It is usually welcome news when one decides to stand out and do something different, especially when that action is directed at alleviating a pressing challenge.
The 21st century has experienced a growing trend of entrepreneurial activity, especially amongst the youth, who, as if to assuage the effects of unemployment in several countries around the world, have decided to take it upon themselves to do something beneficial.
The entrepreneur, after making such a bold decision, then goes ahead to initiate a series of activities that would translate the dream into reality, and this is where several obstacles come into to mitigate the efforts of the (group of) individual(s) in question.
From financing to legalities to implementation to several other potential hindrances, the path of the entrepreneur is littered with challenges that seem to be designed to bring out the best in those involved; it is at this point that the true entrepreneurs with a mission to accomplish are identified.
The African entrepreneur consistently faces challenges that most at times have the tendency to kill dreams, unless survival strategies are adopted.
Despite the availability of opportunities that could be transformed to successful businesses, support appears to be a constant shortfall.
The African entrepreneurial climate appears to pay little attention to startups since the unwritten rules of business suggest that the risk factors associated with starting a business in Africa, especially with little or no start-up capital are too great to ignore; confidence in such enterprises is usually low.
The situation is further worsened when the entrepreneur appears to have no written business plan, and as a result acts as per current trends demand, a situation that scares every rational potential client or partner.
But then there is a leeway; ideas have been put across to assist in this regard. There are a number of business incubators, business that advertise assistance services to start – ups and a number of government institutions that have been assigned with the responsibility of ensuring the comfort of wannabe entrepreneurs.
So then it remains a puzzle that in spite of all these arrangements, a sizeable proportion of individuals and groups with entrepreneurial prospects still remain in the dark, and are unable to access basic support services to kick – start their dreams.
The long road that one travels in a bid to realize burning ambitions in Africa could be shortened if bold steps are taken.
There continues to be that chasm between the entrepreneurs and the sources of funding.
Those sources that can even be readily accessed have several strings attached to them, leaving the entrepreneur bewildered, and wondering when and how a breakthrough would ensure the survival of the dream.
Africa has come a long way. Our economic journey has evolved overtime. Theories have been suggested to assist Africa move out of obscurity so as to take its appropriate place on the global platform.
What is needed now is less of talk and more of practical measures to ensure that those theories work.
The bulk of that transformative strategy lies with Africans. Foreign intervention may be of help, but the pursuit of a long term picture of economic independence in Africa lies in a well – packaged economic revolution.
That revolution would be complemented with the efforts of the entrepreneur, and it is in that regard that urgent measures are needed to assist those who are ready to pay the price, in order to ensure that Africa reaches an economic status we can all be proud of.
Emmanuel Appiah Gyasi has accumulated four years of experience in teaching and about six years of experience in community work and volunteerism.
Emmanuel is currently an administrative assistant at the Department of Applied Linguistics, University of Education, Winneba, where he assists in the day-to-day office administration.
He is also a language and communication strategist, language teacher, presenter, event production manager, actor, voice-over artist, a volunteer news reporter at Radio WindyBay and a budding linguist.
READ ALSO: How to conduct market research, with Enock Kabange Emmanuel is a graduate of the University of Education, Winneba with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language Education and Applied linguistics focusing on English Language teaching and application of general language concepts.
Emmanuel Appiah Gyasi is very passionate about youth skill development, education and mentorship, gender equity and reduced inequalities, hence driven by the desire to achieve higher knowledge and advanced skills in interpersonal relations.
Emmanuel plans to impart further his acquired skills and knowledge in his immediate community, country, Africa and the world at large. Mr. Appiah started his presentation by stating the form of his presentation and the three parts it will take; introduction, main presentation and conclusion. “So Jerry John Rawlings is the best president in the world and of course Banku and okro stew is the best meal in the world,” he said, and set the room on fire.
READ ALSO: Writing a Business Plan, with Frank Yeboah He continued by saying that in an ever-growing world where information flies in from left right and center, it’s important for one to know how to handle information and handle it better. The term ‘media’ as used in this context involves news, information, articles and all other things we read, listen to or watch, as well as the things we read on social media.
