Entrepreneur · Nontraditional Fundraising

How can someone become an entrepreneur w/ no money and a commitment to work for his family?

syed shadab Bhilai Engineering Corporation Limited, Bhilai (Entrepreneur by Nature)

May 12th, 2016

how can a person be an entrepreneur when he doesnt have money to start his business, have to work for his family but have great ideas for startups. he asks his friends and relatives to help him with some money but everyone denies.... what should he do to make his dream come true?

Kaustubh Prasad

May 12th, 2016

Build whatever you can with your resources. 

Sorry if it sounds harsh, but a lot of us think our ideas are great. Even with time and money on our side, those ideas need to be implemented, and implemented well.

My suggestion - reduce your "ideas" to ONE. Reduce that one idea further to the simplest and cheapest set of actions to execute - of course you have to believe that those actions, once executed, will only prove that this idea can work.

When people will see that really small idea working in some way, they will be interested - as investors, team-members and users.

Mrityunjay Narayanan Education Architect

May 12th, 2016

When you have absolute belief in your ideas, first do a pilot and show proof of concept, demonstrate that to investors, you'll definitely get funds. For the pilot, you'll have to use up your savings or borrow from friends and well wishers.

Peter Bazunov Deelor co. (managing director), business and technology expert at www.proexpert.info

May 12th, 2016

Every project starts from sales. See what your product is, what price you can set to make some profit while being able to sell it to anybody.
Before I started my own project I phoned to a hundred companies (potential customers) offering them at that moment my single product (stitching wire). Of course I had a potential supplier in mind already - we made a contact with that company before we did anything else. Then after we analized the feed back from our local "market" and found out some demand there, we borrowed money for the first buying, bought and delivered the product, and then sold it out to those who looked interested during the cold callings (not to mention a few blunt mistakes with price setting). After we got money back from the customers and returned them to the "investor" (to his great happiness), we repited the operation a few weeks later. First our loan from the investor was 3000 USD. After we did it several times the process became easier and we even hired an accountant. Then banks started to consider us as a company...

Arsene Lavaux Quadrilingual Growth Marketer

May 12th, 2016

This is a common entrepreneurial context.

The long story short: you need to figure out product-market fit no matter what.

It's not about money, it's about digging deep into your creativity and learning the required skills if necessary to validate the following:

1)  There exists a very narrow "must have" target customer segment who do have a strong interest in your product/service.  You can validate that without creating a product.  This is commonly known as "fake feature".  Communicate the core value prop of your product with an associated action (download app, enter email to register) to validate interest.  

2) If 1) does get some signal, then develop the skills to build a rapid prototype (even less than an MVP, minimum viable product in startup jargon), this doesn't necessarily cost anything, or show the results of 1) to someone who has the skills to motivate him or her to join in (based on vision validation plus some future equity of necessary).  Put the rapid prototype in the hands of your core "must have segment" (remember, your super narrow customer targeting assumption, those who will not sleep at night without your solution to their unmet need).  Try to get qualitative signal of a "aha moment" as your "must have" use your rapid prototype.  That's the key to your sustained growth in the future.

3) If 2) confirms and better qualify the core need, iterate your product to focus in on the one element in your experience that wows your must have in such a way that none of the closest alternatives on the market can do.  Scale at no cost from the aha in-product experience and some smart social engagement (need to adapt to your core product/service value, be creative).

4) As soon as you have enough scale, try to extract a quantitative product-market fit signal from your product usage.  A great way to do that is to run a survey (ideally on a statistically significant base, whose magnitude varies depending on B2B or B2C context, B2B scale is generally smaller than B2C) called the product-market fit survey (check on web).  If at least 40% of your surveyed assumed must have customers respond they'd feel extremely disappointed if they could no longer use your product, you are likely to gain the double digit traction that will attract the ecosystem to work with you while making the most of the hard work you put in.  By ecosystem I mean, talents to join in and help scale, investors to fuel your growth and expansion vision, and other stuff.

