Adjust the business plan for ICT training for orphans in Jinja (Phase I)

Status: Finished
Step: 
2

The current business plan consists of setting up ICT training AND starting an internet café. Because the startup of the internet café is very expensive, Paul would like to start with the IT training first.

Please help write this Business Plan - Phase I.
The current business plan will be the starting point. Most of the information needed is already available.

This is the last version of the business plan that can be used as starting point for the planning of the ICT training.

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Dear Pelle, Paul and all

Can you please clarify... I have looked at the business plan and I take note of Paul's desire
[a] to postpone internet cafe activity and [b] not charge for IT training in the start-up situation.

Does this mean that there will be no income in this phase?

Is there any other community support which could assist financially? I mention the decision of the Anai-Acoke community which, in addressing their draft ICT business plan added this text to it:

Quote:
The local community have taken into consideration the sustainability or back-up plan of this internet centre by already identifying some possible income generating activities that would help to raise money from another source to sustain this within the kick off period or infancy stage in case the centre is not yet fetching enough customers to meet the recurrent cost.
Brick making is one of the activities identified by the local community as the means of raising funds. When community makes their bricks and sell it to the local constructors within lira town or beyond and this activity would no external support to start it meaning we can do it well within our local efforts here at Anai Olando trading centre near Lira town.
More activities of this kind are still to be surveyed if it can serve the purpose of raising the income required for this centre recurrent cost.

http://aplaceof.info/acoke/0705update.htm

I appreciate that this is a project now with different aims, but it would be good to know if there is some capacity to meet recurrent costs.

best wishes

Dennis
p.s. please note that that Anai-Acoke project is now going in a slightly different direction... constructive discussions under way with an NGO.

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I run internet cafes which double as IT training centres in Uganda. The costs of running these facilities are almost the same. All that needs to be done is removal of cost of running internet in the place.The rent, power etc remain the same. Question is how will the training centre sustain itself? We need to as denis quoted Anai acoke, find a way of sustaining the place locally. People in Uganda are enthusiastic about learning IT. I am sure there has to be a way some people are charged and registered orphans do it for free. That way the public helps in running the training centre.There is no way the centre will run without income from somewhere.

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Thank you so much Denis and Daniel,
Yes we have put that in consideration its truely too difficult to run it without support but the target group is forcing us to to so for the start these are hand-capped and orphans who need special attention.
We have a sister in USA who has supporting us not in a big way but we have been moving on that and some of our people have managed to come off the road sides They now have some hope we are thinking that we will still use the same to help the needy ones, and then some other people might come for the training those will be paying.
Special thanks to Jackie and Innovations Children Centre USA and my dear brother Pelle who has stood with us in good and bad times, Rebecca who willingly opened for us a page on myspace, Jackie O'Neal who is working tirelessly to make us known.
And many of you who are standing with us in all that we are doing the advise that you are giving and all the Nabuur staffs i don't know how to thank you all but thank you and continue to support Jinja Central

Paul

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Hello Paul

Nice to meet you! I am pleased to hear you have such a lot of support.

I am myself very heavily committed on other projects but I would like to contribute a little here, mainly to try to steer discussion in the best ways we can so that you feel empowered and in command. It is not a complicated technical thing to make a plan... once you get behind the wheel and you, in Jinja, do the driving. We are just here to support.

Can you tell us, so that we can shape the business plan, who your team is, and what their skills are. Can you speak of 'strengths and weaknesses' - the things you do really well, and the things you need to be able to do better, to run this as a business.

That information you have provided about your partners and supporters is very important. We need to have all that in the plan, as part of the 'assets' you bring.

best wishes

Dennis

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Pelle, thanks for the invite to get more actively involved with this project.

I originally posted just to pass on the information that I had about Paypal in Uganda. To be honest, I probably don't have the time to be very active - it depends on what happens with a few other things...

I was tempted to reply to your email but it seems to make sense to post here instead then it is part of discussion for everyone to see. Some of this is not directly related to the business plan - apologies for that...

I share everyone else's concern about how the training centre will run with no obvious source of income. Paul, its for you to decide what you want to do about that, but I have the feeling that you will have to run some paid-for training as well as the free stuff, at least until you get the internet cafe up and running in phase 2. You also talk in the business plan about cooperation with local schools - is that a potential source of income, would schools who don't have computers of their own be willing to pay to use yours at certain times of the day?

Can you learn from what other computer centres have done, including from those on Nabuur who have successfully got one up and running e.g. Kootapuli in India who, as well as providing training, also earn income by providing services to local businesses (I don't know the full details of this)? Also from the existing ones in Jinja (they might not want to share info as you will be their competition in the future!) or from others across Uganda - there are a lot, and there are also networks that allow them to share information. There are links to some of those stored in Anai-Acoke village's wiki.

Pelle, in your email you also mention training material but there does not appear to be a task for that so I will post comments on that here too...

You may find that other centres are willing to let you have copies of their training material and advise on the most relevant subjects to start with.

I don't know anything about the types of jobs available in Jinja - how much research has been done on this? Will having basic computer skills be likely to lead people directly into work - are the skills in demand in the town? Or will you need to offer other training as well? And will employers expect them to have internet/email skills which they will not be able to get as part of phase 1, as you will not be connected to the internet. Other skills could be things like accounting/bookkeeping, writing a CV, report writing etc. Or training on how to start their own business. Once you have internet access, you can also do things such as how to use the internet to find a job, doing online research etc.

