One of the most difficult tasks that I have engaged in over the past 18 months is finding the fiance/funding for my business. I have submitted applications to banks, to investors and to individuals. No luck yet. I am not naive and I had to ask myself a simple question: If so many people say “NO” than I must have a crappy product, or I must be useless at pitching or I must be delusional. All these ideas did cross my mind, and yet I still continue in my pursuit, surely I must be mad, insane, of my rockers, or am I?
The reality is that I have just spoken to the wrong people! I have to and I will find the right investor or supporter. Why am I so confident? It’s really simple, I think that the people or organisations that I approached just don’t get it! I am not being unrealistic, simplistic or naive, but just read my pitch below and see if I am right (or mad).
South Africa is struggling to meet its energy needs. The national grid has less than 2% reserve, that is capacity over demand, the norm is 10%. Our country is one of the top 10 polluters in terms of green house gas emissions, most due to energy production from coal. The government is on record of saying that we will reduce our CO2 emissions by 30% (President Zuma speaking at COP16 Denmark). The govt is committed to renewable energy to reduce reliance on coal and to reduce GHGs. There is state support in the form of subsidies and rebates for green/energy saving products.We all have to find ways top reduce our energy consumption. Additional energy is getting very expensive in South Africa. The price has doubled in the last 5 years and is set to double over the the next decade again. Energy efficiency requirements for new buildings is now written into the building code via new legislation already passed. Energy efficiency, and renewable energy is going to be a huge opportunity
Elevator pitch: I want to expand the heat pump market in South Africa by selling 1000 units per year. This is energy saving device that saves up to 35% of the energy bill of households. This product will save consumers and businesses money, it will cut energy consumption and reduce green house gas emissions (reduce your carbon foot-print). I also want to sell solar systems to people who are currently energy poor/off-the grid so to speak. South Africa has one of the highest solar resources (solar radiation or insolation) in the world. This is a free energy source and it is a travesty that we still have people who don’t have access to electricity in South Africa and surrounding regions.
I believe that this is an opportunity that is worth pursuing and that is exactly what I am doing, notwithstanding ALL those who have already said no to me.
Note: I have listened to all the constructive input from the various parties/banks/funders and I have incorporated relevant enhancements into the business proposal. So I am listening and thus not ignoring the contributions of said people. (Just in case someone accuses me of arrogance or inflexibility)
Link to my business selling heat pumps: www.zerocarbon.co.za
Link to my business developing solar projects: www.enerlogy.co.za