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Human productivity is not the same as that of machines. There are certain times at which we are the most efficient and some instances at which we lag in terms of productivity. This is perfectly normal, as the brain needs to rest. However, improving our efficiency is becoming more and more important to maintain increasingly competitive and demanding jobs. To answer to this need, various studies were carried out. These analyse the day of a general working adult to determine the times at which we are the most productive.

The ‘ultradian rhythm’

People function on a 24-hour internal clock. This equates to a whole day in which we sleep, wake up and go through several levels of alertness. The rate at which we transition from high productivity levels to low productivity levels is called the ‘ultradian rhythm’. This rhythm can vary from person to person, but humans generally go through cycles of heightened focus that last around ninety minutes each. These are known as the ‘ultradian cycle’.

They begin with high productivity levels that gradually deplete themselves as the cycle grows to a close. There is a way to find the time at which a specific person’s ultradian cycles begin. For instance, they can monitor their moods and their levels of concentration across several days. By tracking their routines, they will be able to identify their peaks and drops in terms of focus. Following this step, they can use the gathered data to increase their productivity and to take breaks when necessary.

People’s powers of logic and deduction are at their best in the morning

On a more general note, studies have found out than humans are the most efficient in the morning. This is due to several reasons. For instance, research indicates that people experience a 50% spike in their stress hormones within 30 minutes after waking up. This suggests a heightened level of focus and concentration which does not compare to the rest of the day.

Work that requires critical thinking, creative prowess and high mental capacities should therefore be done early. Additionally, mornings are hailed as the best time to exercise as the body builds more muscle at dawn than at dusk. Distractions do not impede on our thought process as much in the early hours of the day as well. This means that we are less likely to lose our focus to social media sites or other hobbies before the afternoon.

Another study shows that humans generally wake up in good moods. This positive attitude tends to get increasingly better as the time passes. Noon is supposedly the time at which people are in the best of moods. However, after this peak, humans start to get tired. Their efficiency begins to drop as the workday drags longer. As such, it is recommended to organise important meetings and to take high stake calls at midday. Success rates are much higher in the mornings or at noon in contrast to later on in the afternoon.

 

It is, however, important to note that humans have individual perks and are not all on the same schedule. Night workers may for instance find themselves to be at their lowest levels of productivity in the mornings. Other such alterations need to be taken into consideration when defining the time at which people are the most efficient. Nonetheless, having a general scheme can still prove to be useful.

Entrepreneur is not an easy career path, even less so in the ever-changing digital age. While there are new opportunities for start-ups each day, few of these last long enough to culminate into a business. This is because there are several factors that, if not addressed, can considerably hamper progress.

An ever-changing environment

For instance, it is well-known that the world is currently changing faster than ever. Information is being passed around in milliseconds and people’s attention does not stick to one thing for a long time. As such, entrepreneurs have to constantly adapt to the ever-changing environment in which their business is being developed. Demands and market specifics can shift at sudden rates, thus requiring entrepreneurs to be increasingly flexible.

Fierce competition

The decrease in new enterprises is also a notable factor. In the 1980s, 15% of the all businesses were start-ups. This percentage has now dropped to 8%. This is due to the sheer amount of competition that entrepreneurs have to deal with. Most of this comes from big companies that are constantly innovating to adapt to changing markets. However, innovation also means that new technology emerges every day. This enables many new businesses to thrive in the digital world.

New opportunities

Looking closer at the digital age itself, various aspects impact on the way in which businesses are being developed. With the rise of the internet, businesses have lots of opportunities for development. Indeed, many entrepreneurs can make use of helpful online platforms to launch and boost their start-up. Social media websites offer highly valued exposure. Many even use the internet as a basis to create their start-up.

For instance, the retail and commerce business has changed so much in the last decades. Online shopping is thriving and payment systems are less and less cash dependant. The internet also gives entrepreneurs access to a more global market.

New challenges

While all of these advantages are very much real, the downsides of the internet are still present. For instance, establishing an online business is considerably expensive. Developing a website can cost a fair bit of money and so do app-designing and digital marketing. E-businesses also have to rely a lot on advertising, which can be quite pricy. They need to reach their target markets, and unlike brick-and-mortar stores, they do not have a noticeable physical presence.

