Changing and starting again from scratch was a huge challenge; learn a new industry with all its specificity was hectic. What kept me going forward was my contribution to the local economy by creating jobs and providing a green solution.

Based on your experience, what is the most common issue that start-ups face?

The most pertinent issue I identify in startups is “money”, may it be a shortage or a mismanagement. We (I mean myself and other entrepreneurs) often struggle to find investment and people who believe in our entrepreneurial capabilities. And we often underestimate financial needs for the starting phase and the low income period.

Why choose to work at Turbine? 

When I saw Turbine job advert in the newspaper on a Sunday, I knew it was not a coincidence. Sometimes you just need to acknowledge that things happen for a reason. I drafted my CV for the 1st time at the age of 38, the rest is history.

Working at Turbine gives me the chance to collaborate in the creation of an ecosystem which helps, supports and empowers entrepreneurs. I want to give what I did not receive in my entrepreneurial journey; we often feel lonely and we stress about taking all the decisions alone without having access to crucial information. Having someone to share and discuss with is essential to keep being boosted and carry on our mission with full confidence.

How is Turbine best suited to help start-ups?

If you are a start-up, Turbine is the place to be: we are here to support your business, celebrate your progress, advise you on different options, discuss with you on the pros and cons, help you prioritize your work and keep in mind your objectives.

What I like the most about Turbine support is that entrepreneurs remain in the driving seat: they still experience what it is to be an entrepreneur and keep the control of their respective start-up. We, at Turbine really just act as a vigilant, seating next to the entrepreneurs, looking out for and analyzing with them the potential dangers and foreseeing possible opportunities. By the way, Turbine start-ups really appreciate this decision making freedom too!

What would be the benefits of being a Turbine incubated start-up?

Being a Turbine incubated start-up is really an advantage: if you have an innovative idea, you can start for free in a very dynamic co-working space full of  people in diverse fields. Hence, you enrich your network. You would soon realize you are not the only one facing entrepreneurial challenges; it will give you courage and eventually boost you to work harder. Turbine helps entrepreneurs in forging an unbreakable spirit to keep going and be productive.

Apart from an inspiring place to work, incubated start-ups have a dedicated business coach each who follows business progress, helps in identifying the best options, gives proven tools and many more. Turbine incubated start-ups get free access to tailor-made entrepreneurial workshops done by top experts of Mauritius. I have seen many start-uppers increasing their knowledge on essential start-up topics. Moreover, Turbine helps innovative businesses to test their market and product within Turbine and ENL vast network which is very valuable to get genuine feedback. And this may further lead to business opportunities.

What would be the advice and tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?

If I had tips to give, it would be: Start! Don’t be afraid. It is a life experience, with ups and downs but for people having entrepreneurial mindset, it is essential as it makes us feel alive. Another advise would be, and here quoting the man I look up to: You never fail, you either win or you learn ~ Nelson Mandela.

 

DodoWorkPlay is one of Turbine’s first incubated start-up. We both started our respective journey in developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem nearly together. We are happy to see how they have grown in the past year. Below we bring you an exclusive interview of Joe and Coralie, the founders of DodoWorkPlay.

Tell us about DodoWorkPlay?

DodoWorkPlay is a training company that delivers growth-oriented learning experiences to develop soft skills and entrepreneurial behavior.

Before moving to Mauritius we both worked as business consultants in London in the IT transformation and TV advertising industries respectively.

That’s when we realized that the world of work was undergoing exciting changes, like the shift from top-down execution-focused organisations towards more flexible, agile and entrepreneurial organisations. With the rise of automation and technology, people are adopting a more creative role and given the agency to identify, develop and contribute their talents where these are most needed. We wanted to be part of that change here in Mauritius where Coralie’s family is from.

Why choose to launch this start-up?

There is a real and urgent need for companies to empower their people to go beyond competence and compliance in areas like customer service. Why? As the global market becomes more demanding, delivering exceptional experiences is crucial. Most importantly, millennials are coming into organisations with a new mindset and approach to work – they want to have impact, they want to be valued and they want freedom and resources to grow. Companies who have understood this benefit from unleashed potential in the long term, and can better retain their talents.

Our objective is to help companies’ develop the soft-skills and entrepreneurial skills they need to thrive. By entrepreneurial in this context we mean:

  • The ability to identify problems and propose effective solutions
  • Awareness of the big picture, for example the market landscape in which they are operating
  • Understanding where they fit into the business model and vision of the organisation.

In this way, we help employees reach their highest potential through a growth mindset.

How it started?

DodoWorkPlay started out quite differently. We had wanted to promote entrepreneurship in Mauritius by creating a hub that would attract entrepreneurs and location-independent intrapreneurs from all over the world. Whilst engaging with and promoting the local entrepreneurial community we realized there is a strong appetite for entrepreneurial and soft-skills training, from both employees and employers alike. We tested the market out with interactive, practical workshops and from participants’ feedback we discovered that our format—based on deep collaboration, games and practical activities—was not only having impact but it could be adapted to a broader picture of entrepreneurial skills, and in particular those sought after by companies here.

Why the name DodoWorkPlay?

DodoWorkPlay is the combination of three elements: the dodo symbol of Mauritius, which we chose with the aim to export our services, and work and play which is what we do during our training sessions.

