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A burning desire; the case of the African entrepreneur

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.

READ ALSO: Funding your business; options available

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.

READ ALSO: Africa’s tourism story; a well-kept secret

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BilthMoment: Media Literacy, With Emmanuel Appiah Gyasi

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.

Emmanuel Appiah Gyasi

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.

READ ALSO: Profit or Wages? with Philip Mensah

“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.

READ ALSO: Generating business ideas, with Nii Ayitey Hammond

GET IN TOUCH:

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BilthMoment: Conducting Market Research, With Enoch W. Kabange

Enoch W. Kabange is a young ambitious man who is the CEO & founder of two companies, WordInspired Media and Alien Media. 

Alien Media helps businesses and brands create digital assets which can deliver them higher visibility and enable them to grow like never before.

Enoch Kabange is a dream chaser who has gained a wealth of knowledge in entrepreneurship and personal development over the past years through self-education. 

Enoch Kabange

READ ALSO: Writing a good business plan; steps to follow

Enoch Kabange is a website designer, Brand Strategist/Consultant, Digital Marketer and A Writer. 

His mission is to inspire millions of people to become entrepreneurs by motivating them to their greatness that resides within them.

Mr Kabange started by outlining the objectives for the session; 

  • What is Market research?
  • Why you should do Market research 
  • 6 steps to doing your own Market research right now.

“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but nobody else does.”

– Steuart Henderson Britt

READ ALSO: How to settle on the perfect co-founder

“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. 

READ ALSO: Profit or wages? Strategies to shape your financial future

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. 

READ ALSO: Strategies to generate the perfect business idea

There are two main types of market research 

1. Primary Research 

2. Secondary Research 

Depending on your budget, goals and objectives one may be better than the other.

Mr Kabange continued by saying Primary Research is used when you need first-hand information.

Secondary Research is when you need a rough idea of what’s the state of your market.

So you basically obtain data and insights from already done research such as checking for consumer data etc.

You may have already gleaned some benefits of market research from the session so far but I’d like to bring up a few good ones.

You may be able to get analytical data from your social media,  ads, and even your websites 

But data can’t explain it can only tell you what’s happening.

READ ALSO: You know you are an entrepreneur when…

For instance, if you have an e-commerce business, you can get data on a drop in sales but you can’t get the exact pinpoint reason why so

You can do a research and observe that it’s because you changed your website colors. The psychology of the color wasn’t great for your niche hence you have to change.

 But until you do such research, you won’t know why.

Therefore you’d keep winking in the dark hoping to get noticed.

Another reason to do research is that you don’t want to run your business based on best guesses

Sometimes even working with best practices can detail your business especially when customer needs are changing and you are acting based on old customs.

So you want to be up to date on every change in the market

The last point I want to bring up on benefits is that

How do you determine whether your crush likes a food wink or she prefers a flower? How do you even know anything up until you do some research?

Until you do any research, you won’t know anything for sure.

READ ALSO: Will the customer keep you in mind?

Therefore research helps you plan and create strategies based on facts collected from your target market. 

So how do you get started in your own small way? 

As i said, market research doesn’t have to be complex, expensive or take years. This is mostly the case of big multinational conglomerates. 

The internet and research methods now even allow the most sophisticated research to be done under budget.

 I’ll take you though 6 steps to getting started

 How To Do Market Research

1. Define your buyer persona.

2. Identify a portion of that persona to engage.

3. Engage your market research participants.

4. Prepare your research questions.

5. List your primary competitors.

6. Summarize your findings.

READ ALSO: A burning desire; the case of the African entrepreneur

One thing about research is that you must speak or interact with the right person, else all that you’ve done is futile.  

So you need to spend some time interacting with your customers, finding out their individual characteristics as well as their collective characteristics. 

Their names, their locations, their interests, occupation and estimated income, because they need to spend from it to buy your products or services.

Depending on your objectives or your sampling techniques, you then select a portion of that base to engage

Thirdly, you engage them.

