BBuui i l l d d i i nnggaaV V i i aabbl l eeA AK K I I S S ::I I nnf f oor r mmaatti i oonnf f oor r I I nnvvee s stti i nngg
Information is key to making good investment decisions at all levels:- from policy that createsthe 'enabling environment' that significantly reduces the 'riskiness' of agriculture and providesmore confidence for persons to choose to invest in agriculture amidst all the other investmentoptions; to the actual investor who needs to secure and maximize his invested dollars andsense! Increasingly, the complaint is that there is not enough or even current information onagriculture to help investors to decide 'where' to invest in a business; to help financialinstitutions to determine whether an agri-business proposal is technically sound enough tomake financial sense; and to help policy makers tailor the polices to suit the needs. Aneffective AKIS must be able to respond to all these information needs on a timely andconsistent manner. The Agromatrix provides an indication of the 'who, what, when and why' of information for effective decision-making."INDICATIVE List; Certainly not EXHAUSTIVE"
From Idea toBusiness:Information NeedsInformation that helps Entrepreneurs makewise decisions and Financiers provide theInvestment financing.Some Information Sources for BusinessDevelopment
What is the need for the product (s) orservice (s)?
How much will it cost to start the business?
How long will it take to start-up business?
What are some key pitfalls and errors toavoid?
What is 'Plan B' - another business option?Statistics Departments compile a range of social and economic information that canprovide ideas; Supermarket shelves andshoppers can suggest products on whichbusinesses can be formed. Governmentservice agencies also have information on'how to get ideas' and start a business.
From Idea toBusiness Plan
Where does the business fit in the valuechain - where are its allies and competitors?
Is it a part-time or full time business?
What are the risks and what is the risktolerance level?
What are its strengths and weaknesses?
What development support is needed to planstart-up and where is it available?
How will cash flow be optimized?
What compliance issues exist?All countries set up special agencies toprovide business development financingand services, especially to smallenterprises. These agencies have theinformation and advice needed to help apotential entrepreneur work through howto move from 'idea' to business byplanning the process and defining the keyinformation needed to make gooddecisions.
How will the business be registered?
Is there start up funding available and where?
What, when, how and how much to produce?
Where is best location?
Is the business on par with industry standards
(GAP, GMP, HACCP, ISO etc)
Where can I access information on standardsand best practices?
How can the product /service be diversified:value-adding, waste processing etc?
What is the risk management plan?This is the most critical part of abusiness. It is critical to have the rightinformation at the right time to avoid themany pitfalls and errors of entrepreneurship. Several governmentministries, including Agriculture,Marketing Boards, can assist with thestart-up. Unfortunately, there are notenough facilities in the Caribbean thatfinance start-ups and work with theenterprise during the starting phase.
Who can provide product developmentsupport for diversification and meeting nichemarkets?
Will there be continuous businessdevelopment support to reduce cost,enhance quality and maximize profits?
What are the options for joint ventures,locally, regionally and internationally tofoster expansion and increase market share?Regional and international agencies canbe a good source on information toanswer these questions. They can alsoassist with forming strategic alliances andprovide assistance to national agencies inpromoting and facilitating growth andexpansion, especially in terms of workingwith government to improve the policyenvironment for competitive business.