Another threat that entrepreneurs have to deal with in the digital world is hackers, spammers and conmen. As said above, information is being passed around at phenomenal rates. This is because the information is stored on the internet or on a computer. However, these can be easily hacked into by experienced cybercriminals and the data can be damaged, stolen, sold and/or leaked. A start-up dealing with sensitive information has to install counter-hacking solutions or employ tech specialists to prevent data thefts. In turn, these countermeasures can be quite expensive. These web-associated costs and risks can also dissuade entrepreneurs from launching their business or even lead to bankruptcy.

 

While the digital world can foster new ideas for entrepreneurs to open start-ups, it also presents challenges. These can be risky, so business launchers have to be well prepared to face and overcome the obstacles. Still, be it now or twenty years ago, getting started with a business has always been challenging and will no doubt still be in the future. The key is to take advantage of the positive changes introduced by the digital world. By adapting and learning from their mistakes, entrepreneurs will eventually tackle the difficulties presented to them.

An incubator is by definition a growth infrastructure which helps new ventures develop into successful businesses. The process usually involves the provision of physical and communication facilities as well as networking possibilities and education. Via the assistance provided, the start-up will eventually gain access to capital.

Origin

The concept of incubators was born in the United States in the 1950s, but primarily became noticeable in the mid-1990s. Indeed, the dot-com boom resulted in a chain of incubators and 2005 finally saw the creation of Y Combinator. This American organisation is one of the leading incubators around the world. It is at the base of successful companies such as Dropbox, Airbnb, Twitch, Quora and more such enterprises.

Y Combinator is also known as the company which sparked the rise of modern incubators around the world. For instance, there are approximately 7000 incubators worldwide, according to the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA). Amongst these, 1250 can be found in the United States alone, 700 in China, 400 in Brazil and 220 in the United Kingdom. Mauritius also has some incubators, although the numbers are less impressive.

Impact of incubators

All of these incubators are impacting on the worldwide start-up scene and individually changing specific entrepreneurial landscapes. The survival rates for businesses that go through incubators are reportedly around 92%. Their success is attributed to various aspects.

Guidance

While some value the development of business skills, others highlight the networking advantages that come with incubator programs. Start-ups gain both credibility and value when associated with incubators and the latter’s sponsors. Also, they are less likely to scramble with official/legal paperwork with the provided guidance. These contribute to raising a confident batch of start-ups that can tackle markets and challenges with relative ease.

A good work environment

The provision of office equipment and a functioning work space also impacts on the entrepreneurial scene in various ways. Firstly, these give entrepreneurs the necessary tools they need to cultivate their ideas and to network with other start-up owners. The potential for growth is considerably greater in this sense.

The whole ecosystem benefits from incubators

Also, with access to these facilities, entrepreneurs are given a place to start, which boosts their involvement in their project. It is therefore safe to say that incubators promote and actively participate in the growth of entrepreneurship on various levels.

For instance, the start-up ecosystem is seeing changes at both macro and micro levels with the involvement of incubators. The organisations help with the economic growth of a country. They also have a hand in the creation of wealth, jobs and innovation ventures. Additionally, incubators aid in the fostering of an entrepreneurial culture on a local level. They promote research and create opportunities for university students and in certain cases also impact on international trade.

On a more specific note, the changes that incubators are bringing to the entrepreneurial scene in India reflect the local population’s drive in terms of start-up creation. However, while around 5000 businesses are created in the country each year, a lot of these start-ups end up dying due to a lack of support. This can be attributed to the gap between entrepreneurs’ expectations and incubators’ offers.

In any case, Mauritius has a lot to learn from incubator experiences and impacts worldwide. The advantages that these business hubs provide can be very beneficial to the local entrepreneurial scene.

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Nathalie Daruty is a woman entrepreneur in Mauritius promoting medicinal plants. For a long time, Nathalie has been working on starting her enterprise Feuilles et fleurs and wants to take her business to the next level.  Now with all the knowledge, she has acquired from the Turbine Test Drive Program, she has joined the Turbine Incubation program to strengthen her start-up. Nathalie shares her vision and her interesting journey with us.

