Are you an #Afripreneur looking to raise funds? (Part 3)

Are you an #Afripreneur looking to raise funds? (Part 3)

__Stand out and be remembered. Pitching advice from the pros.In the past few weeks I’ve told you about two competitions for entrepreneurs across Africa. Now let me share a little advice on pitching and business plans from the pros. Whether you’re making a pitch video, or a live pitch-of-your-life to Warren Buffett himself, you need to prepare and practice. Some of you have been with me here for about six years. Prime time is now!

When you make a pitch, you must do and/or say something unforgettable. Potential investors see countless pitches. You must stand out and inspire confidence. If you are a grower making a pitch video, are you outstanding in a field? If a scientist, in a lab? An irrigation expert, near your pivots? A digital farmer, piloting your drone? A retailer, blending your fresh-made juice? A coder, programming your automated tractors? You need to explain exciting numbers but you can inspire with visuals, too!

If you want to win a competition, please don’t submit an old pitch video. It’s very unlikely to be relevant to the new questions posed. You’re setting yourself up for failure. Do the work.

Many of you know that I wrote a series on pitching a few years ago. Today I want to mention a few more helpful hints for entrepreneurs of all ages and experience levels, shared by Rohit Bhargava, a former judge of several pitch contests (I’ll give you the link to the article below):

# “Tailor the message. Knowing your audience is critical. . .Learn as much as you can about how they think and what they find interesting or don’t . . .”

# “Simplify. Don’t use three slides when one will do. Don’t use words if you can use visuals. . . “

# “Decisions are often based on the strength of your responses to questions that your judges ask… Answer questions as directly as you can. There is nothing worse than someone who seems like they are trying to avoid questions or has no idea how to answer them. No matter how good your pitch is, you can and will lose if you aren’t able to answer questions effectively.”

# “Be concrete. If there is one common mistake that entrepreneurs make over and over again in the Shark Tank, it is being vague and not having concrete details about their businesses. This may come down to your cost of goods sold, or your margin, or your future strategy. Being concrete about what you share shows that you have thought about the details of your business and your industry, and that you understand what you are asking for.”

# “End with a memory cue. Perhaps the toughest fact about a pitch competition is that you are usually up against lots of competitors in a short timeframe. Speaking as a former judge for several, it can become almost impossible to remember the details about everyone who pitched… It could be something physical you do, or a story you tell, or literally ending by telling your audience exactly what the one thing that you want them to remember is…”

Here are a few key questions from the pros to keep in mind when putting together your business plans and pitches. Be able to answer in concrete detail, getting to the point very quickly:

#1. What is your product or service and why is it innovative or unique?

#2. What big problem does it solve, and what is the market opportunity?

#3. Who are your main competitors and why are#you, your #people (management and team),#product and #processes better?

#4. What traction does your venture have? (such as app downloads, company website visits, sales?)

#5. What are the main risks or challenges you face? (like regulatory, legal, disruptive technologies)

#6. How does your venture make a positive social impact? (such as job creation, improved livelihoods, no environmental harm, waste reduction, clean energy, water saving, worker health, safety, financial inclusion)

#7. What is your venture’s current financial situation? Projections going forward? Assumptions?

#8. Was your business model designed to achieve scale? How does it work?

#9. What milestones will winning “prize capital” (or raising investor financing) help you achieve?

#10. How will an investor make money if he or she invests in your company?

Now over to you. Be bold, be prepared, and go forth!

End.

 

 

Author:Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.

44 Replies to “Are you an #Afripreneur looking to raise funds? (Part 3)”

  1. Hillary Ogolla writes,

    Thank you so much Strive Masiyiwa.
    This platform has transformed and educated many African entrepreneurs.

    I remember my first pitch to Lions Den, Kenya. I couldn’t secure funds from investors because of my poor response to the investors questions. I went back, restructured my business plan, watched many pitching on “Shark Tank”. When I got another opportunity at the Lions Den, I secured the funds from investors because I can say I was well prepared. Since then, I have been pitching courageously knowing do’s and don’t during pitching.

    My reply,
    Brilliant!

  2. Ashley Hwacha writes,

    I am quietly observing with keen interest and a voracious hunger ;when my time comes i will be ready really really ready.

    My reply,
    I love your response!
    There are seeds of greatness in you.

