Project Finance 101: Writing A Successful Plan

Project Finance 101:
The Business Plan

As the program director of the Major Infrastructure Funding Program says, it isn’t the business that fails, it’s the business plan.

The idea is that someone who knows nothing about the details and specifics can read the plan and understand what you are trying to do, how you will do it, with whom you will do it, and how will it meet the stated goals of the project.

 

For example, if you were to be trying to place an Internet-connected laptop to every child in a village, and engage teachers who would teach them in concert with an on-line system, you would need to show how you will use the funds; i.e. buying the laptops, distributing them, teaching the children how to use them, and then monitoring them to track their progress and help them succeed (staff/personnel).

 

What we are looking for is projects that will have humanitarian benefit, such as a hospital in an under-served area; a project that would be beneficial to the environment; a program for jobs-creation.

Each project owner needs to show that the business plan has been thoroughly developed, and the financial needs of the project are spelled out clearly with defined milestones where an additional tranche of the funding would be needed.

Executive Summary & Business Plan Content
  1. Overview: The Executive Summary and Business Plan form one document.  These notes are for the assistance of those requiring guidance on the content.
  2. They are not exhaustive, as each business and project will be different, and the document will therefore have to be tailored according to the particular situation.   Every letter and figure must be readily legible (at least 10pt.)
  3. Essential Requirements:  All documentation must be in clear English or a clear, certified, English translation in the case of any supporting document in local language. All amounts must be stated in 000’s or millions and currency in  Euro €, quoting the exchange rate used for conversion from local currency. Local terms, technical terminology, and acronyms must be explained – the investor must easily understand what is being proposed.
  4. The Executive Summary: This is really a brief Summary of the Business Plan, in order (a) to provide financiers and investors with a “snapshot” of the Company and its management, and an outline of the project, and (b) most importantly, to attract their interest in reading the full Business Plan, and funding the project.

It will therefore contain the following summarized information about:

  • The Company – it’s Management, and trading results for past three years.
  • The Project – background, market, summary and justification of proposal
  • Implementation of the Project and the timescale.
  • Project Cost.
  • Capital Contribution by the Company/Promoters.
  • Funding requirement – amount, modus (loan or investment), and proposed terms thereof.
  • Financial projections for 5 years – Gross Revenues, Operating Profit (after tax, interest and depreciation), Cash flow, Net Assets, and Return on Investment. – Only those items.

The Executive Summary should be constructed under the above-named headings, and should normally be contained in two A-4 sized pages, although it may, under certain circumstances, go up to a maximum of four pages.

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