Building a business is not easy – it requires commitment, zeal & perseverance. At the surface, it appears as if doing business is an absolute easy thing – the ideal picture of a group of people dressed elegantly, discussing business matters over some cocktail drinks. ALAS! That’s not business – there is a behind the scenes story that involves some grinding & sleepless nights of hard work. In Ghana, when a child is born, tradition demands that the child is given a name after eight days, if not a disaster! After living with a nickname (Colourful Plastics) for close to a year (more than 8 days), we decided to give our venture a name. Drum rolls…SisuTerra! “Sisu” means plastic in Yoruba and “Terra” means Earth. Just to complete the name we added Technologies. To our lovely followers, our new brand name is SisuTerra Technologies. Watch out for the back story in our next post!
Updates from the Ashesi Venture Incubator (AVI) program so far:
SisuTerra as a Hybrid Business
We have designed the operations of SisuTerra to focus on a hybrid business model strategy that helps us to be both commercially and socially viable. Our hybrid model is centered on our value proposition; we are solving environmental pollution and poor infrastructure, while also delivering value engineered products that significantly save time and money. Achieving this strategy was a major milestone that will enable us to achieve much impact while also succeeding business-wise.
Completion of Business Training Modules
AVI runs quarterly business training modules and business development sessions that are focused on developing the business model & value proposition, customer acquisition strategy, market and branding, investment pitching, and the lean approach to research for entrepreneurs. We are excited that through the first two quarters, we managed to curate our value proposition, develop our customer acquisition strategy and our business plan too! Though these plans and strategies have to be tested and proven, we believe that we have made some headway, and opportunities for growth and expansion will come soon. As Thomas Edison rightly put it, “Good opportunity is what happens when opportunity meets with planning”.
A thousand pivots
We have pivoted several times in these 6 months. These pivots were necessary because they have enabled us to have a clear business focus. At the moment, we have a two-fold business plan. We intend to produce plastic pellets that will be used as a binder replacement for asphalt surface/base courses. On the other hand, we will also produce plastic reinforced-concrete products for civil works. Our plastic reinforced-concrete products include rumble strips, speed pods, drainage covers, and also pavement blocks.
Some delays in prototyping
Per our calendar, we were supposed to fabricate and install some rumble strips as a pilot test based on our lab test results and findings by 30th April 2020. Unfortunately, due to the current COVID-19 crisis, the prototyping of our minimum viable product(MVP) has been delayed. However, we have pulled in a few strings and done some re-arrangements to make sure we are done by mid-June. Stay put for more updates.
On a final note, our plan is to take a step by step approach to establish our business while also creating a maximum impact in our communities by engaging the right stakeholders. We are definitely on the right path.