  3. Justice Orogun writes,

    Thanks, Dr. Masiyiwa. I needed this post now. Please, why are businesses in idea stage total turnoffs for investors?

    My reply,
    The answer is simple:
    Ideas don’t make money; it is the effective execution of the idea that makes money!
    The world is full of great ideas, because we all think. What investors are looking for are people who can demonstrate a capacity to put an idea into practice, even by just making a demonstration.

  4. @LEARNING FROM OTHERS:

    If you are new to this platform, let me share a secret with you:
    The most important lessons you will learn on this platform are not necessarily from me, but from the comments others make on this platform.
    Make it a habit to spend time just reading through the comments. I go through all the comments, and also have other people read and point out things to me, which I may have missed.

    I love to read links that some of you refer to.
    Even if I don’t directly comment to you, always remember that every comment has your name on it!

  5. #Reflection:

    I WANT TO GET TO KNOW YOU!

    I have been posting and commenting to things you say for more than 6 years.
    I know many of you through this platform by name.
    It is important to me that you Comment, because it is how I get to know about you.
    Don’t be intimidated to silence, there is no one less important than others. I want to hear your voice to.
    Feel free to ask questions, even if they sound silly [as long as you don’t go off topic, or are abusive to others in your approach], I will not despise anything, and will try to address it.
    Read the answers I give to others, and simply pretend it was addressed to you, because in reality I pick out things which enable me to speak to more than one person.

    Please, please comment. It is the life of this platform, and it is what keeps me excited about the platform. And I’m not the only one!

  6. #Breaking News!

    @The Commercial launch of @CLEAN CITY AFRICA:

    We have began the count down towards the launch next week of our new business called Clean City Africa:
    At the heart of this new business are several important business concepts which I have taught about many times,
    Here are some of them:

    #1. Clean City uses the SharedEconomy Digital model to address a urgent need in African urban cities:
    We have independent truck owners who provide trucks using the Vaya Truck platform. These trucks are then branded “Clean City”, and handed over to Waste Management Companies.

    #2. Franchising:
    The Waste Management Companies were quire small independent providers. They have been designated into “Franchisees”:
    This gives them access to skills, training, operating procedures, standards, vehicles, equipment, technical support, money, and customers [from the Econet network].
    Marketing is done on their behalf by Econet. This is a huge expense taken off their hands.
    I have spoken a lot about franchising as a concept.

    #3. It is a business built on partnerships:
    -The City Council is a partner in that they provide the Landfills;
    -There are companies that provide recycling facilities. These are being scaled quickly.
    -Every single player in the Waste Management ecosystem has been invited to play a role.

    #4.Clean City:
    As a business in our group, it is actually part of Vaya Logistics. It’s run by a small team of highly experienced professionals, who understand how to scale a business quickly.

    #5. Start in one place:
    We chose the city of Harare. We will not move from that city until we have mastered the game, no matter how long it takes. After Harare we will choose another city, maybe in Zimbabwe or maybe in another African country.

    #6.Invest in customer acquisition:
    During the prelaunch phase there are many steps. We began very small, and allowed potential [friendly] customers to try it out and give us their feedback, they got the service for free and we got to test our ideas. This too is an important principle when you play the long game.
    Next we stepped up, still with a free service but to a broader market.
    Again, and again we went back to the drawing board.
    Now it is ready:
    We will start with over 150,000 customers.

    #7. Keep an eye out for bye products that you did not know would be important:
    Someone called me and asked for a meeting. “I want to talk about your waste.”
    “What do you do?”
    [whilst I’m not going to tell you, for that would be dumb!]
    I listened carefully to this guy who was in the Far East. When he finished speaking, I sat back and simply said:
    “Wow! What have we started here?!”
    “Thank you Lord!”

    Keep watching!

  7. Evans Joseph writes,

    Thank you for opening up to our generation sir!One thing i cherish most is you taught us how to read!

    Yes i went up to High school but i realised after you taught us about reading that i didn’t know how to read back then!

    Now i can read fast!that also helped me to think fast,i can also excecute some duties and task faster and efficient than i never thought i would!

    Wow its amazing……

    My reply,
    Reading is my most prized skill.

    It is also the most profitable skill to me.

    It is a skill anyone can develop, even if they did not go to College.