“I will be taking us through some three key things one can do to a piece of information once you receive it from wherever or whoever” he added. “We all get them; messages containing the latest news, opinions and gossip. Either from friends, family, or co-workers.
From official and unofficial sources. Often times, depending on the information and who or where it’s it’s coming from, the urge to pass it on can be hard to resist.
But should you?
In this series, we’re going to talk about why, when it comes to information sharing, we should all stop, reflect and verify” he continued.
READ ALSO: Finding a co-founder, with Joseph Yaw Mawunyo The first thing to do when you receive a message is to STOP and ask why the message was shared, who it is coming from, what the content is and what it is meant for, all in the context of what is happening around you.
“ So first you have to stop when you receive the message. STOP and question the content, examine the timing of the content and what it seeks to benefit” he added. The next step is to REFLECT on the content or message you have received. To reflect means looking beyond where the message was sent from and look beyond the headline, font and designs that the story comes with.
“So in reflecting, what we do is take our time to actually read what we have received. Read to identify either what you’ve received is a fact or just an opinion before sharing” he added. He continued to say that our ability to distinguish between a fact and an option helps us to determine whether the content we have received is good content or not.
“To reflect means to read the entire content and look out for facts, opinions, viewpoints, voices, etc” he added. The third key thing to do is to verify. Having stopped and reflected on the shared information, you must now verify what has been shared with you.
“To verify means to authenticate, have a second look and make sure what you are reading is credible” he continued. Verification can be done by looking at the creator of the content, the date and the institution or organisation the content relates to.
‘”Again, in verifying, you can visit the popular news portals or outlets to see if they are reporting the same thing” he added. So verification is important as it climaxes the entire activity. As information consumers, it’s important to take a critical look at the things we share especially because we cannot do without information.
If nothing at all we get informed on what’s happening around us. Information sharing has become an integral part of our lives and our knowledge of media literacy is something that will enable us to survive in this new world.
“I’d like to start by asking if this quote rings any bell?
Maybe you’ve winked at your crush before or did something crazy in the past. The quote has two sentences. The first emphasizes the importance of advertising. But I’d like to focus on the second part” he said.
You know what you are doing but nobody else does – Steuart Henderson Britt
According to Mr. Kabange, most businesses are operating in this manner.
They know what they’re doing but nobody else knows.
Their products and services are developed in a vacuum and offered in a vacuum.
But the market doesn’t operate in a vacuum; It is made up of markets.
“The markets determine what’s valuable and worth paying for” he added.
“So why would you spend months and even years developing something without seeking the views of the people you are making it for?” He quizzed.
We hope entrepreneurs don’t act in this manner, especially those on the Bilth Centre WhatsApp Group. This is why we bring our members these sessions.
How do you determine the language to use in your advertising?
How do you decide on a pricing structure or strategy?
How do you even tell if the millions you are investing in a new product will sell?
Market research helps you Answer all this and even more.
What Then Is Marketing Research?
According to Hubspot, market research is the process of gathering information about your business’s buyers personas, target audience, and customers to determine how viable and successful your product or service would be among these people.
“Market research can be as complex as you need spanning months or even years or simple spanning a few weeks whatsoever” Mr Kabange added.
According to him, it could be expensive or not. “My point is, you don’t need to spend lots of money to gain information from your customers. You could simply ask for feedback after service” he added.
Compress the whole idea and everything relating to it into the executive summary.
“In the executive summary, describe the business concept, the opportunity and the strategy.
Thus, what you want to do, the need to do it (opportunity) and how you intend to do it” he added.
If you want to start school;
Your business concept is about parents enrolling their wards to acquire knowledge at a fee.
The opportunity/problem is that children must mature at a certain level of intelligence to solve personal and societal problems as and when they arise, which probably from your research hasn’t been the case over a period; hence, the opportunity to start school.
Then you continue with how you intend to fix the problem or how to explore the opportunity. Are you using an online strategy or face-to-face interaction?
