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Why you need a good business case

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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.

why you need a good business case

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.
why do you need a good business case

business-case – six sigma daily

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.

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Afro Success Stories

African Entrepreneurs creating Jobs and Employment in Their Communities – Olasupo Abideen

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african entrepreneurs

Olasupo Abideen ” My greatest achievement is being a 25yr old employer who employs 35 people and has trained 475 Others” as one of african entrepreneurs.

Meet Olasupo

I am a 25year old one of Nigerian african entrepreneurs, founder/CEO of OPAB Gas with over 6 years of transnational experience leading and working with diverse teams to facilitate youth empowerment, development projects and youth involvement in policy. I am a UNESCO ESD Young Leader, a WEF Global Shaper and a Fellow, Young Africa Leadership Initiative.

Since receiving the $5000 Seed Capital in December 2018, my Company has created employment for thirty-five (35) University undergraduates (through our Work Student and Student Ambassadorship Program), opened ‘four (4) new Gas stores’, and trained ‘four hundred and seventy-five (475) unemployed youth and corps members‘ (through our #Gasprenuer Initiative). As a means of giving back to the community, we have also helped ‘five (5) kids’ return to school through our #StreetToSchool programme for our Community.

My Humble Beginnings

I watched my mother walk long distances to gather firewood and buy coal to cook for my family in my growing up years in my village in south-west Nigeria, where I was raised. It wasn’t peculiar to my mother; this was commonplace for all families. We all knew it wasn’t safe. We knew that if it made them this uncomfortable, there was no way it was safe, but we didn’t know there were alternatives. After all, this is how our grandparents and their parents before them lived.

It bothered me to see my mother’s red eyes, and the wet eyes of other women in our rural community bothered me a lot. Even though I did not know until recently that cooking with firewood is equivalent to smoking 400 cigarettes per hour, and is one of the three causes of mortality among women and children, I knew there had to be something I could do, but I couldn’t figure it out; or better put, I did not have enough education nor access to information to figure it out.

 

My Business Idea

The Idea to start my business came from a need that I identified and solving that problem meant a business opportunity. As a student of chemistry at the University of Ilorin, I was exposed – through volunteering – to MDGs (and subsequently SDGs), and I took a keen interest in clean, renewable energy, that could be used instead of orthodox fuelling options, and one of them was Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

After a long time of advocacy for SDGs, as an undergraduate, my SDGs advocacy and youth development organization, Brain Builders International, signed an agreement with the Kwara State University’s Community Development and Entrepreneurship Centre to train young Nigerians african entrepreneurs on the Sustainable Development Goals, their benefits, and ways toward actualisation.

I noticed that every time I took the 55min trip to Kwara State University to facilitate these training sessions, I would encounter students carrying gas cylinders: either going to fill Gas in Ilorin or coming back from Ilorin after filling Gas. I later learnt that the only cooking gas supplier in the community at that time was exploiting the students by using a manual scale that could be manipulated and also selling at a rip-off price.

 

Solving the Problem

In 2017, I took a soft loan from a friend, added some of my own moneyand after conducting intense market research, filing necessary papers, and satisfying ethical and professional standards, we opened our first OPAB Gas station. The services we offered hinged on three things; convenience, safety, and trust. Students could now focus on academics, as we did not only sell gas at the standard rate, but we also offered pick-up and delivery services. We used safe measures alongside a digital scale to address the issue of trust. Within three months we had broken even.

The TEF Intervention

In 2018, I applied for the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme but was only selected for the GIZ list to be one of the 210 beneficiaries of the training and $5000 funding. The training provided by the foundation on business planning, financial intelligence, scalability, among others could only be likened to a mini MBA.

Immediately after the training myself and my team we started discussing how to dominate the market in which we operate and capture new markets.

With the seed capital, we were able to expand our business.

 

Our Growth and Milestones as one of african entrepreneurs

  • Expansion: We have expanded the business to 6 stations in two townships to target the student populations and made over $25,000 since receiving the seed capital from the foundation.
  • Employment: Staff strength – 2 (in 2017), 35 people (2019).
  • Gas on Wheels: We now own delivery vans and offers delivery services
  • Digitization: We now take orders on the business’ website in both cities where we operate.
  • Introduced Customer Loyalty service
    • Health safety card – to educate users about safety measures.
    • Customer reward: Points reward system.
    • Holiday Promos
  • we also have a few impact initiatives that we run.
  • OPAB Gas has trained 450 Youth Corps members, unemployed youth in Kwara State on the economic merits of the Gas economy and the many opportunities that abound in the sector.
  • In line with the UN SDGs, OPAB student work experience – an internship programme where we train students. During this internship, they work on Sundays for a stipend. They then receive N10,000 for every 1000kg of gas sold.
  • OPAB gas student ambassador scheme – delivery service.

 

The Future

The vision for OPAB Gas has always been to solve energy availability and ease of use for everyone across Nigeria so we are constantly working on ways to reach out to more Nigerians.

Our OPAB telemetry solution will allow people to monitor and manage their gas usage, notify them when it is almost finished, connect them to the nearest gas stations and pay for gas with existing mobile money applications.

 

 

Contact Details

Website: https://opabgas.com

Instagram: @opabgas_

Phone call/WhatsApp: 07068775529.

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