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My Journey As An Entrepreneur In Africa II

female entrepreneurs

…Previously, I went into a brief tale on my journey as an entrepreneur in Africa. In this new article, I’ll explain how I succeeded in the African business world.

I lived with my cousin while supplying the maize. I didn’t even inform my cousin that I have quit my job. I told him that am on my leave and just doing the business for the time being. He appreciated me for that. I enjoyed being in his house for three months without paying rent, and this helped me a lot. I invested heavily in maize business within three months. I was not taking even a single cent of the business.

Having saved little money in maize business, I decided to take a bank loan ($5000). This loan I decided to invest it in the hotel industry (food industry). In the first 3months of the hotel business, I was not getting anything (profit), in fact, I was funding this business using the little profit I was getting from my first business – The maize business.

I also had to pay the bank loan. But how did I manage to pay the loan if the hotel business wasn’t giving out any profit? My main aim was not to get profit but how my business could stand strong. My first business was still my support. I used the little profit from maize business to support my hotel industry and paying the loan.
It reached a point where I couldn’t pay my 3 employees at the hotel, so I went to my friend to lend me $300 just to pay my employees. I ran out of cash, for I was paying the loan… but I never quit my business. I had already decided to do this.

After 6 months, the hotel business started giving out some reasonable income. I could now pay employees, expenditure and everything and still remain with some little cash. After one year I was done with paying the loan. I didn’t default on my loan payment, though I had challenges. I took another loan ($40,000). This money I invested it in a petrol station. The hotel industry was now excellent, the maize business was still doing good. I started with a mini petrol station because the money was not enough to construct a large station. I started with one pump now I have 4 large stations and 3 mini-stations. The hotel did well and now there’re 4 hotels with accommodations.

Even though I faced challenges when I started my business, I never loosed hope. I pressed on until I got what I want in life. I can now happily pay my employees, pay my dues and buy what I want. There’s no easy path to success, you must face it off. You will be a debtor but at the end, you will be free. They asked me how I made it just at 23-year-old. “Just believe in YOU and pray to GOD always to bless you”. Invent your future by knowing your potential.

What if I didn’t quit my job? Its simple, I would still be a salary earner.

Let’s rise Africa, we have the potential to change our continent.

By: Hillary Ogolla from Kenya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Inspiring Kenya Doctor Maxwel Okoth

dr. maxwell

Meet Dr. Maxwel Okoth – Founder of the Ruai Family Hospital in Kenya.
This inspiring Kenyan entrepreneur is building an empire in the healthcare market.

Healthcare in Africa is one of the issues affecting African nations and Dr. Maxwel Okoth felt a deep urge to do something about this problem.

It is no longer news that Africa has 11 percent of the world’s population but bears 25 percent of the world’s disease burden. This is exactly why Africa presents a huge demand (and opportunity) for healthcare services. With poorly funded and ineffective public hospitals and a significant brain drain of African doctors to the West, it’s easy to write off the continent’s healthcare market.

Armed with the vision to make a difference in his country, a strong determination and just about US$ 3,000, Dr. Maxwel Okoth launched – Ruai Family Hospital in Kenya. He started his healthcare venture as a small outpatient center.

Today, Dr. Maxwel Okoth small healthcare venture has become a 50-bed hospital that serves the low-end of the market. Over the next 5 years, he plans to spread his concept across Kenya, and tap into the growing market for health tourism in East Africa. He is already setting up a 100-bed multi-specialty hospital which will have a cancer center, radiology center, pediatric unit, and several other specialties.

Africa is abundantly “blessed” with problems that disguise huge and remarkable business opportunities. Our rich continent will continue to reward the doers, risk-takers, and entrepreneurs who embrace opportunities where others fear problems.

Video source: Africa.com

 

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My journey as an entrepreneur in Africa

male entrepreneur

I am 23yrs old from Kenya. A young entrepreneur in Food Industry and Oil Industry and Transport industry.
Before I ventured in entrepreneurship, I was employed in one of East Africa‘s largest food chain as a storekeeper.

I used to wait till end month in order to get my salary. This was something that couldn’t even sustain in the whole month. By date 15th of every month, I already had nothing in my pocket.