Also talk about your target, the advantages you have over your competitors if any. Touch on the costs and mention the team.
2. The Industry, The Company And Its Product(s) Or Service(s)
Here, he asked that we give an insight into the industry our business falls within.
And talk about the key variables in the industry. “If it is education, you can talk about quality, duration, etc. If it is Telcom, you can talk about speed, access etc” he added.
“Then you move on to talk about your company properly. The products and services you are offering.
At this level, you also make clear your entry and growth strategy. If it is a school, are you entering the market with only nursery, primary or both? And how do you plan to expand and grow?
Will you venture into collaborations with other schools so your students graduate to those schools, or you will embark on an internal growth campaign and expand your reach to factor in JHS and SHS” he continued.
3. Market Research And Analysis
He said it is a fact that even with the best idea, we need to do research in order to justify our stand scientifically and we can’t avoid this as entrepreneurs.
So at this level in the plan, we do the following;
Clearly give information about our market research.
What did potential customers say about our idea?
What is the size of the market and what are the trends in the market?
Who are our competitors and what makes us better than them?
Our estimated share of the market based on our offerings.
Talk about your manufacturing process if you’re into manufacturing; talk about the operational process if otherwise.
“This should cover the source of production materials till they are transformed into the finished product or the start to finish of your operations, he added.
Example: If it is a school, talk about the beginning class, transitions and completion.
Also under the operational, you should talk about your geographical location, facilities, regulations and legal issues. (Indicate if you’re regulated by special bodies, eg, FDA, GES, BoG, DVLA, etc)” Mr. Yeboah continued.
8. Management Team
Show your organizational structure
Identify key management personnel.
9. Overall Schedule
Basically, schedules to show major events to be undertaken to launch the venture. They are normally referred to as the critical deadlines
10. Critical Risks, Problems And Assumptions
“There are risks associated with running a business. I will define a few that should be included here” he said.
Management Risk: This is basically the risk that managers will make faulty decisions which will negatively affect the business.
Marketing Risk: The risk of potential losses and failures of marketing.
Operating Risk: The level of uncertainty associated with the core operations of the business.
Financial Risk: Possibility of losing money on an investment or business venture.
These are the key risk areas that are normally included in the plan.
The main difference between cryptocurrencies and MasterCard or visa is that it isn’t regulated by the government and doesn’t require intermediaries, and the transactions rely on the internet; thus can take place at any part of the world.
Remittances have become a common way of life in most African countries since there is an increased number of immigrants in search of better wages.
These workers will, at one point in their lives, want to transfer money to their families and friends back in their home countries.
The situation leaves most people at the mercy of various financial institutions like banks and money transfer operators who charge a very high fee.
However, the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology offers high hopes in an attempt to transform the African remittance industry in favor of migrant workers and their families.
Today, Bitcoin operates as a medium of money transfer allowing users to evade the high charges by traditional money transfer services.
The soaring rise in mobile phone use in most African countries is helping entrepreneurs compete with other money transfer services with high remittance rates and fees.
The crypto use has increased in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Additionally, cryptocurrency is gradually gaining ground in Uganda.
According to Google trend data, Lagos in Nigeria has the highest volume of online search for Bitcoin.
It results from the frustrations of existing money transfer services, which bars the citizens from receiving money from their families overseas due to the countries fraud reputation.
As a result, numerous innocent people are suffering and have to use alternative services with a high fee to receive financial help.
Recently, most of them have embraced cryptocurrencies as a perfect solution. Citizens of countries battling with high inflation rates are likely to opt for crypto as a substitute for their disastrous banking policies.
Some of the countries with high inflation rates include Egypt, Ghana, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi and are among the leading bitcoin economies in Africa.
Another significant factor spurring crypto growth in the continent is the inability and powerlessness of the governments to regulate Bitcoin.
Fearing the collapse of the banking sector and misappropriation of funds by the African governments, most citizens seek crypto transactions. The South African Luno exchange was developed in 2013 and has attracted more than 1.5 million users worldwide.