    The more you read, the more you can read. The more you read, the faster you get at it.

  8. Muhereza Martin writes,

    Mr.Strive. your posts are so educative.But do you know that most youth and graduates live below $1 a day. My concern is that ,how can you tell that youth that earns that much about how to get started?

    My reply,
    Yes I know this statistic, like I know a lot of other statistics, that can make us both sad and mad at the same time.

    For six years I have Posted on this platform [consistently and] daily.
    I have been addressing millions of young African entrepreneurs, and some of them have either started or improved their businesses, which has in turn helped create jobs and greater prosperity in their countries.

    I have done what I know how to do according to my own skills and calling as an entrepreneur. Now for sure there are others who have skills in things like politics, academia, education, social development, media, and even activists, who are doing what they can according to their own skills. Hopefully together we will move forward.

    What areas are you working on that you believe will he’ll change the situation?

  9. Joel Nmalagu writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa this is so true… When daddy wrote on product, process and people it made me research further and I saw the relevance of it in all we do running a business successfully. Today, I can say applying these 3Ps has worked for us. We are gradually making Klarex Brands a household name in Nigeria.

    We promote hygienic lifestyle and wellbeing with our Klarex products; Klarex toilet cleaner, Klarex air-freshener, and Klarex tile cleaner for now.

    My reply,
    I love this brand name!
    As a board member of Unilver PLC in London, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot about the scale of global Home Care Industry that you are in.
    This is a huge industry, and you will be a great success.
    Well done.

  10. Peter Majeshi writes,

    Teacher,how can you starts in the world of business with absolute nothing?.if yes let’s share ideas.
    i lost job and now i lost buusiness.
    I’m just finding a way to start all over again.

    My reply,
    Peter, first of all there is no one who has “nothing”:
    Your mind is as huge as the Universe itself, and so cannot be described as “nothing”!
    The woman who sells tomatoes as a vendor might be seen by some as having “nothing” and yet some of those woman educated children that became Harvard graduates.
    Many of us are the sons or grandchildren of mere villagers who were illiterate, but believed in education.
    Before I was six years old I spelt on the floor in a mud hut. Who would have imagined, and yet my grandmother never allowed us to believe we had “nothing”.
    There is no hope for anyone who believes they have “nothing”!

    Secondly:
    If you fail in any business let it be simply a learning moment. I have had many businesses [and even more ideas ] that were total flops. I have lost money and I have lost great employees, but I have got up and tried again, and again.

  11. #Our next big subject:
    Finding the right people for your business!

    Over the next couple of weeks, I will drop some nuggets on finding the right people to help you grow the business.
    Watch out for these little nuggets, because I will just comment now and again.

    As your business gets bigger, you are going to rely more and more on other people to undertake critical functions. Some of these people will be given senior positions to manage others.

    Finding the right people for a job becomes the most important, and hardest jobs you must do.

  12. # Nugget 1.
    Finding the Right People for the job!

    #Avoid the big talkers who claim credit for everything good that happened, where they once worked!

    I once interviewed a guy who told me he had actually invented the Internet!
    Since I know who did, I kicked him out!

    There are some people out there who come with the most impressive CVs you can imagine. Learn to dig and check them out.
    If you apply to me for a top job, you have given me the license to “check you out”.
    It is probably because I deal with money that I worked for that I spend so much time really checking people out.

    Character references are more important than a PHD. There are a lot of people out there who don’t stack up if you check them out properly. Don’t give them control of your company!

  13. #Nugget 2:

    Finding the Right person for the job!

    Avoid the guys who never accept responsibility for anything that went wrong where they once worked.
    You can be sure that when they make a mess in your organization, they will peddle in conspiracy theories, and blame everyone except themselves.

  14. Called Solomon writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa, what matters most in business?

    To just start and perfect your business with time or to perfect your plans first and then start?

    My reply,
    Both!
    You work to perfect what you are about to start, but never make perfect the enemy of good.
    There is only one test for a business:
    ~Who is willing to pay for what you are selling?
    There are times I have created what in my mind is a near perfect business, and yet to have few people willing to pay for it, leaving me with no option but to close it.
    There have been times I have gone out with what appeared to be a simple business idea, and yet people flocked to buy.
    #Its all business!