You can do it through polls

A simple Twitter, Facebook etc poll will help you understand some of the things you need.

READ ALSO: Funding your business; options available

You can also create a survey through Google docs, survey monkey, etc 

There are lots of free survey design platforms to play with

 You can also create focus group discussions where you have a moderator controlling the discussion in a group of your target audience

 You can use several other ways to reach them.

For ecommerce guys, you can add short questions on your pages

You’d like to check out HotJar

For determining which parts of your website gets the most attention through the computer mouse movements etc.

But of course, you need to design some questions before engaging them.

Keep it simple and short. Ask direct questions and avoid ambiguity. Ask one question at a time. A few tips to designing the questionnaire

Depending on the audience, you may need to give them some incentive like a discount etc.

So basically this is the structure of the Market Research process.

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BilthMoment: Writing A Business Plan, With Frank Yeboah

Mr Frank Yeboah is a young sales and marketing professional with experience in E-commerce, Insurance, Ride-hailing and Tangible Miscellaneous.

He currently works with Bolt as an Operations Specialist. He is passionate about sales, skills and talent education.

He loves football, Chinese movies, Hindi Movies and Comic Movies. He started his presentation by saying we all have ideas we want to materialise.

“However, not all of us are able to make meaningful progress. This is large because of the fact that most of us do not put our ideas on paper.

Frank Yeboah

READ ALSO: BilthMoment: Finding a co-founder, with Joseph Yaw Mawunyo

The difference between the winners and losers in this regard is the Business Plan” he added. 

What Is A Business Plan:

A business plan is a written narrative that describes what a new business intends to accomplish and how it intends to accomplish it.

“A business plan reveals the business’ ability to solve a significant problem, or meet a significant want or need for which someone will pay a premium” Mr Yeboah continued. 

“Honestly, without a plan, we’re only existing and not living.

So a plan is very important in every dimension” he added.

Content of the business plan should be clear and should give important information on all aspects of the venture.

READ ALSO: BilthMoment: Business Idea Generation. with Nii Ayitey Hammond

Format Of A Business Plan:

1. The Executive Summary

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.

READ ALSO: You know you are an entrepreneur when…

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.

READ ALSO: Will the customer keep you in mind?

4. The Economics Of The Business

“Over here you explain the profit potential of the business. Is it likely for the business to make profits in the long run? Will you break even in the short run?” he quizzed. 

He continued to ask what our fixed costs and variable costs are. (Cost of Land, electricity, rent, water etc)

“Also which months are your peak periods?” he added. 

Clearly making this information available in the plan actually makes it very simple for investors to make financial commitments.

5. The Marketing Plan

What is your overall marketing strategy?

Full visual strategy, full hearing strategy or both?

Visual means marketing strategies appealing to the eyes. Hearing means marketing strategies appealing to the ears.

Which pricing strategy will you use?

Low to high or high to low? What are your key sales tactics?

6. Design And Development Plan

 No one wants to remain the same. It’s the same with a business. 

“Here, you talk about how you intend to develop as a company.

Make mention of product improvements or replacements as well as the potential to introduce new products.

Also, the costs involved in such development projects” he said. 

READ ALSO: A burning desire; the case of the African entrepreneur

7. Manufacturing Or Operations Plan

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.

  1. 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.

READ ALSO: Funding your business; options available

11. The Financial Plan

Have a projected income statement or profit and loss account as well as a balance sheet.

“Put all the costs and expenses in a unified financial structure and present under this section. Not forgetting cash inflows as well” he added.

12. Proposed Company Offering

Normally, the Business Plan is to secure funding from investors. So we have to offer value to investors in return for their investment.

The value here means an attractive deal to investors. 

Here we make our investors a deal they can’t refuse. Our proposal should state the amount of money we want and a brief description of how we plan on using the capital available.

13. Appendices

Show important documents

Supporting Documents

CVs of the founder(s), Picture of products or prototypes etc. 

Machines to be procured if necessary, etc.