Additionally, the Kenyan Bitcoin Remittance Provider Bitpesa facilitates transactions in African and international locations with high trading volumes contributed by the lucrativeness of the business.
Other Bitcoin Remittance Providers include Abra, operating in Morocco and Malawi, BitMari in Zimbabwe, and Geopay in South Africa.
Surprisingly, some governments have shifted into the virtual currency terrains with Tunisia’s government issuing the eDinnar digital currency.
As stated by the Hootsuite’s 2019 global digital yearbook, 10.7% of South Africans own crypto, with Nigeria at 7.78% and 7.3% for Ghana.
Reasons Behind Crypto Popularity in most African Countries:
Most African citizens have started shifting their hopes to the use of crypto to escape numerous constraints faced with the traditional money transfer services, including cost, speed, and inconveniences.
The main benefit is the overall lower cost to the end customer, which allows migrant workers to send substantial amounts of money to their loved ones in their home countries at fairer prices.
Also, there is a high unpredictability in the local currencies in most African countries; for instance, when the South African rand became a volatile currency, most people switched to crypto to seek security.
The transaction is safe, and the companies don’t hold the virtual currency for more extended periods; thus, the operation takes a short time.
Some Africans have also lost trust in their local banking systems, for example, in Zimbabwe where they have experienced hyperinflation, Bitcoin is very popular, and at times demand surpasses supply.
Due to the instability and shortages, most Zimbabwean citizens are flooding the crypto markets as they believe Bitcoin is more trustworthy.
Besides the financial inclusions and local currency volatility, there is a vast unbanked population in the continent since others in remote regions lack access to bank accounts.
Mobile money is a critical driver in reducing the number of unbanked individuals; thus, Africa is better prepared to shift into the crypto world than any other continent.
Most citizens are already open to adopting crypto technology, and crypto exchanges that offer mobile functional apps will highly benefit.
Jeremias Kangas and his brother Nikolaus formed the Helsinki-based platform in 2012, which allows direct trade between persons.
It doesn’t provide for an overhead corporate; thus, the transaction process is swift and lean.
LocalBitcoin has recorded an increase in the transaction volumes in the African countries for peer to peer transactions.
It provides a safe platform where its users can convert bitcoins into fiat and vice versa and also facilitates funds transfer between African countries.
The platform connects buyers and sellers within a particular geographical area hence the name.
It supports a wide range of money transfer options, including the Mpesa, which makes it popular among most African crypto investors.
It’s the most straightforward platform for beginners who wish to send money to overseas in the operating African country.
You simply need to open a LocalBitcoins account and search for people selling bitcoin-core in your country, then make a bank transfer to the seller, and you will receive fiat cash into your desired local account.
The system offers heightened security by using an escrow mechanism to hold funds and only releases it when both parties come into an agreement.
The platform is available in every African country where buyers and sellers are ready and willing to transact using digital currencies.
Elizabeth Rossiello founded the company in 2013, based in Nairobi, whose initial focus was to facilitate crypto-cash transfer between the U.K and Kenyan citizens but has extended to several African countries.
Today, the platform has gained popularity among importers and exporters across Africa, and it facilitates a smooth trading and remittance services.
Users can send and receive cash in multiple African currencies to pay bills at home and other international currencies to pay overseas suppliers.
It operates by deploying APIs that work with various mobile payment platforms and a chain of bank networks.
Organizations can send payment to their employees’ suppliers or distributors and also collect fees from African customers in local currencies.
To transact, you need to establish a BitPesa account where you can sell or buy virtual currencies such as Bitcoins in the supported national currencies.
If you need to initiate a transaction, then you must deposit Bitcoins into your BitPesa account.
Then, designate a Payee account where the money gets delivered at the current exchange rate.
You then confirm your exchange transaction where the indicated amount of cryptocurrency is transferred from your account and deposited into a designated payee account.
Most people use the platform to enjoy fast, straightforward, and more effortless remittances between international and Africa fiat currencies.
