We are calling on followers of this platform to join the Poise Community Investment Fund. Before announcing the initiative, we spent some weeks asking people to share their small business ideas that needed funding to either start or develop. Many people shared their ideas and it was obvious that there are many of us out willing to put in the work and only needing a small push.
The idea is simple; we bring together 500 people who will make a commitment of giving 1000 FCFA every month. Every month, we shall select two members of our community with small business ideas and fund them. We are aware that as there are many well intentioned people out there that genuinely need help, there are many more who are lazy and just looking for people they can deceive and get free money to go and squander. Benefitting from this fund will therefore come with a lot of scrutiny and accountability.
We are going to put together a team to manage the fund. The team will be charged with doing background checks on the beneficiaries, coaching them, and holding them accountable. Measures will be put in place to ensure that the people who receive funding use that funding for the said business. For example, in most cases, instead of giving out cash, we’ll have members of the management team go with the beneficiaries to buy whatever they need to startup or develop their business.
Beneficiaries will also receive different forms of training from a group of mentors we’ll put together. They will receive training on small business accounting, sales, business development, and marketing – depending on the nature of the business and their individual needs.
Only people who contribute to the fund will be able to benefit. We realize that there are many people out there with skills, business ideas, and the kind of dedication we are looking for but who are not active on social media. They do not have smartphones or access to the internet. Members of the community fund who know such people can help them pitch their ideas to the fund and act as their guarantor. People who have already started who need capital to expand will definitely be prioritized.
We should note here that this is a not for profit initiative and people who contribute to the fund will not be receiving any reimbursement or interest on the money they give every month. The beneficiaries are however expected (but not obliged) to pay back the money they receive to the fund over an unspecified period of time. The money they pay back will be reinvested into the fund and used to fund more people moving forward. Should you benefit from the fund and see your business grow, we expect that you begin to make extra monthly contributions to the fund in addition to your 1000 FCFA commitment.
Some people have expressed concerns about the potential legal risks associated with such an initiative, citing OHADA and other regulations. We can assure you that much thought has been put into this and we are ready to face whatever challenges or obstacles that may arise.
If you will like to be a part of this initiative, you must begin by signing up using this google form:-
We are allowing up to three more weeks to reach our target of 500 members after which we will proceed to the next steps – making our contributions and vetting the potential beneficiaries.
We must realize our collective responsibility in driving change in our community. If there are members of our community with commitment, we must provide a support system for them to thrive. Some of the people we fund will seize this opportunity and build businesses that may one day employ some of us or members of our family.
We cannot continue to sit around and wait for things to happen to us when we have the power to come together and make things happen. If you have any other concerns or questions, you are welcome to bring them up and hopefully, together, we will fine tune the idea and make it work. As the name says, this is a fund for us to invest in member of our community.
With 1000 FCFA, you can test the commitment and the capacity of the management team and if at any point you feel we are not doing what we promised, you can stop contributing.