  15. Earnest Baguma writes,

    Well sir strive… Me and my team started kidco a computer skills training organization to teach children in less advantaged areas relevant and update computing skills to equip them for participation in the 4IR. we started this year and we are growing. We are now in two schools and soon we shall start looking for funders.

    My reply,
    I have my eye on you:

    Go “kiddo with Kidco”!

  16. Thembisile Mlambo Mutlanyana writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa, powerful #Chief there’s no body under the sun who came with ‘no-thing’ remember that when we’re born we came in this world with our fist holding something… what it is in your hand for breakthrough… #UseIt…

    My reply,
    Do you mind if I now call you “Thembi”?

    My grandmother once whispered to me:
    “Babies are born with their fists tightly held because they are holding tightly to the gift God gave them to give to the world”

    ~A’Gandure [my grandmother’s name but she also whispered once: “Strive my English name is Veronica, and you are the only one I’m telling!” She died at 106 years old].

  17. Nicky Verd writes,

    It took me more than one year of silently following before I ever left a comment on this platform. I used to feel so intimidated and so small….like whatever I had to say would just get lost in this mighty ocean of awesomness. But I could only keep quiet for so long….the weight of the words of Dr Strive Masiyiwa is so great and I could no longer stay quiet. I started interacting, commenting and it’s the bestest decision ever. Some of the amazing people in my life are people I meet on this platform. But the best part is that talking/commenting brought me closer to Dr Strive Masiyiwa and vice versa. I now know him beyond this platform. I feel like I’ve known him all my life, I feel like I’ve sat across the table with him, had breakfast and or lunch with him….and that’s why I can proudly call him my Mentor. Thank you so much Sir. #MajorRespect

    My reply,
    Ever since you started posting comments, we took note!
    My team loves you!

  18. Palmer Simango

    I love what you are doing. It will not be without recompense. The other day I listened to one of the greatest artists in the world discuss someone just like you, who made it possible. It is always someone like you.
    God bless you!

  19. #Finding the right people for the job!

    I will never forget the night we were in Nigeria after our challenges began.
    It had been a really tough day, and I went to bed very late at the hotel where I was staying with some of my senior executives.
    One of my most senior people called at 2am, and asked to come and see me. I woke up and waited for him. He came in well dressed:
    “I have been up all night, and I’m convinced the Nigerians are planning to kill us.”
    He continued:
    “I have organized cars to get us out, and we can be at the border of Benin [neighboring country] by morning”.

    I asked him to go to his room and wait for me.
    What I did next:
    I got him a car, and ticket to SA, and he left the same day.

    I continued with those who had the “face of a lion, and understood the times, and the season of our times”.

    Me, give up Nigeria? Never, ever!

    I hate it when people generalize about any group of people, saying things like “those Nigerians” or “ those white people”, “those Chinese” or “ those Zimbabweans”!
    Never acceptable to me.

  20. Biodun Collins Ogundipe

    My reply,
    I believe that @Clean City Africa is going to be a great business in Nigeria.
    I yearn so much to get there. I can’t break my own cardinal rule of not pushing out to Nigeria before a product or service has been properly tested.

    Our team at Karigo [equivalent to Vaya Truck] were recently in Harare to see @Vaya Logistics team. They will be the first to launch @Clean City Nigeria, once we are ready. I hope that you will be one of the key franchise partners.
    We are going to make you and Austin big, hopefully!
    Let’s see how things develop.

  21. Chenjerai J Chikwangwani Takawira writes,

    Maybe just to encourage someone; There are mind prisons that keep people away from living their desired lives.Surely, doubt has killed more dreams more than failure itself. Its so sad that the graveyards are full of products and services that never reached mankind because someone died while gripped by the chains of fear,doubt and ignorance. I was once a victim but thanks to Mr Masiyiwa ,the nuggets and well articulated profound posts which you have been sharing with us for over 6 years now.Your posts are like light ,every time your introduce a topic darkens,fear and doubt subsides and seeds of courage and boldness are planted in our hearts and you feel rejuvenated and brand-new.
    Though his post I found courage to start my first venture (Zimbabwe Maids Centre) an online maids placement agency ,then a year later I started a packaging company which is into spices and dried vegetables and lastly a transport business.

    The point I’m trying to drive home is simple, try to get all his posts from way back go through them as many times as possible then apply them .Its not enough to just read read read without applying, remember you don’t need to be big to start but you need to start to be big.

