This article is written by Brian Malika, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.
Yousef Hamidaddin leads the Innovative Solution Board, an initiative from the Foundation of HRH the Crown Prince of Jordan, and was previously the Chief Executive Officer of Oasis 500. His current focus is on developing funding models for startups and SME’s across the region to be launched this year, and creating innovative funds that can deliver the rebuilding requirements for distressed countries such as Syria, and Yemen.
Whenever the word investor is mentioned, many start-up founders envision large cooperates, middle-sized companies or even micro-enterprises. Very few entrepreneurs would mention individuals as being part of the investor family.
Furthermore, people perceive individual investors to be accomplished professionals who are enjoying a high ranking career life and would want to put part of their lucrative salary and benefits in a paying entrepreneurial venture.
But come to think of this; are entrepreneurs being honest to perceive individual investors to be limited to a certain cluster of professional people or so?
Does it mean that if you are not enjoying a high flying career then you cannot afford the resources to invest in an entrepreneurial venture? Absolutely not true.
Therefore, limiting thoughts on how an individual investor should look like only excludes other members of the society from contributing their part to the start-up ecosystem. So in order to prove that an investor can arise from anywhere, we will analyze a group of individuals that have been deliberately left out in the start-up ecosystem due to the general perceptions towards them that are misleading.
The Unnoticed Group Of investors That You Need To Target
When you hear about retirement what are some of the thoughts that go through your mind? Well it all depends, some people mention that retirement is synonymous to old age, rest or maybe a time to enjoy pensions. But have you ever thought for a while and viewed people who are on retirement to be a worthy source for investment?
I mean come to think of this , people in their 60s all the way to 70s have worked all their working years and saved a good amount of money for their old age . And a much if you can approach this population group and build trust with them then they might actually listen to your start-up ideas and be ready to invest in it.
But before you think of approaching this particular population that is in their retirement age for talks on partnerships and investments with your start-up, you must consider the fact that people in their retirement age have saved money and other resources specifically for cushioning their golden days.
And as such, the people in retirement stages cannot precisely be categorized as big investors because there needs to be a considerate strike of balance on how much money they should set aside for investing in start-ups and how much will remain for their upkeep since its considered they will not be working anymore.
Therefore , entrepreneurs must learn to design an investment product that fits the situation of investors who are in their old age .And this will only happen if entrepreneurs decide to move closer to the people who are in their old age with an open mind on how a platform for investment can be built based on trust , competency and star edged innovations to solve social challenges .
Breaking the bubble
I take this opportunity to challenge entrepreneurs out there to start thinking away from the normal perception of who investors are by reaching out to every section of society by offering them the chance to come on board and contribute their part in the start-up ecosystem.
One certain way is for entrepreneurs to approach the population of society that is in their retirement stage and then design an investment platform that works for both. Mark you people in their retirement age understand the highs and lows of life and as such will be more willing to listen to your investment ideas if you prove to them your unique value proposition.
I hope you will change your perception of people’s ability to become individual partners by going ahead and breaking the usual thinking and embrace new opportunities.