READ ALSO: BilthMoment: Profit or Wages? With Philip Mensah

GET IN TOUCH:

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12 Bitcoin remittance providers you should know in Africa

Bitcoin based Remittances and Their Benefits to African Customers

By: Jens Ischebeck

‘Today I want to talk with you about bitcoin remittance providers. Why?

Although the leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin could be facing crackdowns in various regions in the world, it is experiencing a surge in the African remittance market.

It isn’t affected by geographical variations since its transactions are stored in a blockchain database.

Source: Blockchain News

READ ALSO: The ultimate guide about bitcoin remittances for Africans

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.

READ ALSO: Funding your business; options available

Comparison Between the Traditional and Bitcoin-based Remittances

In the ancient model, for example, when a USA based migrant worker needs to send money to his family in Africa, he visits a money transfer operator and hands over the cash.

The transfer agent then starts to process the transaction at the current exchange rate and must charge for the services.

Generally, the agent works as a third party conversant with the transfer software and services from a remittance software provider like a Western Union.

Since he lacks the financial capabilities and relevant software system, he only gets a fraction of what the customer pays, and a considerable amount goes to the remittance provider company.

Additionally, the agent needs to settle some subscription fees for system installation and maintenance.

Thus, he must increase the overall cost to the end-user to meet his financial obligations. Besides, inexactness in the exchange rates also affects the client in the form of unfavorable rates.

On the other hand, the crypto remittance companies facilitate better cross border payments through a great internet connection and a simple software system compatible with various devices.

Therefore, the money transfer agents can perform the transactions without additional installation, maintenance, or subscription costs.

The blockchain technology then records the transaction details and anti-money laundering necessities in a database for security purposes.

The business operations in these companies involve estimating the amount of money required for particular remittances in a day.

They then purchase an equivalent bitcoin and later sell the crypto in the fiat currency in the recipient nation.

READ ALSO: Africa’s tourism story; a well-kept secret

Cryptocurrency’s Popularity in Africa:

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.

READ ALSO: Top tips for starting your own business

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.

READ ALSO: 7 serious mistakes startups make

Bitcoin Remittance Providers for African Countries:

As crypto awareness is on a rapid rise in Africa, more cross border payments are likely to take place with the digital currencies.

Most African migrant workers now put their hopes on bitcoin based remittances to send money to their families at home due to the lower fee, improved efficiency, and speed of the transaction.

A considerable number of crypto-fiat platforms have thus emerged to meet the high demand, and you need to choose the right one depending on location and preferences.

As Bitcoin Guide Africa we present you here the leading Bitcoin remittance providers in operation.

Bitcoin remittance provider, Paxful:

Paxful, a crypto remittance platform founded in 2015, with its headquarters in New York, has since recorded a consistent uptrend in its existence.

It avails most African nationals a chance to send funds to their families back at home since it’s less volatile than most fiat currencies in some countries experiencing higher inflation.

To start transactions, create an account and click “buy bitcoin,” then input the preferred currency and method of payment, state, city, and the bank of your choice.

Search for offers, pick one, and then enter the amount of money you want to trade, you can now converse with your vender through live chat.

Buyers will need to get the name, and the account number of a vendor, then go to the bank, deposit the money, and take a picture of the slip then send it back.

Once the verification process is complete, escrow releases a bitcoin to complete the transaction.

Numerous people from all over the world can now transfer funds and trade bitcoins through the site daily.

It provides several payment methods, including Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, MoneyGram, bank transfer, among many others.

It operates in various African countries including:

• Mauritius

• Algeria

• Egypt

• Rwanda

• Kenya

• Mozambique

• South Africa

• Nigeria

Read more about Paxful: A Comprehensive Guide to Paxful’s Role in Africa or click here to visit the website of Paxful directly!

Bitcoin remittance provider, LocalBitcoins

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.

Read more about LocalBitcoins: LocalBitcoins in Africa Extensive Guide

Bitcoin remittance provider, Coinmama:

Founded in 2013, Coinmama is operated by New Bit Ventures Limited with its headquarters based in Israel.