BitPesa operates in the following African countries:
It is a Nigerian based e-currency exchange platform founded in 2015, which allows users to sell and buy Bitcoin with Nigerian Naira at fairer rates.
Today, it’s a central exchange service platform in the country which operates independently from a mobile payment processing solution.
It facilitates cash payments while cutting a considerable amount of the deposit and withdrawal fee and thus allows users to convert crypto into cash via bank accounts freely.
The transactions with NairaEX are quite straightforward where the sender deposits local currency into the account, then provides a recipient bank detail, and the platform pays it into the beneficiary’s local bank account.
Additionally, users can use bank transfers or deposits to buy bitcoin in Naira through the platform and then use the exchange wallets for payments and can quickly cash out their bitcoins into local currency.
It helps the clients pay school fees, living expenses, and salary or make remittances to suppliers.
The platform aims at providing Bitcoin exchange services exclusively for Nigeria citizens, and that’s why the country’s currency terminology is part of the domain name.
It aims at supporting the country’s numerous unbanked individuals by developing a payment request tool that allows users to accept virtual currency directly from a NairaEX account.
Remitano is a peer-to-peer platform that facilitates cryptocurrencies trading in a secure environment.
On the platform, users can purchase Bitcoin in exchange for Fiat currencies at a small fee between themselves.
A Seychelles-based company, Babylon Solutions Limited, owns it and has been in existence since 2015.
For any transaction, you need to create a Remitano account and then scroll down to find a buyer.
Depending on the selected country, cryptocurrencies exchange rates, all buyers and sellers from the specific locations, are displayed.
Enter the amount of crypto you want to sell, your payment account details, then click “Continue”, and the transaction will switch automatically waiting for the buyer to pay. The buyer will then deposit money in the required account and close the deal.
It has encrypted data storage, two-factor verification, and escrow trading to ensure that transactions and personal data are secure.
Remitano mostly works with cash deposits and bank transfers but avails other options in different countries like Wechat and Alipay.
Apart from the web platform, users also access it via mobile applications in Android and iOS powered devices, which facilitate push notifications.
Remitano Services are accessible in the following African countries:
BTC Ghana is a bitcoin remittance platform that facilitates the transfer of funds in a secure, fast, and affordable way for Ghanaians and Africans in the diaspora.
It was founded in 2015 with its headquarters in Kumasi, Ghana. BTC Ghana incorporates the blockchain technology into the current mobile money service providers in Africa, to facilitate mobile settlements using bitcoins from developed countries to Ghana.
Users in Europe and the United States can make cryptocurrency purchases via established exchange platforms and send the payment to local remittance platforms such as MTN Mobile Money, AirtelMoney, and TigoCash.
The money then gets transferred to recipients’ mobile money account, and users can pick their funds at local remittance outlets in Cedi without dealing with the complex Deposit and withdrawal methods.
Crowdz is a blockchain platform that permits businesses to manage, digitalize, and optimize invoices.
It was founded in 2014 by Payson, Severo, Steven Lee, and Hopkins, and the headquarters are in Sunnyvale, California.
Crowdz uses a blockchain-based B2B money transfer service. It uses blockchain as its foundation to automate and speed up transactions, thereby eliminating the process of having to download and key in information into an accounting system.
After transmitting an invoice over the Crowdz invoice exchanges, the digitized data securely and instantly passes to the relevant parties such as employees and clients.
Not only does it make work easier on invoicing, but it also facilitates faster payments, orders, and documents.
All these related transactions instantly become interconnected; thus, making it less stressful.
The company focuses on small and medium-sized firms to boost their growth in the economy and has fully customized solutions for global ventures.
It accelerates the cash conversion cycle by allowing digital payments to overseas suppliers with no international transfer fee.
Crowdz support 24/7 invoice exchange in most countries with Barclay’s bank access.
Everex is a blockchain financial technology firm that enables the application of virtual currency on a peer to peer payment platform to facilitate cross border transactions.
It was founded in 2016, by Alexi Lane with the main office in Bangkok, Thailand.
