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7.1 Introduction

How to engage key stakeholders in your innovation journey and raise funding

It is time to wrap up the Inclusive Innovation course. In the first six modules, you have worked hard to develop a new product or service idea and to build a viable business case around it. Most likely you have even managed to test your idea a few times with potential consumers. In this final module, we bring all the great progress you made together and help you develop a strong and compelling story to share with the outside world. We will end with your high point: the investor pitch.

Why is this important? And how is pitching for an inclusive innovation different than from pitching for a venture in a more ‘traditional’ market? In the lifetime of a business, we spend less than 1% of our time pitching and yet it can account for up to 50% of the business’ success. A successful pitch to impact investors is critical because without the funding that pitching can bring it will become extremely challenging for you to grow your business and reach any kind of sustainable scale.

Most pitches include the same key elements: the consumer pain you are solving, how you capture revenues and why this is an opportunity for an investor not to miss out on. But when you are raising funds for inclusive innovations, there is one key additional element that impact investors want to see: you will have to demonstrate evidence of – or at the very least potential for – impact on low-income communities. Keep in mind that pitching is not just towards investors – you will also be pitching every time you present your business to potential partners, clients and other key stakeholders.

Note: This module does not provide details on the different types of funding (loans, equity, etc.) and which type would be most appropriate for you. There are many other great courses on this, please refer to the “Additional Reading” section for more information on this. Instead, this module will provide support in preparing your pitch, collecting the information you need and putting on your best show ever.


Complete this module and you will understand that:

  • Communicating your impact clearly and in a compelling way is critical when pitching for an inclusive innovation.
  • There is more than numbers to your story. In addition, how you present your story matters.
  • Each of the five inclusive innovation checks (covered throughout this course) must be addressed in your pitch.
  • There are many techniques to manage your nerves for pitch day – the important point is to leverage them.
This module is part of the Inclusive Innovation Course course.
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inclusive innovation online course

Inclusive Innovation Course

WELCOME

It is an exciting time for Inclusive Innovation in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). As international awareness grows on the inclusion of low-income groups in the development of products and services, new business opportunities arise for entrepreneurs that want to combine profit with social impact.

The SAIS Inclusive Innovation training provides you with a unique opportunity to discover the fundamentals of designing and delivering impactful business solutions for underserved communities or the “Base of the Pyramid”.

Why invest your time

In this training course, Inclusive Innovation experts from Bopinc will share inspirational stories from African entrepreneurs, useful tips and practical assignments that allow you to apply new knowledge to your own case. Each course module will build your capabilities to better cope with the challenges that many startups and innovation support organisations experience when entering underserved markets.

What you can expect

The Inclusive Innovation course is best enjoyed in a 14-week period. This gives you 2 weeks to complete each module. Expect to spend approximately an hour to read the module, and another 1 or 2 hours to work on the assignment. That is 2-3 hours per module. While you can follow this course individually, we highly recommend you work in pairs or teams and use the assignments for your own innovation project. In the end, you learn most through practice.

Note that the order of the modules does not reflect their level of importance. All topics are crucial to the success of your Inclusive Innovation and should be considered and revisited throughout your journey.

FORMAT

Each module follows the same format:

  • Introduction & key learnings
  • Podcast featuring inspirational entrepreneurs
  • 2 or 3 theory sections inspired from real cases
  • Quiz to test yourself on new theory
  • Assignment to apply the theory to your own business case
  • Additional reading materials
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