Starting a small business in an emerging market can be very rewarding. Many of entrepreneurship opportunities in emerging markets arise out of necessity, or the drive to solve a real need or a social problem. Thus emerging markets often offer huge opportunities for disruptive innovation. Entrepreneurship has contributed to economic growth and been able to respond to social problems, helping some communities prosper. With the rise of fintech, financial solutions using technologies such as the cloud, blockchain and machine learning have by-passed or partnered with established financial institutions to serve new markets.
This course takes us through the basics from “What is entrepreneurship?” to applying commonly used business planning tools, such as design thinking and business model canvas. Design thinking is a methodology that encourages startups to focus on user-centric products and services. There are also insights on topics like regulation, intellectual property, funding and growth that are important for startups.
I’ve invited along experts who teach and support entrepreneurs. This includes some really interesting people in various stages of their start-up business development. We will be talking with Zlto (a digital currency), Yoco (mobile payments), Proof of Steak (alternative asset investment) and Kuba (a digital ‘middleman’ for small businesses) to name a few.
As we will learn, there is no such thing as being ‘ready’ or, choosing the ‘perfect time’ to become an entrepreneur. You are already one, so let’s take the next steps on your entrepreneurial journey by joining your peers around the world on this course. This course is for everyone, and not only those interested in only fintech.
Foundations of Entrepreneurship
Welcome to week 1 of building fintech startups! We begin with the basics by discussing: What is entrepreneurship? What does it mean to be an entrepreneur? What is an emerging market? Then we discuss the typical stages of a startup. To make this more practical, we also introduce you to real fintech startups and their journeys that will help you on your journey. Don’t worry if you don’t have a fintech background, this course is for anyone and everyone interested in entrepreneurship.
The Prestartup Phases
Welcome to week 2! We’re glad you’ve continued your entrepreneurial journey. This week gets into ideation and the design thinking process. We respond to questions on: How do people tackle their problems and find solutions? What tools can we use to figure this out? Rael, Kungela and Sarah-Anne share their insights and experiences. You will also hear from Jacques (Kuba), Allan (Zlto) and Katlego (Yoco) speaking about their products and how they learnt to keep the customers in mind.
You’ve reached week 3 when we will see how startups are built. Congratulations for keeping going! This week we look at the legal foundations, regulatory environment and startup funding. These questions can have significant consequences for a startup: How to ensure you’re complying with your countries laws? Do you understand the implications of giving equity away? You’ll hear from experts and entrepreneurs as to how they approached these questions. From our case studies, we share some practical experiences and considerations.
Support for Growth and Scale
You’re in the final stretch. Congratulations on reaching week 4 which is about support opportunities for entrepreneurs. To start, we'll introduce you to the types of support entrepreneurs need to be successful and grow. In the Peer Review assignment, you will need to ask an entrepreneur about their journey creating a startup. To interview someone it’s best to check the assignment ahead of time in order to have enough opportunity to complete this task. We also have a few bonus case studies (Aerobotics and Custos) who we interviewed about their journeys growing startups.