“I strongly wish to develop an enterprise that becomes the reference in the field of medicinal plants and its application. For that, I have plans to learn about the applications in depth from healers and specialists around the globe and bring this knowledge to our country to benefit our people.”

organic plantatin

Nathalie tending to her plants in her new field of crops

My entrepreneurial journey began when I started my studies on phytotherapy and aromatherapy. I started by testing a few infusions from plants in my garden and shared the products with friends and family: they loved it! Their reaction boosted my motivation and confidence so I kept working harder. I was able to make some money and buy paper bags as packaging.  Then I participating in Christmas markets where I earned enough money to buy a plant dryer. Taking part in these various fairs also allowed me to slowly level up the packaging. Back then, the dryer was in my garage while all the manufacturing was in my dining room. I finally also had to convert a room into a studio for my workshops. Despite having a few regular clients, my business could not flourish due to the limited land and production.

I have thus decided to move to farmland where I will also conduct my workshops.

natural products Foliage is collected in a sustainable and eco-conscious fashion

 

I am often asked:”Why Feuilles et Fleurs?”  One of the reasons is that I have always loved infusions and herbal products. After teaching for many years, I really wanted to do something that I am curious about and create new products that would be beneficial for our planet. That urge of doing something on my own doubled when I realized that I have to change my lifestyle to take care of our well being and go closer to nature.

Another reason would be the lack of good quality natural local herbal products. Most herbal products are imported and may not be of quality. The lack of simplicity in our consumption habits is neither good for our body nor for the planet.

My creations till now involve 12 variety of infusions namely turmeric powder, moringa powder, crude dried plants in bulk, massage balls (siam tampon), fagots of purification with sage.

natural products

Feuilles et Fleurs products in their new packaging

 

These natural products are for people who acknowledge the importance of health, that prevention is better than cure with chemical products, who are also environmentally friendly and want to learn the clean way of doing cultivation.

I am also looking forward to Feuilles et Fleurs conducting a workshop of 4 DIY sessions in collaboration with Wellness and SensiBio where participants will learn how to make their own cosmetic and cleaning products. The sessions are as follows:

5th February 2019: Sun’s cream and repair oil

26th February 2019: laundry, stain remover and dishwashing liquid

19th Mars 2019: deodorant, two kinds of toothpaste and makeup remover

9th April 2019: 3 soaps, powder shampoo + bar shampoo

workshop

The aim of this work is to be ecological, to reduce waste and also economic.

The Turbine Test Drive Programme was really beneficial to Feuilles et Fleurs. It made me realize the importance of structuring my company and gave me a more acute vision of the future.

Up to then, Feuilles et Fleurs was a very small company that I just liked working on, today, I have started taking action to make it a good and profitable business!

I never had any entrepreneurial training. As an incubated start-up at Turbine, I am really looking forward to all the experience and knowledge I will be getting through the coaching and workshops. I believe that it will help me avoid certain mistakes and guide me in making the best future possible for Feuilles et Fleurs. I understand that Turbine has a really good network too, and this will help me.

I am so thankful to Turbine for selecting Feuilles et Fleurs for the incubation program after Test Drive. I am really excited about the upcoming adventure!

Got business queries?

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Entrepreneurship is not an easy road and the more you grow the more challenges you face. From awareness and sustainability of businesses to regulations associated with legality and enforceability, the list of challenges is long.

Entreprenariat: A challenging world!

Given these challenges, it can be hard to get started on your entrepreneurial journey without guidance and assistance. So how does one move forward and get ahead? Where do entrepreneurs get their dose of skill and know-how supplements to turn their startup ideas into reality? Incubators have an answer to the problem.

Whether you are just getting started or are looking to startup, incubators can serve as a great platform to give you that much-needed support and push to build a solid foundation. Many people confuse incubators and accelerators. However, the difference lies in the name. Similar to an incubation chamber, incubators help the seeds of startup ideas germinate and evolve into the beginnings of future organisations.

Start-Up: A Story

As a former startup founder and someone who works with small business owners every day, I know every success story is a huge personal achievement. We need to look at those accomplishments in aggregate, because from an economic perspective, it’s a numbers game: the more businesses that start and ultimately thrive, the stronger our economy.

Young Mauritians are highly entrepreneurial, but they need more help than we’re currently providing, particularly in the technology space. To help pave that proverbial road, governments and the private sector need to continue working together. One way they can do this is by funding incubators, which provide young startup businesses with a variety of services from funding, mentorship and business assistance, to education and training, to rooms to work from – and even sleep in. They’re the one-stop-shop for startups.

Incubators in Mauritius

Incubators have played a critical role in the success of companies across a range of industries. They’ve been pivotal in creating an entrepreneurial culture that has enabled companies to develop. Without support, we risk leaving ideas on a whiteboard, or seeing them find success elsewhere.