Everex acts as a link between cryptos and fiat currency by digitizing local currencies into fiat to come up with a costless, transparent, secure, and fast payments system.
Users can convert their money into digital crypto-cash via their local banks and use them on desktop wallets and mobile devices.
The cryptocurrency, therefore, paves the way for Everex to provide micro-lending services without the volatility of traditional cryptos.
Concerns between the capital transfer system and external blockchains are addressed by the Service-Oriented Architecture, which comprises of Blockchain package and Everex –System package.
Everex enables you to make a transfer, pay other people, and trade with any fiat currency anywhere in the world.
The company has developed a global partnership with vendors that accept Everex transactions as payment methods, and users can also withdraw cash through ATMs, retailers, and local currencies exchanges globally.
It has a short settling time with a lower transaction fee and global support in the world’s remittance markets. The platform accelerates access to financial services in underserved financial markets.
It is a free banking alternative that avails money transfer services while capitalizing on the blockchain technology. It was founded in 2017 in the France capital, Paris, by Fast Track Malmo and Techstars investors.
Their primary focus is on the African customers and those in diaspora all over the world. When using Eversend, you can transfer money to bank accounts and mobile devices.
It enables money transfer from Africa to the rest of the world, in-country money transfer, and intra-Africa crossborder areas. Through their e-wallet, they provide other financial services such as travel insurance, access to cryptocurrency, wealth management, and personal loans.
Eversend delivers a complete digital remittance experience by facilitating international transactions without internet connectivity.
Users only need to link their debit card to Eversend accounts, loaded with different currencies to execute e-commerce settlements. It supports various currencies such as KES, RWF, UGX, GBP, USD, NGN, and EUR.
Africans working abroad often send money to their families and friends in their home countries to pay for school fees, buy food, clothes, and meet daily expenses or to start a business.
The money is essential for many families in recipients’ countries to help cope with the continent’s unstable economies.
However, a large amount of this money is taken in transfer fees by expensive agents and financial institutions.
While the financial organizations have been charging Africans high fees for these services, bitcoin-backed fiat remittances have become a solace for most overseas citizens due to its speed, efficiency, and low price.
As more nations adopt virtual currency payment services, Bitcoin may eventually dominate the African remittance market.
The future of crypto-currency based remittances in Africa will depend on the growing rate of mobile phone use and the currency’s freedom from state regulations and banking controls. Send Bitcoin With Paxful Instantly!
Entrepreneurs, especially in our region do not have all the passion, time, skills, resources and the network to give their ideas the fighting chance it may deserve, for this reason, he said finding another head to carry some of the headache is equally necessary as the business idea.
The Importance of a co-founder
He said the importance a co-founder serves is countless depending on your idea and needs, but he covered three major importance of a co-founder to a business idea.
1. What other founders are saying:
According to Tom Tunguz, most successful companies had an average of 2.4 founders. “The number of co-founders is crucial to the success of every startup, and therefore it is very important to have more than one founder” he added.
According to Thomas Koulopoulos, (founder of Delphi Group), startups do better when they have two balanced and fully invested partners.
The keyword here is ‘balanced’; Thomas is pointing out the reason why entrepreneurs need another head, and as we have established, you don’t have all that you need to achieve the success you envisioned.
Startups with more than one founder tend to raise 30% more investment, grow customers three times as fast, and are less likely to scale fast.
2. Getting investors:
Investors do care about great ideas; the idea is what draws them to the table. But one thing that keeps them there is the people behind the idea.
One thing investors look for before investing is a scalable, profitable business idea and also most importantly, they have to demonstrate how the team they have put together will achieve their business objectives.
In getting investors, they want to know that you are not the only person who is passionate about your idea. From investors Perspectives, having one founder is a vote of no confidence.
Because if you can’t even persuade your friends and circle to join you, the odds are against you persuading customers of your idea and that doesn’t prove your investability.
Starting a business is hard; you don’t need anyone to tell you that. The headaches and sleepless nights, charley. Having two founders increase the odds of success.
