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Introduction

At MavenCORE, we are driven by generosity – we find generous people with money and persuade them to support local innovators and entrepreneurs in Kenya. You can be a beneficiary of this program if you have a project and you meet this criteria:

Writing a Proposal

You need to write a high quality proposal. The proposal should be a minimum of 700 words, clearly written and with sufficient details to impress any strategic investor, since MavenCORE relies on solid ideas to impress philanthropic people.

Start Writing Your Proposal

Your proposal should have written sections. You should also prepare a budget. Use our Ms Excel template to create your budget. The questions in the budget section of this guide will help you come up with the right figures for your budget.

Proposal Section 1:   PROBLEM STATEMENT

In almost every case, there is a pressing need that pushes one to start a project. The first part of your proposal should discuss this need – we call that “problem statement” (Not project statement as we have seen some members call it).

In your proposal, your problem statement should answer the 3 questions listed below. 

Ideas don't just pop up - something triggers them. People identifying with a backstory might commit .

1. What problem/challenge/opportunity do you plan to solve/exploit through this project?

Necessity is the mother of invention! i.e. the best projects are fueled by the desire to fulfill a real need that several people have. You should provide some insight on what this problem/opportunity is, how widespread it is and why lack of money is the only reason why you are not solving it already – MavenCORE and investors look for sufficient opportunity and capability to exploit.

 

Don’t forget to talk about the trigger to your idea. A Project proposal that starts with statements like these is what MavenCORE is looking for “The other day I was in a Matatu and i realized…” “Whenever I go to the village I…” “My friend and I were hanging out yesterday and…” “Every time I hear there is famine… etc

2. What makes you the right person to solve this problem?

Just because a problem exists doesn’t automatically mean everyone has a solution. Consider this:

How many people know that Nairobi River is polluted? Everyone who has visited the areas it flows through knows. But, does that mean that given money, any of those people can clean it?

So, include some information on why you believe you can solve the problem or exploit the opportunity. You can talk about skills gained through education or experience you have had dealing with the issue.

3. What are the chances that you will succeed?

For the problem/opportunity that you have identified, how many others are engaged in the same process you want to undertake? Too many people can indicate very stiff competition or very high demand. Provide some information that makes the investor believe in your dream.

Don’t say chances or success are 90% or confidence rate is 7 out of 10. Unless you have done a quantifiable study, because otherwise those are just random figures

Lets say for example, you want to start a cyber cafe. You can talk about lack of one for x kilometers while indicating a high number of potential customers in that same location.

First section is now complete, move on to section 2
Get into Details

Section 2: PROJECT DETAILS

4. Who’s your target customer?

Whatever project you want to start, you will somehow deal with people. Knowing your primary target market is crucial for MavenCORE or strategic investors to put money into your project. Describe the kind of people you want to reach and also provide some information about availability.

Example: If you are starting an app that organizes convenient transport from the city to the village, your target market could be people working in manufacturing firms. in terms of availability, you can talk about how often in a week, a month or a year they go home.

You can learn more about identifying a target market by reading this article

5. What value do you deliver?

List or describe typical benefits that people will get from your project thus prompting them to use your products or services. The more benefits, the better.

Focus on real benefits rather than implied ones. For example, saying “my project will create jobs” is not one of the intended benefits to include in your list of value – after all, your project could cause job losses in another sector. Talk of benefits that will make people spend money on your products or services.

6. How will you reach, acquire, and keep customers?

7. How will you define and differentiate your offering?

8. How will you generate revenue?

9. What’s your cost structure?

Identifying variable and fixed costs of your project is essential when trying to convince investors to pick your project i.e. what is mandatory (fixed) and what is not (variable). Cost structure has two aspects:

  • Identifying the fixed and variable costs of starting the project
  • Identifying the fixed and variable operation costs

The cost structure helps the investor establish what’s vital and what can be eliminated from the project budget or increased for optimal results. Showing a great understanding of the cost structure of any project you want to run is one of the great strategies to attract investors because it helps the investor judge whether you will use their money optimally  i.e. are you an extravagant or thrifty project manager?

You can learn more about cost structure here

10. What’s your expected profit margin?

Writing a project proposal answering all or most of these questions ensures instant approval and pushes your project to the front-line of those projects to be funded by MavenCORE. It also creates a better chance of being funded by a partner. Feel free to read proposal posted by others for ideas on how to structure yours better

Stop writing now and create a budget using Excel
Remember to proofread  and grammar-check your work so that it sounds professional. You can use Ms Word Grammar checker or online tools such as Grammarly or Ginger to check grammar.
Prepare Budget

Section 3: BUDGET (Download this Excel Template )

Projects cost money to run. A project is also the only verifiable aspect of your project. To ensure your budget covers every aspect of your business, think of these issues when preparing your proposal. Do research to ensure you present accurate figures – inflated or under quoted figures will chase away partners.

11. Does your project require undertaking legal procedures to start?

-state the procedures and their cost

12. Do you need to hire/buy premises to operate your business?

– include measurements of the said premises in your estimates

13. Do you need to buy stock/machines etc?

– give names, makes, models etc of items you need to buy. You can combine related items into 1 budget item.

14. Do you need to hire experts temporarily or even permanently?

– e.g. factor in salaries or wages for experts such as building contractors or assistants.

15. Has your project been running?

– If not you, should expect unforeseen circumstances. Set aside some money to cover unforeseen issues.

16. Does your project need marketing?

– Paid marketing makes it easier to reach people. Quote the costs of any paid advertising methods you intend to use.

Hire A Pro Writer

A Professional writer can help create a convincing proposal that will ease your quest to find investors to fund your project. Hire one for as little as Ksh1,000

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