Tell us about your achievements so far.

One of our biggest achievements to date is to have gained the trust of our clients and been able to truly collaborate with them to tackle their needs—we love what we do because we have the good fortune to work with employers and managers who have a strong vision and who care deeply about their teams’ happiness and growth.

Our biggest gratification comes from the small moments during training sessions when we see a change in action. For example someone who suddenly realizes how much value they are bringing or are capable of bringing to others. Perhaps someone is motivated to break silos to improve the organisations’ service levels, or the director conveys their pride of having—and being part of—a team in all the meanings of the word. That’s what motivates us every day.

What are your biggest challenges?

Our biggest challenge is that we’re new in the market. This means we have to make extra effort to prove ourselves and that every obstacle and challenge we face is new to us. For example, to begin with we were focused so intently on understanding directors’ needs that we didn’t realize the extent to which these might be misaligned with those of their employees. As we build our experience we become better equipped to adapt and fully manage participants’ expectations whilst continuing to achieve directors’ goals.

What are your upcoming goals and milestones?

We’re currently focused on growth, aiming to deliver more training whilst maintaining the quality and creativity that our customers have come to expect. We also want to focus on developing long-term working relationships with our customers by helping them to develop ongoing training. Mindset and behavioral shifts take time to obtain and require continuous attention. Mostly they must be embedded within the company’s culture—that’s what we’re working on right now.

Companies don’t operate in a vacuum and we’re committed to advancing the entrepreneurial behaviour of not only our customers but also of the wider community. To this end, we’re building a network of growth-minded entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, for example with our monthly Entrepreneurs’ Brunch—a casual and interactive networking event where current and future entrepreneurs are invited to learn from each other, hear from and engage with a guest speaker and share a meal together. You can find out the next events on our Facebook page or our website.

Tell us about your experience with Turbine.

Turbine provided great coaching which helped us identify what we, as individuals, were good at and motivated by. Knowing and aligning with one’s strengths is critical for any entrepreneur and we realised we were not leveraging ours enough. By challenging us and asking us the right questions, our coach Diane encouraged us to build and test our first workshops, which unlocked all sorts of possibilities for us.

Had we joined the Turbine later we would have benefited from a more developed incubation programme which now includes expert sessions on topics such as sales and marketing, as well as more public exposure and networking. We were one of the first incubatees and as is the case for any early customer, we helped Turbine fine-tune their offer.

What are your future plans.

  • Our next brunch is coming up on 26th May at Farmcity (see our Facebook page for details)
  • We’ve refreshed our website to better explain our training services
  • We will soon launch a series of blog posts on LinkedIn to bring our learnings and insights to help directors and senior managers improve their training programmes.

                                          

FundKiss is one among the first start-ups that has been incubated by Turbine.

After months of research, preparation and hard work, Paul Perrier, Ludovic Rajibe and Alexandre Béchard, the co-founders of Fundkiss, are now ready! They launched Fundkiss in the Mauritian market last month, making it available for all SMEs seeking financial help and investors willing to help local entrepreneurs.

Below is their exclusive interview with Turbine.

What are the main reasons for founding FundKiss?

While observing the financial ecosystem in Mauritius, we, the cofounders of FundKiss, identified the need of a more streamlined approach to raising capital for small and medium enterprises(SMEs). Leveraging on our collective experience in finance which was acquired both locally and internationally, we joined forces to launch FundKiss. FundKiss operates the island’s first licensed crowdlending platform that allows anyone to lend money directly to an SME. This innovative solution is known as crowdlending.

FundKiss leverages on the power of its community (the crowd of lenders) to support SMEs with an alternative fast financing solution. Also, lenders can invest in local companies, thereby enjoying solid returns while supporting the local real economy. FundKiss empowers people who want to make an impact locally and support Mauritian SMEs.

Who can use this platform and its services?

Our platform plays a dual role, both for borrowers and for lenders.
As borrowers, SMEs and entrepreneurs are able to present their creative ideas to scale up their business to FundKiss and have the opportunity to feature it on the platform to raise funds and achieve their goals.

As lenders, corporations and individuals have the unique opportunity to invest in great SMEs’ projects and achieve solid returns.

For example, since we launched FundKiss, we have received numerous requests from a variety of small and medium businesses in Mauritius. All eager to find an alternative solution to finance their projects.

Potential lenders and borrowers are welcome to:
 register on the platform at www.fundkiss.mu
 send us an email on contact@fundkiss.mu
 comment on our Facebook page

Why launching FundKiss now? Why is it the right time to launch this platform?

The business ecosystem of our country is changing rapidly and so are the needs of Mauritian businesses. We believe that FundKiss comes at the right time by offering an innovative financial solution to our business community that is not only in line with international trends but also with the mentality of our entrepreneurs.

Why the name FundKiss?

The name “Fundkiss” is made up of the word ”Fund” and the acronym “Kiss”.

The company provides a platform where SMEs can raise funds to finance their projects and lenders can invest their funds in interesting projects. Like our platform, the word “fund” connects the borrowers to the lenders

As we pledge to ensure transparency, rapidity and simplicity, we incorporate our promise directly into our company name and use the acronym “Kiss” for Keep It Smart & Simple,

This is how the word ‘FundKiss’ came to life.