The platform provides brokering services for crypto, meaning that they sell you bitcoins directly as opposed to other platforms where you buy from other traders.

It offers multiple options to purchase cryptocurrencies off the platform using credit cards, debit cards, Western Union money transfer, MasterCard, Visa, and cash payments.

For bitcoins transfer using Coinmama, create an account, and submit your documents for verifications to get approved for purchase.

Once verified, you can assess various choices to purchase a certain amount or enter a custom amount.

When you submit your wallet address for order processing, Coinmama’s wallet expedites payment to the required address.

For the credit card orders, it takes a few minutes to process, but SEPA bank transfers will take up to two days.

Their website comes with a step by step guide on how to use their services and offers industry-leading purchase limits convenient for any beginner.

It operates in most African countries, providing simple, fast, usually slightly expensive transfer services.

However, it isn’t available in the following countries:

• Somalia

• South Sudan

• Sudan

• Zimbabwe

• Nigeria

Click here to visit the website of Coinmama!

Bitcoin remittance provider, BitPesa:

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:

• Kenya

• Uganda

• Tanzania

• Nigeria

• Democratic Republic of Congo

• Senegal

• Morocco

• Ghana

Click here to visit the website of BitPesa!

Bitcoin remittance provider , NairaEx

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.

Click here to visit the website of NairaEx!

Bitcoin remittance provider, Hellobit:

The San Francisco based company, founded in 2014, utilizes new digital currencies technology to send money home to families in emerging markets.

It uses bitcoin as the primary medium for cross-border payments and cuts the service remittance fee up to 12 percent.

Through the company’s app, users connect with other currency exchangers, be it individuals, businesses, or large organizations, and one can receive payments in their local currency.

Hellobits integrates the power of cellphone services into the remittance market to improve efficiency in the cross-border payments.

It’s a three-party remittance service where the sender and exchanger need a smartphone while the recipient only needs a feature phone.

The senders logs into the Hellobit account and transmits a bitcoin to the local exchanger.

The platform then notifies the beneficiary via SMS code to confirm if they are the right recipient.

The recipient then receives a location of a place or a person nearby who will exchange the cryptocurrencies for local currency.

It allows people to send money to their friends and relatives anywhere in the world, provided that the recipient can pick up cash from the trusted network of collaborative economy-based exchangers.

Click here to visit the website of Hellobit!

Bitcoin remittance provider, Remitano

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:

• Nigeria

• South Africa

• Uganda

• Kenya

• Zimbabwe

• Tanzania

Click here to visit the website of Remitano!

Bitcoin remittance provider, Geopay:

GeoPay is a blockchain remittance digital platform that facilitates the flow of remittances from different parts of the world into Africa.

It is a South African based startup, founded in 2014. Users can easily send or receive money via Geopay tellers who are available in and out of South Africa.

The platform has a great user experience that integrates local currency in the emerging markets; thus, making cross-border payments easy and fast.

One is required to download the application on iOS or Android enabled devices and has an option to add a debit card to send money via Geopay.

Transactions go through a network of agents in the informal settings who facilitates settlements for the financially excluded individuals between countries.

It enables people in the diaspora to seamlessly send money to their homeland and saves them on conversions and transfer fees.

Additionally, users can use GeoPay to make merchants payments.

Click here to visit the website of Geopay!

Bitcoin remittance provider, BTCGhana:

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.

Click here to visit the website of BTCGhana!

Bitcoin remittance provider, SureRemit:

SureRemit is a non-cash remittance platform that uses blockchain technology to assist immigrants to send money back home.

It was founded in 2017 with its headquarters based in Lagos, Nigeria. It doesn’t charge transaction fees when paying for utility bills, groceries, or medical treatment.

Users are at liberty to choose a specific local merchant from whom they can purchase digital vouchers and settle it instantly on the SureRemit platform.

By the use of blockchain, the platform can bypass the usual banking system and connect a consumer to a local merchant at a small transaction fee.