Our country is at a crossroads: the “new economy” simply hasn’t generated enough jobs to offset the losses in stagnating traditional industries. This disparity is largely responsible for the explosion in young people seeking their own opportunities. Yes, they are armed with good ideas, but turning them into a reality and creating a viable business around them, is a far greater challenge. That’s where incubators come in.

Nurturing innovation creates jobs, attracts investments, and boosts our small island’s standing on the world stage. We’ve reached a critical moment and we need to keep thinking big.

When: Tuesday 04 December, from 18hr00 to 21hr00

Believe it or not, there is an art to networking, if you are to ensure your ROI.
During this session, we will share tips and ideas on how to get the most benefit from the netWORKing events you attend.
And we will share with you how to build the kind of relationships that lead to quality business referrals and ensure you netWORK rather than sell.
This event is a must for anyone who:
Would like to grow their sales pipelines or feel more comfortable meeting large groups of people.
Entrepreneurs who would like to improve their ratio of turning contacts into referrers.
Business people who would like to get the most benefit from netWORKing.
Or just any curious minds who want to become better networkers are most welcome.

Fees Rs 500/Person
20% Discount for JCI, MBN Members and Turbine’s Community.

Venue: Turbine Business Incubator,
Vivea Business Park,
Moka.

Sure, Silicon Valley may be the first place that comes to mind when you think about startups. If you have entrepreneurial dreams, why not launch your start-up in Mauritius? Mauritius is ranked among the first countries in Africa and surely has a lot to offer to new entrepreneurs.

What is a Start-up?

A startup is a young company that is just beginning to develop. Startups are usually small and initially financed and operated by a handful of founders or one individual. These companies offer a product or service that is not currently being offered elsewhere in the market, or that the founders believe is being offered in an inferior manner.

Start-up VS SME

It’s no surprise that many are confused with start-ups and SMEs. They’re both established by entrepreneurs. They’re small in terms of revenue and number of employees. So, how are they different? Both are pursuing different business models and with significant differences in intent, function and funding options.

A start-up is temporary (usually lasts for 6 months) and it’s all about trial and error. For a start-up, it’s all about experimenting and testing your business model. The entrepreneur is usually uncertain about its target group or they are looking for a proper channel. Then they will start experimenting and searching for answers to the product they are trying to sell, checking out the market’s niche and how to maximize your revenue from the right customers. Finally, they will be able to grow it faster once your business model is settled and stabilized.

An SME is more permanent and it starts out with a structured organisation that focuses on the delivery of value to its already-known customers. An SME does not need to change its business model. Which means, at this stage, an SME is established with a stable and successful business model. SMEs are driven by making a profit and intend to secure a financially sustainable spot in a local market for the long run.

Launch your start-up in Mauritius

Now is an exciting time to witness the making of a startups scene, boosted by the returning Mauritian diaspora and local change-makers. And on a small island, you have the privilege to feel part of something huge! Want to launch a start-up? Why not?

Over the last 18 months, coworking spaces have popped up in each major business hub of the island. If you’re looking for a startup’s hub, The Turbine which a converted sugar factory turbine is the place to go and is the first startups incubator of the island.

Startups fill the void in society and create new ways to provide products and services to consumers. Mauritius being a developed island has still many unknown possibilities for new businesses for some beautiful years ahead.

8 steps to follow to Launch your Start-up in Mauritius:

  1. Conception of project/Business idea
  2. Preparation of business plan
  3. Deciding on form of business
  4. Choosing the right location
  5. Registering the business
  6. Look for funding sources for the project
  7. Implementing the project
  8. Planning and Organising Business Activity

How much does it cost to initiate a start-up?

Many people underestimate startup costs, and start their business in a haphazard, unplanned way. This can work, but it is usually much harder. A start-up might cost nothing but can also cost a lot of money depending on business nature. The 3 main costs incurred by start-ups are as follows:

  • Startup expenses: These are expenses that happen before the beginning of the plan, before the first month. For example, many new companies incur expenses for legal work, logo design, brochures, site selection and improvements, and other expenses.
  • Startup assets: Typical startup assets are cash (in the form of the money in the bank when the company starts), and in many cases starting inventory. Other starting assets are both current and long-term, such as equipment, office furniture, machinery, etc.
  • Startup financing: This includes both capital investment and loans. The only investment amounts or loan amounts that belong in the startup table are those that happen before the beginning of the plan. Whatever happens during or after the first month should go instead into the Cash Flow table, which will automatically adjust the Balance Sheet.