    Put your hands to something, read through his posts and comments apply to your business, research more on your own and start living the best life .Thank you Sir, I really appreciate you.your massages is like light unto my path (Ndinotenda). More grace.

    My reply,
    I’m humbled by your response.
    Every time I read something like this my spirit jumps up like the baby John the Apostle. I get a true sense of God’s purpose in what I’m doing.
    Thank you for making it so worthwhile.
    Tip:
    Try and digitize your Maid’s concept into a broader cleaning service.

  22. #For those of you facing a tough time:

    “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better”
    ~Samuel Beckett.
    [passed on by my dear friend Michael Royce]

  23. #Reflection:

    Women drivers are better than men!

    Sometimes our policy makers [such as Ministers] remind me of men drivers:

    Have you ever noticed that when a male driver gets lost he will go round and round, and never ask for help from anyone?
    They will bring you back to where you have been before, and actually argue that you are nearly there!

    During the London Olympic Games I missed one of the key events because my driver got lost, and he kept refusing to ask for directions. Eventually a child [one of my daughters, of course!] told him, “you have driven past that building six times! You are lost!”

    Women drivers are much more sensible than men. As soon as they realize they are lost, they stop the car and look for directions.

    It does not cost you anything to stop and ask others for directions, even if you are a professor of directions. Don’t be the last person to see that you are lost!

    P.S:
    I’m a man, just in case you had not noticed!

  24. Masukume Samson writes,

    Sir Strive, how are you? Sorry when i went off topic. My question is: Does a (for profit) company need approval from investors to invove in things like, donations , sponsoring or some non-profit activities?

    My reply,
    Yes it does.
    If the company is doing well most investors will support, but they would need to know in advance. The more transparent you are about these things, the better for you.

  25. Spangler Spangler writes,

    I just wrote down a lot of point from comment section this is my first time here and it’s past 3am and am still here reading. I have a facebook market. Spangler market which is aim at creating free platform for entreprenure all over the world to do business, and exchange products and services at the comfort of their home. I know your page will help me expand my mind, views and ideas on how to expand spangler market.

    My reply,
    You are most welcome!
    We have been waiting for you to join us. Now we are richer because you have joined us.
    Strive Masiyiwa [himself]

  26. Kachavhi Gift writes,

    Dr Strive Masiyiwa what skills should I use? I am finding it difficult to figure out how best could I approach a company that is doing the same business as I want to venture into, in order for me to dig information eg. touring their plant, asking them who supplied them with the plant, etc.

    Because if I fail to use the right skills to approach them they may get annoyed and not even want to entertain me, or they might give me false information considering that I am their competitor to be. (Though we are not in the same country)

    So many times you wrote that when you hear of new business ventures (pioneers) that interested you, you send your team to the companies to dig for information. What skills do they use to approach the companies?

    My reply,
    Write to them and make your request in a transparent manner with total humility. Most large businesses will welcome a start up to visit them to learn. You are only a threat when you are a fully fledged competitor.
    You can also learn a lot online and through reading books and magazines.

  27. Paul Elijah writes[edited]

    Evening Teacher. Thank you for encouraging us to break the silence and make comments. I have been following you for more than a year. And many times, i get so challenged that i remain dumbfounded and unable to make any comments. But from now henceforth, i would gladly make regular comments and questioning as i now know and believe they could help someone too. 1st Question: Sir would you support my thinking that as a starter in business, i should focus more on building traction, understanding my business model and having some base before reaching for investors or even competition or can i opt for investment at the starting level?

    My reply,
    Thank you for this question, because it allows me [ as always] to say something very important to the wider audience of our friends.

    #1. Build Sales as quickly as possible. Until you are selling something to a customer who is willing and able to pay you, your business has not started.

    #2. Investors want to see that customers like your #product and there is demand based on the willingness to pay for the service.
    This is why investors shy away from simply backing an idea:
    They know that the journey from idea to paying customer is very tricky.

    #3. Personally I want to see that you understand how to put in place a “Revenue Generating Business Model”.

  28. #Pause:
    An unusual compliment from an unexpected source!