To transact on SureRemit, download the app on either android or iOS powered gadget and present tokens to start making payments.

It’s tied to a specific merchant and is irredeemable for cash; thus cannot be used for money laundering, fraud, or terrorist funding.

SureRemit is looking forward to growing its presence in Africa through its predecessors’ network, SureGift. It provides Remit tokens and has a vast network in various African countries like:

• Rwanda

• Nigeria

• Egypt

• Kenya

• Mauritius

Click here to visit the website of SureRemit!

Bitcoin remittance provider, Circle:

The Circle is a global internet finance company that is built on blockchain technology and powered by Crypto assets.

It was founded in 2013 by internet entrepreneurs Sean Neville, and Jeremy Allaire, and the headquarters are in Boston, Massachusetts.

It has a mobile payment platform, the Circle Pay’s, that enables users to send, receive, or hold traditional currencies.

To send money using Circle Pay, sign in to your account and navigate to the “send tab” then enter the amount you wish to transfer.

Enter a Bitcoin address to choose where you want to send your funds and complete the payment.

There are no deposit or withdrawal charges from bank accounts, insurance, storage, or cryptocurrencies transactions.

Users can register for one account, denominated in their local currency or Bitcoin, for a maximum of two reports.

Click here to visit the website of Circle Pay!

Bitcoin remittance provider, Crowdz:

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.

Click here to visit the website of Crowdz!

Bitcoin remittance provider, Everex:

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.

Click here to visit the website of Everex!

Bitcoin remittance provider, Metalpay:

Metalpay is a mobile blockchain-based remittance solution that allows clients to send money at better rates with a native reward currency.

It was founded in 2016 in the United States in San Francisco by Marshall Hayner. Consumers can send USD, which is converted to bitcoins, to get a ‘METAL’ reward for every dollar they send or purchase.

The awards can be held as an investment or converted to dollars and sent to another Metal Pay user.

A unique feature with Metalpay is that it has a combined cryptocurrency wallet with traditional financial accounts.

To sign up, you need to link your bank account to the app and ensure you verify your identity and phone number.

The settling takes a short period after verification. For every dollar you receive or sell, you earn MTL that is up to 5% the transaction value.

The rewards are not restricted to sending money but also paying bills like rent or shopping.

Click here to visit the website of Metalpay!

Bitcoin remittance provider, Eversend:

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.

In Africa, it’s available in:

• Uganda

• Rwanda

• Kenya

• Ghana

• Cameroon

• Tanzania

• Nigeria.

• South Africa

• Swaziland

Click here to visit the website of Eversend!

Conclusion about Bitcoin remittance providers:

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 speedefficiency, 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!

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The Ultimate Guide About Bitcoin Based Remittances for Africans

By: Jens Ischebeck

Bitcoin Remittances refer to the physical act of sending money as a payment form.

Normally, the payments are sent out by foreign workers in far-flung countries looking to ensure that their friends and family members back are well provided for.

But there’s a problem, in that using the traditional methods is not only pricey, but it’s also time-consuming.

Source: Go Legal

READ ALSO: Meet Novat Karol, founder of Elimu Living Lab

Legal entities such as banks and other financial institutions often insist on the use of account-based transfers.

It’s a move aimed at curbing money laundering as well as fighting fraud.

And while there are other options to remit money, e.g., through the use of MTOs (money transfer operators) such as MoneyGram and Western Union, the reality is that their fees are too high.

Enter Bitcoin remittances!

The development and eventual growth of P2P (peer-to-peer) platforms have brought with it numerous benefits for people looking to send money to Africa.

Such platforms allow foreign-based workers to use cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin to support the people they care about. Today, remittance has become a leading real-life use of BTC.

READ ALSO: Motivation Drive: The journey of an entrepreneur

Examples of well established P2P marketplaces are PaxfulLocalBitcoins and Coinmama.

Even though the process of remitting BTC is similar to the one used in traditional methods, the former is faster and far cheaper.