Mary

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Hi Dennis and Mary,

Thanks for the ideas/suggestions. As you both say you're not sure if you can collaborate fulltime, I'd suggest you both act as a 'soundboard' for the business planning team.

Mary, concerning the 'education team'. The team is still being formed and I'd like to discuss with the members and Paul which tasks to start. :-)

About the issue raised by Daniel, Dennis and Mary:
Paul and I are both aware that sustainability of the centre in the first phase is an important issue. We've discussed a couple of options (such as offering paid trainings) and are trying to involve more experienced neighbours to help with ideas, prevent BEHOD from pitfalls etc. Therefore I'm very happy to have Daniel on board. I'm also in touch with a neighbour from India who has been running IT centres.

Let's put on our Thinking Hats and provide Paul with the best ideas possible :-D

Warm regards,

Pelle

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Hi Dennis,

Regarding your comments on the business plan. Thera Strietman has reviewed the plan before and said the following:

Quote:
Thera Strietman wrote:
My task was to review the business plan. In order to do so I have made a new document and attached it to this posting. Some things that still need to be done:

- The costs of buying the drinks (that will be sold in the internet cafe) are not in the current cost overview. This still needs to be done. I can not do this since I do not know what the prices of these drinks are

- Currently the proposal was written in the 'You should' way. I understood that this business plan shall be used to persuade investors to give money/hardware/expertise etc. Am I right? In that case the set up of the proposal must be changed.

If you need any more help, just let me know!

Greetings,
Thera

The document she posted is attached to this task (right hand side under the button 'Resources'), but I think you've found that already.

Pelle

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hi
my name is Ali Baasit
well thank u to be apart on the village .well the bussiness plan need to be corrected sum points are missing on short scale is correct but in bigger note is no correct
well that pause a challenge .well i agree to promote the interest of orphan to have resources and expose to computer and new learning skills .we must note that machine break we need to repair them we can well teach one person to repair them .on the training part have to be noted. and no funder or donar is wiiling to plung his money on not workable structure. bussines plan is vital inportant
thank u :-)

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Hi Pelle and Paul, Ali and all

I am actually suggesting more than is reflected in your note Pelle.

I think it is very important, before any other beginning, that Paul and his team are able to bring to the discussion information about their own skills and experience in business operations. Everything depends on that, including the writing of any sensible business plan. There is an illusion in many Nabuur villages that strangers can write business plans with no knowledge of the local situation and skills and obstacles. If this project is to be a success it is absolutely essential that that error not occur here. You know also that the Nabuur site is littered with useless 'business plans'.

There are really two kinds of business plan which seem to get confused.
[1] the business plan which is prepared to inform the people who must work together about what they must do
[2] the kind of business plan prepared for borrowing from a bank, or in this case, to get donations.

Really [1] is needed before [2] and [1] needs to indicate the path to self-sustaining capacity.

What do you think, Paul? We have people here with quite a lot of relevant experience and we will all help you work through this. We will work for your empowerment, your confidence, your business skills development and success.

There is a very important article here:
http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v8/v8i4a3.htm
about reasons for business failure in Uganda. You may find it helpful to read about the 'traps'.

My note is not meant to be negative. The opposite of that! I am wanting as a coach to prepare you for this hard road to business success!

very best

Dennis

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Let's get started with the following:

- Paul and I will make a quickscan of the project so far, including the strengths and weaknesses of Paul and his team on the ground. This can be used as a fresh start for the planning of phase 1.

- In the meantime we'll form a business planning team.

- During it's first meeting this team will determine what is there already and what it thinks will be the next steps.

Any suggestions for other activities needed now are welcome!

Pelle

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Hi all,
Just to chip in a little.A very good source of income and a kind of advertisement to the training centre will be inclusion of a Fax,Photocopier,scanner, and secretarial services all for income. These, believe me, are on demand in Uganda. They can help with the problem of source of income among other things. Lets take note of those items which we might need to acquire.

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Hi Pelle

When you have a good presentation of the local team and everyone can see them, it will be a lot easier to gather a team, i'm sure.

i look forward to reading what you and Paul and his colleagues assemble. More power to them!

best wishes

Dennis

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Thanks Daniel!

Great suggestions. So we'll need a scanner, printer, fax, copier?
What exactly do you mean with 'secretarial services'?
I suggest we see how this fits in the plan, what skills are needed etc.

Dennis, the quickscan is on it's way :-)

Pelle

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It Fits perfectly well in the plan. Secretarial services. Typing, printing, photocopying, faxing etc. These services lack in very many offices in Uganda leading to an opportunity to make money providing such services to those in need for a fee. There are many secretarial bureaus in Uganda now therefore every office that does not have a computer and/or all those machines has to look for such services in secretarial bureaus. These secretarial services are usually provided by internet cafes and IT training centres that need to tap that money. The only extra cost I see here is acquiring the machines and getting them to Uganda. As far as skill is concerned, we will only need one(1) qualified person to handle this section while we have one other for the training section.

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