    It is a well known fact that Zimbabwe’s very famous Vice President Dr Joshua Nkomo had a real soft spot for me.
    During my increasingly bitter dispute with the government which was being fought out in the courts, he tried to mediate:
    One day he called me to his house and asked me for a solution that could satisfy all parties:
    “Baba”, I began politely “there is a technical solution. New technology allows us to now have more than two operators in a country. As you know the real reason they will not license me, that there is a group with powerful political support, and they want this license as well.
    But there is no reason why they cannot issue them a separate license. Zimbabwe can accommodate three mobile operators.”

    “They told me there was only room for a government operator, and one private.” He replied after listening to me.
    “I will see the President and suggest they license two private operators.”

    Next evening he called me back with the response:
    “President has refused.”

    “Why?” I asked.
    Then surprisingly, the old man chuckled before saying:
    “He said, if Masiyiwa gets a license, he will eat up the other two companies for lunch!”

    “He said that?!” I asked.
    “Yes. He told me those other guys are not really strong business people, and they just rely on politics to make money. You are different.”

    We both laughed, before the old man added:
    “For once I agree with Robert Mugabe!”

    I had to wait for the court to rule two years later, by which time the other two operators had already been in operation for two years!

    [even in tough times, it helps to have a sense of humor, and have a laugh. It will be okay eventually.]

    Now remember:

    #NothingTurnsOnThis!

    There is no set back or challenge you cannot overcome!

    @EverythingTurnsOnThis:

    #Product [innovation],
    #People
    #Processes.

    …the formula to win!

  29. Engr Michael O Modebelu writes,

    Sir, please pardon me for digressing a bit.
    I have these questions to ask because I’m currently in this position.
    #1. If someone after having a long conversation with him about business, reach out to you, asking you to come and Co-found one his businesses that is at venture stage, what is the first thing to do?.

    #2. Is it possible or normal to have up to five co-founders of a particular business? if yes, why?.

    #3. Even when a business does not have a patent already, what could be the initial agreement?

    Thanks sir strive, as I await your sincere answers to my questions.

    My reply,

    Sir, please pardon me for digressing a bit.

    #1. If someone after having a long conversation with him about business, reach out to you, asking you to come and Co-found one his businesses that is at venture stage, what is the first thing to do?.

    Comment:
    Offer to sign a “None Disclosure and None Circumvent Agreement”. Then you ask for documents for you to review carefully. The person must disclose everything as though you are an investor.
    Check out the person through other people. Spend time with them to find out that they are both intellectually, emotionally, and values fit for you.

    #2. Is it possible or normal to have up to five co-founders of a particular business? if yes, why?.

    Comment:
    Yes.

    #3. Even when a business does not have a patent already, what could be the initial agreement?

    Comment:
    Most businesses are started without a patented product.

    Thanks sir strive, as I await your sincere answers to my questions.

  30. Adedayo Olumuyiwa writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa Jesus Christ! I knew it! I had wanted to ask you this, great Chief, but I had to be clever and wait for an opportune time. And the time finally came today, being Sunday.

    Glory to God!

    Chief, my second book, “Study To Stardom’ was inspired by Paul’s admonition to Timothy thus ” Study to Show Thyself…. ”

    Great Chief, I am sharing this on all social media platforms, my WhatsApp platforms (Edubrainics) and so on:

    “Reading is my MOST prized skill. It is also the most PROFITABLE skill to me.”

    – Dr. Strive Masiyiwa

    As a BONUS great Chief, to help share and encourage the spread of this life-changing and continent-lifting quote, Sir, I am donating the ebook, “Study to Stardom” to everyone on MBS(Masiyiwa’s Business School) and beyond!

    Anyone interested should visit http://www.edubrainics.com

    Drop this comment “Reading is my MOST prized skill. It is also the most PROFITABLE skill to me.”

    – Dr. Strive Masiyiwa

    My team shall send the book, which was read, edited and endorsed by two University Lecturers.

    It is FREE!

    Thanks Dr. Strive for fueling not only entrepreneurship, but scholasticism on the continent.

    See you soon.

    My reply,
    You are an absolutely amazing young man!
    Oh wow!

    Thank you on behalf of everyone on this platform. Please send me my own signed copy. Someone will reach out to you.
    Remind me to showcase the book when we meet.

  31. #ShoutOut to Adedayo!