It gets to do away with the red-tape and bureaucracy that is common with traditional cross border payments.

Inward Remittances | Sending money to an African Country

Given that the African Diaspora community can generate a good income, many foreign based workers are always willing to share the money earned with those they left back home.

The money can be for medical purposes or to pay for a bachelor’s degree. When wiring money from abroad to an African country, the process is termed as inward remittance.

Remittances are traditionally a good source of cash flow (foreign) for many developing countries.

READ ALSO: Meet Ed Obi, founder of Ed Obi Fashion House

In 2019, for instance, many countries saw an increase in inward remittances, with some reporting an increase of up to four percent.

That year saw inward remittances to Africa hit the $65-billion mark, with Egypt, Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria leading the pack.

This particular growth was attributed to a need by immigrants to invest back home, as well as to the notable recovery of economies around the world.

But even as new countries start to adapt to technology that will make it easier to send and receive money, the reality is that it’s still hard to remit money to African countries.

Common methods used to remit money include the use of wire transfers, checks, and online transfers.

Mobile money transfers have also become a popular option with AzimoXoom, and WorldRemit being the most favored. However, this is only good for inward remittances.

The people in Africa can use them to receive money, but they can’t send money to loved ones abroad.

READ ALSO: You know you are an entrepreneur when…

Outward Remittances | Sending Money Out of an African Country and/or Between African Countries

An outward remittance is commonly described as the process of sending money from a native (African) country to a foreign country.

Recent studies have suggested that it’s more expensive to send money abroad or to another country within the African region than it costs elsewhere in the world.

The implication here is that there are too many hurdles which when combined tend to complicate the process of making outward remittances.

Figures obtained from the World Bank have shown that remittances to countries outside Africa, and within Africa from a native country cost around 10 percent of the payment is made.

Fees alone are a hurdle, as it means that the recipient will end up receiving less money than what was initially intended.

READ ALSO: Will the customer keep you in mind?

In other parts of the world, the remittance fee currently stands at 7 percent. This means that it’s cheaper to send money from the US to Ireland than it is to send money from South Africa to Zimbabwe.

Another hurdle comes in the form of excessive regulations put in place by the banking facilities and financial institutions.

For instance, a person sending money from an African country will need to have a bank account from which they can send this money.

While this has been implemented to reduce money laundering, it still ends-up inconveniencing many people.

You have to keep in mind the fact that a large percentage of the African population is unbanked.

READ ALSO: A burning desire; the case of the African entrepreneur

The lack of access to traditional banking facilities means that they can’t use them to make either outward remittances or even receive money from their loved ones working abroad.

And this is where the real benefits of using Bitcoin are left by its users. Bitcoin is not only a fast method of making cross border payments, but it also doesn’t have many restrictions.

No bank account is needed for one to send or receive money. Additionally, its users don’t have to worry about satisfying stringent banking regulations.

All they need is access to an e-wallet, and voila! The benefits of using Bitcoin couldn’t be explained in a more simplified manner than this.

If you want to learn more, read: How Africa could become the crypto continent and Why Africa is the New Frontier for Cryptocurrency

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Bilth Moment: Finding A Co-Founder With Joseph Yaw Mawunyo

Joseph Yaw Mawunyo is an entrepreneur; CEO of Bilth Studio, a content marketer and volunteers as a content manager and creator for two online portals.

Bilth Studio is a filmmaking, graphic design and social media marketing company looking to contribute to the creative industry and help SME’s promote their businesses online.

This session featured the young CEO and Content Marketer where he talked about finding a co-founder. 

READ ALSO: Bilth Moment: Profit or wages? With Philip Mensah

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. 

3. Support:

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. 

READ ALSO: Bilth Moment: Business Idea Generation with Nii Ayitey Hammond

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Bilth Moment: Profits Or Wages? With Philip Mensah

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.

READ ALSO: Bilth Moment: Business Idea Generation with Nii Ayitey Hammond

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.