5) If you don't achieve the desired outcome in 4) try to iterate product (if you feel you are getting there), or cheaper if you have some skills, re-position the messaging of your core value towards another segment which you believe could be your must have segment to validate product-market fit.

Hope this helps.  Happy to connect to discuss further but necessity definitely is the mother of invention, innovation, and above all, true value-added entrepreneurship.

So...  Keep at it!


Elise Krentzel

May 12th, 2016

I've bootstrapped businesses without money. Of course you need to have some kind of day job to take care of your essentials. Other than that you have your mind! Use it fully. Do your research, write a business plan and find the right people around you to work with. That's all you need. Money comes with those "right" elements. You can do it!

Peter Bray CEO at Bray & Co

May 12th, 2016

I'm going to take a different a angle to the other advice you have been given, all good advice.

Firstly, congratulations for being a person that even has ideas. Very, very few people are actually able to have good ideas. An idea itself is nothing without execution to others points - you can't eat prestige.

My advice is to write your idea on a piece of paper, no more than one page, and see if any of your friends and family want to buy your idea. They will own it, not you. In return, they will pay you a salary and give you a small (circa 5%) piece of equity, certainly no more. They are then paying you to work on your idea, even though you don't own much of it. That's the real world. Money buys ownership, so if you don't have the money, you don't get ownership. This will then determine if you are ready and able to execute on an idea, and if no one is willing to give you a little bit of money, then sorry to say but it is unlikely you have a good idea. Better to know this quickly rather than death by a thousand cuts.

Piyush Nigam MD at The Ark Marine Solutions

May 12th, 2016

He should find and join an entrepreneurial team who could execute the idea

Jivko Pentchov

May 12th, 2016

Well, I have been grown up in environment where my father use to say "with money any body can do anything" if realy what to do a business, just start and do it without the monew. ....heremy advise is start exploring you ideas step by step by hiring freelancers.

pm me anytime and I will give you guidance.

Aleksandra Czajka Freelance Senior Software Engineer, Developer, Web Developer, Programmer - Full Stack

May 12th, 2016


Don't make any sudden changes until you verify that one of your ideas is going to work. During any time off that you have to yourself, find out the best way to validate your idea. Talk to people that would be your clients. Try to fail your idea as fast as possible. If it doesn't fail and you've spoken to clients that say if you build what you've been talking about they will pay, go for it. Do as much research as you can before you go off on your own. Try to even get to a point where switching from your job to your venture will be more or less monetarily seamless. To do this, you have to find people that will want your product so badly that they are willing to take their chance on you.

Good luck to you!

Scott Taylor Sales & Marketing Director at Cloudia Assistant / Author: The Opportunity in Every Problem

May 12th, 2016

Syed, I happen to be the author of "The Opportunity In Every Problem". In that book it talks about a 4 step process for turning your problem into an opportunity. One of the areas is speaks of is; after you have come up with a list of resources needed to turn your idea into an opportunity, if you are lacking any of the resources then find a resource for your resource. When I was in college I invented an alarm with voice instructions to the intruder. The library bought it off me for $200 and I thought that was special until 2 years later I walked between 2 cars in a parking lot and one of them told me to move away from the car. I thought I had a great idea and the first of it's kind but obviously someone was thinking the same thing but on a grander scale. Ideas are a dime a dozen and no manufacture will even speak to you about an idea or sign a NDA because they maybe working on the same idea already. People giving you money for ideas are foolish. You need to come up with more than an idea. You need to start building it yourself or at least come up with a prototype, a business plan and surveys to companies or people who will use it to find where the market is for your idea. When I first published the book mentioned above, I thought it a motivational book for business people. I was surprised when asked to speak to an association of psychologists and found it was being used heavily by troubled youth organizations. You need to prove your idea is desired in certain markets or even get pre-orders and then you'll know if you have a good idea.