    Some of you may be aware that our friend Adedayo Olumuyiwa has written a book called “Study to Stardom”, and he has offered it to each of you for free.
    This is an amazing gesture, and I want to thank him on your behalf.

    Here is another expression from me:

    “Not being willing to read and study is the worst form of laziness that I know in life. “
    ~Strive Masiyiwa

  32. #Reflection:
    Why I’m so proud of this platform’s members.

    When I started the platform 6 years ago, we had a deluge of complaints in some of the comments about the length of my write ups that it worried my Site Administrators. “You need to make the Posts shorter” they advised.

    I totally refused and told them:

    #1. “The type of people we want to draw to the platform are very serious young people. They know I want to take them to another level. When I’m finished with them they will be as good as or better than their peers from anywhere in the world.”

    #2. “If someone is going to be wearied with reading a simple one pager, what will they do when I have to recommend them to global boards where they have to read a thousand pages before every meeting?”

    I was right!

    Facebook have a measure called “Engagement”, and for the last three years they have published that this page represents the most “Engaged Followers Business Influencer in the World”~ way ahead of global titans from America and China.

    To even stand a chance out there, you will have to work harder, and that means read harder than anyone else THROUGHOUT your life. It’s tough out there guys, and you have to step up even more:
    “Study to show yourself approved.”

  33. #Nugget on choosing the right person to work for you:

    Don’t hire a person who is not curious!

    #1. Ask them to talk about the last book they read.
    If they have not read or are reading a book of any kind in the last few months, I am not that interested.

    #2. Ask them to give you their vision about what will happen in their chosen profession:
    “Tell me about the latest changes to accounting standards?”
    I once asked a young person who wanted to be CFO, and he just fell apart.

    #3. Ask them to talk about industry trends that they know about.
    Re: this is so important.
    Is the person even curious about what is happening, in your industry or do they just want a salary?

  34. Justin Penyesani writes,

    Thank you Sir! for these lessons we are learning and I wish a successful launch of Clean City. Sir through our interaction here, i now understand that some of the innovations that comes out of Econet Group like Vaya were conceived by you, went through R&D, launched and scaled by @the right people. Some years ago you wrote encouraging employees to be entrepreneurs within their organisations, so now if you are the “Chief Entrepreneur” within the group. After your retirement or exit from Econet will @the right people within the organisation manage to came up with new brilliant innovations or it will be like the Apple Inc after Steve Jobs exit?.

    My reply,

    The key objective of every successful entrepreneur is to ensure that the entrepreneurship comes from an organization rather than any one individual.
    In our group, I can say that today over 90% of innovations do not come from me directly. Sometimes entire new services are developed and launched without my knowledge.

  35. Mark Mutale writes,

    Sir i am one of the most innovative people i know. My area of focus is health tech would love to work for you and do for Econet what Ping An Insurance has done for the Chinese health tech market

    My reply,
    Nice pitch Mark!
    We have a company in our group called Maisha HealthTech. They sit inside Cassava. They know the guys at Ping An in China [cant say more!]
    What is your country; maybe we can find a way to bring you into our interest?

  36. Sinqo Nyathi writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa Well, I’m impressed that you’d like to get to know us ,I normally read through and never leave a Comment…you like to teach a lot about profit making businesses.I want to find out how one can turn a *social concern* or *Community concern* into something that can sustain itself without relying on Donor funds?

    My reply,
    I have thought a lot about your question.
    I have my own question:
    “Who and what is the “donor”?”

    I sat on the board of one of the largest international foundations for 15 years. They have billions of dollars to give, but those billions of dollars came from someone who built a business that made a lot of money.

    So can we actually have Not-For-Profit charitable organizations, if there is no one interested in first making profits from business?

    Whenever I make a profit in my business, it is distributed as follows:

    #1. We pay taxes to governments, which hopefully are used to finance infrastructure such as schools, hospital and road. They pay for the salaries of Civil Servants, soldiers and policemen.

    #2. We set some aside for the company to expand.
    #3. We distribute a small amount to shareholders, the owners of the business:
    As a shareholder, when I get my share, I give half to my foundation and invest the rest for my family.
    My foundation makes donations for children to go to school, and responds to challenges in the community.

    This is also what Bill Gates, the biggest donor does. He told me himself.

    To be this is the only sustainable model I know.
    If businesses are not making money what happens?

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