Was this going to solve my problem? Was this the true dream job I wanted. Yes, I was working for the best company, but it wasn’t my best.

I thought of what to do. According to me, I was best in entrepreneurship. So I decided to quit my job. I had little savings but I had to go. After resignation, I went home to my grandparents who paid hard to take me to school. To them, my job as a storekeeper was the best. I told them that I’m on leave but the truth was, I had quit my job.

It was difficult to tell them my decision. So after taking my things home, I left home without telling them anything. I only told them I am going to see visit my cousin.
With my little savings of $1800, I decided to start selling maize. Buying in large bulk and supplying.

To be continued…

By: Hillary Ogolla from Kenya

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Have you met the 8-year-old INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED KID ENTREPRENEUR?

Nifemi 1

Meet Nifemi Oyetayo – CEO of Lovely Beauties, an eight-year-old girl who has gained international recognition via her craft in fashion accessories.

At first, her business started as a hobby, then her love for art, craft, and fashion – helped built her creativity.
Nifemi realized she loves wearing fashion accessories when she was about 5-year-old, this gave birth to her dream and she decided to make hers.
Her mother supported her dream by getting the materials needed and that was how LOVELY BEAUTIES by Niffy was birthed.

Ever since Nifemi started her business, she has sold several pieces to customers’ home and abroad. Her Instagram page gained traction after she showcased her products at the first KENT fair where she made close to N40,000.00 (Forty thousand naira) in sales. This outcome encouraged Nifemi and spurred her to add more lines to her growing business and discover more innovative ways to make her accessories.

Lovely Beauties by Niffy is a young, vibrant, growing business targeted at lovers of beauty and fashion accessories. She currently has an everyday wear fashion jewelry and hair accessories which is infused with Nigerian traditional fabric- Ankara, to help promote Africa’s cultural heritage.

She has been honored with an Award by Amazing Amazon Initiative. The award which was for an Amazing Kid entrepreneur was given on 2017 edition of Children’s Day.

The issue of catching them young is very key in every facet of life endeavor; be it physical, social, and in business. Imagine where young Nifemi would be in the next 5, 10, 15, years.

We are urging all parent/guardian, much as you have the opportunity, try to encourage your children/wards to take up careers in entrepreneurship and other areas that you discover they have skills and passion.
In that way, our world and Africa will be a better place.

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My Experience as an African Entrepreneur – Farai Munjoma

Farai Munjoma

Being an entrepreneur is trending nowadays and everyone wants to carry that title. This is a good thing.

However, “entrepreneur” is a title that requires you to bear the pain and pleasures that come with it.

In this article, I will focus on how entrepreneurs can tackle five of the top problems associated with this role.

1. When a key company employee leaves
It’s always a draining experience when you receive a resignation letter from a key employee. I have myself had to face such situations a couple of times. Your role as an entrepreneur in this situation is not to worry about how you will go out business and fail to deliver. That only adds to the stress. As difficult as it might be to ignore those thoughts this is the best time to exercise empathy. Get yourself into the shoes of the individual leaving your company and try to understand their pains or motivations. This not only gives you a better standing on why they are leaving but it’s a perfect time to also get constructive feedback on how you can further grow your company. You will realise that most of this information is kept locked inside when someone is an employee with you but when they are about to leave take it as an opportunity to learn from them.

2. When a new competitor comes up
Sometimes we come up with new and exciting ideas in the market and everyone is seemingly blown away by what you do. This only means someone is justified to come in and join the party. Usually, these competitors would have gotten inspiration from your business or innovation or they simply realised it later than you. In such situations, it is important to remain cautious of your next step. Failure to calculate your moves properly will result in you totally losing it. I would like to come with the “bee philosophy.” No matter which animal steals honey from a beehive it can never manufacture more of it. Only the bee can do that. It’s then up to you as the bee to realise your potential and show that your idea or product is part of your DNA, it’s a matter of repositioning yourself where no one can steal your honey and you continue to make more honey. Never let a new competitor make you undermine your abilities to innovate further and remain efficient.