During the early stages of the startup life, the ability to rely on each other to share the burden, temper risks, collaborate creatively, and take on specific areas of responsibility and to motivate each other is absolutely critical.
Because of the amount of work available to be done, stress is a commodity we can’t escape at this stage, so you need someone who can share this with you. You go to bed knowing that someone else is thinking about the project, that way, you would have peace to sleep well small.
At the beginning of every business, there are loads of expenses, from the small things as buying data for running of the social media pages to getting a working space. Having a co-founder helps so that you can both contribute your pocket money in any small way.
You seriously need someone to complement you in skills. I have met tech entrepreneurs who have deep technology experience and ideas but lack the business skills. There is no way you will know everything or have all the skills you need, So with this, they can look for a co-founder who has the business skills in order to create balance and give the business a fighting chance.
Bringing a co-founder who has complementary skills and a willingness to invest time and resources in the company can be a great way to spread responsibility and ensure that you get the moral support you need to meet investor expectations.
What We Should Look For In A Co-founder:
Finding a co-founder is like finding a life partner and the choice you make can either make or unmake you. It is therefore important to know who you are first before going out to look for someone to complement you.
1. First thing to do is to determine what your needs are.
Pick a pen and a paper and answer these questions first before you go out looking for an investor.
a. What are the overall skills needed for your startups success?
b. What are your strengths and weaknesses in terms of your skills sets and business competencies.
c. What are the vital skills you lack that are important to the business success?
d. Which tasks within the business are you able to perform and which part requires expertise you don’t have?
Answering these questions for your business idea will tell you what you lack and who you need to bring on board to give your idea the chance it requires.
2. Getting specific with your search:
After you have identified the organizational gaps, you should have the idea of who you need to partner with in order to succeed and at this point, you need to be specific.
Again, ask yourself these questions:
a. What exactly am I looking for in a Co-founder?
b. What is the required educational requirement?
c. How experience should the person be?
d. How much exposure should the person have are specialized areas of knowledge or skills?
e. What should be the personality traits of the person?
In a lot of cases, you may want to go for someone who has the same personality like you, they behave like you, think like you, dress like you, went to a particular school.
But note that you want to build balance here, so you go for someone who might be opposite to you in terms of thinking, likes, personalities, risk-taking ability and so on.
You can also promote diversity and look for someone in a different age group, gender, ethnicity, country or even culture. This can help you leverage on their experience and viewpoints.
Where to look for co-founders:
“Your direct personal network or someone in your circle is a great place to start looking. Other places can be seminars, conferences and business groups like Bilth Center. You can also use social media to spread the word that you are hiring” he said.
“It is very important to me that you know that going for close friends and relatives for your idea is very risky. Many brilliant ideas have collapsed and more will collapse because we just went in for our friends and we neglected to do the due diligence” he stressed.
I have talked to a number of startups who are bleeding because of this. I recently had a chat with an HR and she said it is very problematic to go for your friends in your search for Co-founders or even partners. 80-90% of CEOs regret this later.
You shouldn’t go for the friend just because he is your friend and available, go through the appropriate channels we have mentioned so far and if your friend qualifies, praise God.
We had the privilege to interact with Philip Mensah, a professional Content Developer and the CEO of Universal GreenHouse Group.
Phillip is known in his circle as communicative and a spirited young man. During this session, we discussed with reasons why profit is better than wages and at the end gathered a deeper understanding of the subject matter.
According to the concise English dictionary, profit is a financial gain, especially the difference between an initial outlay and the subsequent amount earned.
Wages on the other hand is a fixed regular payment for work, typically paid on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. He started his presentation by first quoting Jim Rohn, the quote says, “Profit is better than wages”.
“Wages make you a living; profits make you a fortune.” He continued to say that we are living in a society filled with information and yet many are still facing hardship in their daily lives.
“In Matthew 25:14-30, the parable of talents was telling us about work, success and wealth; work corresponds with success and success corresponds with wealth. But as individuals, we spend our lifetime working and yet the majority can’t quantify their success and the worth of their wealth,” he added.
