It is important to have a good business case for your projects.
A project will only be successful if they have been planned realistically with a clear focus. Africa has a fast growing rate for start-ups and businesses in these new times. We have over 1000 business coming up every year in Africa and a huge amount of money is been invested in these businesses and also on new projects. But as a matter of fact, when the business exists on a clear purpose, its earnings are justified.
Many amongst these businesses need to have a good structure for each project. They need to understand how value for money can be ensured, How can they ensure that they have selected the correct course of Action, How can they ensure the investments and market opportunities are justified and many more… these questions are bound to exist. All the answers lie in a good business case.
First of all, the person in charge of writing a business case should have a thorough understanding of project’s aims, goals and be able to merge the varied and potential complex plans in one clearly written and concise document.
So what makes a successful business case? It is recommended that business cases should include a ‘wide range’ of benefit types and recognize ‘all possible’ benefits. This includes ‘soft’ or ‘subjective’ benefits, which are more appealing to stakeholders and which often return greater commitment from those delivering the projects.
So why do you need a good business case?
- For a good assessment of a business problem or market opportunity
- For a good assessment of benefits, risk, costs including an investment appraisal of a business project.
- To assess likely technical solutions, the project time scale, the impact on the operations and also the organizational capability to deliver the projects outcomes.
- To express the problems with the current situation and demonstrate the benefits of the new business vision.
- Project goals are tied with the requirements laid out in the Business Case which serves as a guide for decision-making.
- According to the Prince 2 methodology, a Business Case is a justification for the initial investment in the project. The viability of the project can be ascertained while formulating the Business Case and the Project Board can take an educated decision regarding whether to action the project based on this critical document.
- In the course of the implementation of a project, the Business Case serves as a checkpoint to ensure the project is still aligned with desired objectives and keeps processes on track.
- The Business Case is not a static document. It can be developed in greater detail and updated as the project progresses.
- By laying down integral aspects of the project such as timescale, cost and major risks, the Business Case prepares the project team for the road ahead.
The above are a few benefits amongst many others of a good business case. If a project does not have a good business case, there is likely to be disappointment after the completion of the project, as the stakeholders wonder why the project is not giving the great results they imagined—very likely because the project manager didn’t know what those expectations were, or was focusing predominantly on what was being built, rather than on how it would be used. This will make the organization to wastes valuable resources on projects that don’t help the organization achieve its objectives. This leaves fewer resources available for more valuable projects.
Therefore, the Business Case is considered the driver of the project and documents its business justification.
Do You Want to be an African Billionaire? You should Invest in these business opportunities
Do You Want to be an African Billionaire? You should Invest in these business opportunities available in Africa. Africa is growing a new generation of millionaires who are not just elated about money. Known as impact entrepreneurs, these people want to make money and still touch the lives of people positively. What this new generation of millionaires basically want to do is to focus on problems facing the continent and find amicable solutions to them. In the process, more wealth, jobs and business opportunities will be opened for the benefit of the continent. Here are some of the unconventional ways they are making it:
Waste management is one of the biggest challenges confronting many African countries. The issue of collection, management and disposal of solid waste still features highly in major towns and cities across the region. Failure to correctly manage waste disposal has often led to flooding and the outbreak of diseases. As the continent’s population continues to increase, the waste problem will remain and even get worse. People are, therefore, finding ways to make good use of the frequent pile of rubbish. In Ethiopia, waste is being converted into electricity. The Reppie Waste-to-Energy Project will incinerate 1,400 tons of waste every day. This represents about 80 per cent of the city’s waste generation. The plant will also supply the people with 30 per cent of their household electricity needs. In South Africa, some companies are also converting waste into animal feed.
Drones have gained popularity in Africa as they are not only used widely in the movie industry to shoot aerial views but are being transformed in some few countries to address real-life challenges. In 2016, Rwanda launched the world’s first commercial drone delivery service to help distribute blood and medical supplies to remote areas within the country. The project was in partnership with US company Zipline and it was aimed at cutting the delivery of medical supplies to minutes instead of hours. It is expected to deliver up to 150 medical supplies per day, including blood, plasma, and coagulants to about 21 health facilities in rural western Rwanda. Drones are also being used to monitor deforestation and illegal mining activities to conserve Africa’s forests and wildlife. Entrepreneurs can tap into this growing drone industry to solve problems on the continent that will, in turn, create more wealth and other business prospects in Africa.
Africa spends over $30 million on food imports every year because the continent is largely made up of smallholder farmers who do not use sophisticated farming methods and lack the needed capital. But with the business of crowdfarming, all one needs to do is to invest in these rural farmers and take a share of the profits at harvest time This way, food production is enhanced, and bill on food import is reduced. Investors are also able to make much money and eventually take farmers out of poverty. In Somalia, an online marketplace and crowdfarming platform, AriFarm, allows investors from across the world to enter into the Somali livestock market.
The quality of education in public schools on the continent has often been questionable, prompting parents to send their children to private schools to get a better education. This development has led entrepreneurs to enter into that space to provide the designs needed. In Nigeria, the number of low-cost private schools in Lagos, its commercial capital, is estimated to be as high as 18,000, as compared to the 1,600 figure recorded in 2010 to 2011.
The demand for urban logistics space throughout the continent is growing, as there is an increasing number of e-commerce orders. Due to congestion and lack of effective transport systems, most people find it stressful going to town. And this is where some African entrepreneurs have taken advantage of. In Kenya, Twiga Foods uses technology to pool the orders of people and delivers them to their doorstep. With this, consumers do not have to face the hurdle of going all the way to the market. Twiga Foods is one of the largest distributors of food staples in Kenya. Last year, the company raised $10.3 million.
About 50 percent of Africa’s population could be living in towns and cities by 2025, and this is worrying, considering people might not acquire the needed accommodation to settle in. Entrepreneurs have come up with unconventional ways of building homes from cheap and durable items like shipping containers. In Kenya, entrepreneurs like Denise Majani convert shipping containers into remarkably creative residential and office accommodation. The good news is this comes at half the price of contemporary housing. Consequently, the cost of building homes is reduced, meaning, more people can afford.
African entrepreneurs are refusing to be left out in the automotive industry. After years of purchasing cars outside the continent, the trend has changed as some local engineers have taken advantage of technological advancements to venture into the car manufacturing business. Countries like Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana have already taken the lead in that regard. The interesting thing is that some of these homegrown cars are designed for the rough terrain in Africa. The Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company, which is the first Nigerian technology company to produce cars, has given scores of Nigerians the opportunity to purchase their own cars. Kenyan car manufacturer, Mobius Motors, is planning to introduce an affordable, but robust and classy SUV for the African mass market. The Mobius II is set to be on the road by next year, 2019. As more people continue to demand for transportation services, this will open a large number of business opportunities in Africa including spare parts dealers, auto-service shops, auto financing, among others.
Funding for startups
As more people enter into entrepreneurship on the continent, investors, both within and outside Africa, are getting attracted. Last year, African tech startups received $560 million in funding from local and international investors. This is an increase from the $366 million raised in 2016. Naspers, Africa’s biggest e-commerce and digital company, last year invested as much as $69 million investment in TakeALot, a South African e-Commerce startup.
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