These will vary upon business nature – a simple Marketing Agency might need only some thousands of rupees to start but a small manufacturing agency might need some hundreds of thousands to start.

How can La Turbine help start-ups?

As an incubator, La Turbine help start-ups (businesses with either a tinge of innovation or an innovative concept/idea) to be established sustainably in their respective market. In their incubation program which lasts a year, La Turbine accompanies the entrepreneurs in taking the best decisions to achieve their milestones and objectives.

They are provided with a one to one weekly coaching and access to field experts in La Turbine’s network, potential investors, business angels and in many cases their first clients. A series of tailor-made workshops are designed for them to level up their entrepreneurial skills.

The incubated start-ups get free access to our networking and entrepreneurial events. Basically, they are considered as being a part of La Turbine. As mentioned before, La Turbine is a start-ups incubator with a co-working space. For the first six months, the incubated start-ups get to use the co-working space and its amenities freely. The last six months, they get a preferential rate. (This soothes their numbers)

There is an increasing number of people opting to launch their own businesses these days. There are various speculations that can aim to explain this phenomenon. One principal speculation, is that more and more people appreciate the satisfaction of working for themselves. Another is that people are increasingly connected and exposed to more and more innovative concepts. Perhaps people believe that being employed and working for someone else’s enterprise puts a ceiling on the figure one earns every month, whereas in running one’s own business, that figure has a direct correlation with how hard you are working. The mathematics here appears to be quite simple. But is it really?

In running one’s own enterprise, it is crucial to ensure that we are giving ourselves and the best tools and opportunities to succeed. In reality, it is very difficult to ascertain a startup’s chances of success. Running a startup is like juggling at least 6 balls during most of your waking hours and on one leg. For this reason, many startups decide to opt for an Incubation Program.

Benefits and possibilities offered to Start Ups by an incubator

Well who said you could not run your business from your own garage or from a friendly neighbor’s garage? This have worked very well for Larry Page and Sergey Brin since they now own the lion’s share of Google. Yet, let’s be realistic – the focus is to make enough day by day and to survive. One instrument that might come in handy remains the business incubator. An Incubation Program is one that is designed to help startups develop in its early stages. It does for a startup what an actual incubator does for eggs: Prepares them for hatching successfully and healthily. But metaphors aside, Incubation Programs offer coaching, workshops and networking for early stage enterprises. They provide a curriculum with set objectives specific to the startup and outcomes that it needs to identify and deliver. So, a business incubator, in turn, is an organization that provides these services.

To survive and thrive, what does a start -up need? What are startup’s basic necessities?

1. Affordable Workspace for Start-Ups

Business incubators firstly offer a co-working space for new entrepreuneur. These are cost effective workspaces with a varied pool of professionals renting seats to work. The benefit here is two-fold: a free workspace means exemption from having to allocate a significant sum from one’s budget. And secondly, it provides automatic access to a wide network of professionals that entrepreneurs can tap into for advice and better yet, collaborations. Since coworking spaces are known for their eccentric layouts and decors, it does not hurt to have the opportunity to impress potential partners and clients by welcoming them into a hip and trendy environment.

2. Access to a vast network of mentors, experts and industry partners

A crucial component of any business incubator corresponds to the large network of business advisors and partners that can help advance the business. From Entrepreneurs-in-Residence which provide high-level strategic guidance to specialized mentors for niche industries, the difference between success and failure can truly come down to who you know.

3. Funding opportunities for new entrepreneurs

Everybody knows entrepreneurs need money to expand and grow their businesses, and although many early-stage startup companies raise their initial funds through the 3 F’s (friends, family, founders), there will come a time when a more substantial round of investment is necessary. Membership in a business incubator not only can connect entrepreneurs to venture capitalist and/or angel investment groups, but it can make the business a more attractive investment opportunity to such groups.

4. Support system during the “treacherous” early stage waters

Whether it is a product flaw or an incompetent management team that leads to its demise, incubation programs strive to mitigate that early-stage risk of starting a business through programmatic and developmental resources. It also helps being able to talk entrepreneurs off the ledge when they have a rough day.

In a nutshell, Business incubators’ main aim is to educate new entrepreneurs in best business practices while providing mentorship and guidance.