READ ALSO: You know you are an entrepreneur when… According to the parable, we as humans are destined to profit from our work which corresponds to success and the success must have a direct link to wealth. The relationship between profits and wages is building wealth through business or working at a job, he went on to say that work relates to success and without the input of work, success cannot be attained. He then posed a question, that says, “how do we earn profits and how should we migrate ourselves from the wages section to the profit section by maximizing wealth?”
He answered saying we gain profits from what they do as a profession or as a passion.
Your passion should give you a profession which should lead to profit through constant practice.
Wages is simply working around the clock for payments.
There is a saying that we are not paid base on the amount of time we spent but for our value proposition.
Passion, when we harness and apply learning processes, it turns into a profession and after the learning process, we start earning from it.
When we start or set out to apply our passion, we don’t look for profit from the beginning but should rather focus on putting the needed work and skill development that your passion requires and only then will this work transform from passion to a profession, then to profit.
At this stage, the individual is not looking for something that can earn him money right from the start because money is not the focal point here but rather, passion.
Your passion is like seed and we don’t think of a seed as fruit but first, how to plant and work on the seed and if we succeed at that then that seed will now bear the fruits we want.”
READ ALSO: Africa’s tourism story; a well-kept secret He then followed with another question, this time directed to the group members, asking them the intent for which Bilth Studio started the Bilth Moment project. Some members answered by saying that the reason for the group is to help them learn from great people and among themselves.
Another replied that the group is a virtual classroom created for the purpose of sharing knowledge. To conclude, those who make a profit focus and develop their passion into a profession which in the end gives them the financial freedom they need or deserve. We all have this passion for something we can turn into a profession sitting in us, let tap into it and start winning in life.
READ ALSO: Meet Novat Karol, founder of Elimu Living Labs Do join us next weekend for a special open discussion session where we will share our views on whether to vote for policies or promises in the upcoming election. Until then, stay safe.
With his experience in entrepreneurship combined with his active involvement in promoting young entrepreneurs, he shares on how to generate business ideas and how to successfully bring these ideas to fruition.
“The first thing to note; there is no new idea under the sun, literally. Entrepreneurs are in the constant business of recycling ideas” he said.
He then made it clear that what separates an entrepreneur from a market woman is innovation.
“A market woman may sell raw fruits in the market; an entrepreneur will decide to sell fruit juice plus straw plus tissue plus other items. The market woman may price a fruit at GHc1 cedi and the entrepreneur will present the whole package at GHc5 cedis,” he added.
The entrepreneur added innovation to the fruit to create a business idea and that increased the revenue.
He again made several references to the innovative ways smart entrepreneurs are cashing in a global challenge thanks to COVID-19. We have entrepreneurs who are adding facemasks to face shields, especially when we learnt that the shields alone were not offering enough protection.
To bring your ideas to fruition, he asked that we follow these steps;
1. Write down your ideas and continuously develop them:
It is very important to write down your ideas in simple sentences.
It should be very normal for you to wake up dawn just to improve your idea.
It is also important to remember you don’t have the luxuries non-entrepreneurs enjoy; they can decide to take chances and live normal lives but as an entrepreneur, your brain is constantly searching for opportunities in every situation.
Anyone who shares a problem with you is giving you an opportunity to solve a problem.
Ayeesha Tsotsoo Antiaye is the 8th born of a family of 8 siblings. She had her Senior High School education at Tema Senior High School (SHS), followed by a professional course in Cosmetology at Springs Beauty Academy.
In the next 5 years, she is optimistic DFS would be one of Ghana’s most sort after cosmetology schools and spa centres that would provide services in all corners of the country.
Her message to President Akufo-Addo is simple; he should come to the aid of entrepreneurs as they also contribute their quota to society.
Ayeesha also suggests that cosmetology courses should be incorporated into curricula of schools so that young Ghanaians are empowered to appreciate the profession and not conclude it is for uneducated people.