3. When there is a knowledge gap
Being a young entrepreneur is more of taking a long walk in the woods and hoping to get to a place by just going straight. It’s important to note that regardless of how old you are or at what stage of the business you might be, knowledge might start missing or running out. The greatest ability of an entrepreneur is to learn. When you stop learning your ideas die with you. You have to be willing to either teach yourself a new skill or get someone with the expertise and experience to plugin to the organization. Many times we try to cover up our lack of information and compromise the quality of our products. This is the single most common mistake. There is no rush, engage in the right form of research and get the right brains for the job. Do not stress about it, there is always a solution to a problem.

4. When technology fails
I’m sure many people have been failed by technology. This can be at the individual level or at the organizational level. I have seen people fume and stress about their technology problems. The best advice for this is to be humane about it. The only one who will come out hurt or disappointed is you the entrepreneur. It is important in this situation to calm down, seek help from an expert. Sometimes the problem can be easily solved by someone else. When it’s one of your teammates, blaming them will only lead to nothing but negativity hence again we ought to focus on the intention rather than the outcome. If it was working towards a good goal then it fails, that’s no one’s problem, it is a machine or system after all.

5. When the future just feels uncertain
Managing the unknown, I have heard stories of people who have ended up in accidents or being hospitalized owing to failure of managing the unknown. Whether you are waiting on a pending claim, investor phone call or simply how your presentation will go, it is only natural that we panic and freak out. However, as entrepreneurs, our entire journey is a complete unknown. That’s one thing we have to put in mind, by being able to calm ourselves and focus on the progress that we have made rather than how bad things will be if A or B goes wrong. There is the danger of losing sight of the bigger picture. Always remember that a human mind is designed to protect them and sometimes we magnify a small problem. We anticipate in the future ten times bigger. This is definitely something we can never remove from nature but consistent reflection and focusing on the progress you have made rather than future or current unknown will keep you motivated.

Listen to Farai Munjoma full podcast below;

Article by: Farai Munjoma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Adventure of Bashiru Mansaray

Bashiru Mansaray

Meet young Bashiru Mansaray a 21-year-old student from Kenema, Sierra Leone. His adventure to become a change agent for his community began on the day he first came into contact with a mobile phone.

Back in school, Bashiru Mansaray was one of the few students that enjoyed the luxury of owning a phone. That phone became a contact point to the world of technology for him.

In a society where youths are fascinated by technology and prefer to be consumers, young Bashiru wanted to know the internal dynamics that caused the phone to work, its displays, functions etc. His enthusiasm for technology grew beyond the expectation a normal kid would have in a third world country like Sierra Leone.

This led Bashiru to start experimenting with his hands, inspired by his desire to explore the wildest possibility of designing his own technology – whatever that would be.

His dream began to materialize when Bashiru went to Liberia on holidays. He enrolled at a summer camp where kids were taught some basic skills about information communication technology. He quickly learned about the dynamics of technology and understood the complexities that came with it. He saw the possibility of providing easy solutions to communication by using technology as a driver to achieve that.

With this inner drive, Bashiru applied for the Innovate Salone Awards in 2016 and was nominated as one of the finalists and also took part in the UNDP Social Good Summit Program that same year.

Bashiru has been passionate about IT from a young age and as a change agent, he has that desire to make IT accessible to everyone. His dream has lead him to create IT solutions that will help the common man in Sierra Leone and Africa at large.

Today, Bashiru is a Co-founded and C.T.O of an ICT Company which is dubbed as iCANSL. iCANSL is the brainchild of Bashiru Mansaray, popularly called Clanzy Tha Smartzee. His recent creations include LearnTech In-House ICT and Mobile ICT Training.

Bashiru Mansaray iCANSL’s LearnTech initiative is designed to enable students from as young as 8 years gain basic computer knowledge and be able to utilize them in solving day to day challenges.

You too can be like young Bashiru and join the league of African entrepreneurs who are providing solutions to ease the life of people in their community. According to a recent statement by Tony Elumelu he quoted; “Young African – You are brave, you are resilient. You are savvy, you are entrepreneurial, and unlike the generations that have come before you, you are much hungrier for success.”

 

 

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