READ ALSO: Will the customer keep you in mind?

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.

READ ALSO: Funding your business; options available
Mr. Mensah continued by saying, “in order for an individual to avoid the rat race, he must first ask him or herself what his passion is.

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. 

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Bilth Moment: Business Idea Generation With Nii Ayitey Hammond

Business idea generation is a creative process that entrepreneurs and businessmen use to create new business ideas.

The process involves gathering ideas using any idea generation method, doing market research, testing, revising or pivoting and finally implementing the idea.

We had Nii Ayitey Hammond, the Editor in Chief of BizzAfrica, to share with us on the topic idea. 

READ ALSO: Meet Ayeesha Tsotsoo Antiaye, founder of Diva Forever Beauty Spa

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.

READ ALSO: Meet Benjamin Oppong-Badu, product designer, photographer and more

“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.

READ ALSO: Meet Ed Obi, founder of Ed Obi Fashion House

According to him, innovation is everything when it comes to generating business ideas.

It takes thinking outside the box to make new money with old ideas. Every situation creates opportunities to do business or come out with a business idea.

“Generating business ideas is a tricky process; it could be a challenge or it could be simple. It is all about your mindset” he said.

You can use your interest and do what you love, perfect your art, never stop learning, expand your social circle and most importantly get started.

READ ALSO: Meet Emmaline Datey, mentor, consultant, MC and more

“You may not get it right all the time; experience shapes your ideas over time. Make all the mistakes and learn from them,” he explained.

In summary, generating a business idea is a crucial stage in your quest to become an entrepreneur.

Know your interest, educate yourself in that area, get the right team and get started. 

READ ALSO: Meet Sarah Sackey, founder of Sarah Sacke Clothing

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.

READ ALSO: Meet Ayuba Tanko, founder of Ayuba Tanko Photography

2. Get the right team:

Every opportunity that presents itself to an entrepreneur comes several facets; learn to share opportunities.

But in choosing the people to share them with, it is important to do so wisely.

It is not about family and friends; it is about people who can get the task executed. 

3. Have patience:

One important trait entrepreneurs need to learn is patience.

The fact that you have a brilliant idea does not mean you will become a millionaire overnight.

READ ALSO: Meet Anne Amuzu, co-founder of Nandi Mobile

There are surprises along the way and you would need to regain your balance once you are knocked off-course.

Other important steps to note is identifying your competitors and constantly fine-tuning your ideas.

This places you steps ahead of the competition.

Note also that things will not fall in place all the time, learn to deal with issues along the way. 

READ ALSO: Funding your business; options available

If you missed the session on our WhatsApp platform, we have just given you all the knowledge you need in landing a game-changer idea and starting your journey as an entrepreneur.

To know about our upcoming sessions and join us, follow us on our social media platforms; Bilth Studio.

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Trailblazer: Meet Ayeesha Tsotsoo Antiaye, founder of Diva Forever Beauty Spa

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.

READ ALSO: Meet Benjamin Oppong-Badu, product designer and more 

Ayeesha then proceeded to work as a beauty lecturer with Abrantie College of Cosmetology, before setting up her business. She is interested in movies, music, reading and acquiring knowledge.

Ayeesha is a cosmetologist with a specialty in beauty therapy; she established Diva Forever Beauty Spa (DFS) about 8 years ago.

Driven by her passion for makeup artistry and catering for the beauty needs of others, she decided to open DFS to provide top of the line professional services for people.

Her inspiration for her business stems from her passion.

READ ALSO: Meet Sarah Sackey, founder of Sarah Sackey Clothing

She recalls a time when she took a bold decision to opt for cosmetology; according to her, she would choose her profession over and over again and not regret it.

DFS is open to everyone; from as young as 18 years to as old as 99 years and above.

It has amazing packages anyone who loves to look beautiful with makeup and cosmetics.

It would soon create a line of makeup products that cater for the beauty needs of people with different shades of melanin.

These would include products and services that not only highlight beauty of the melanin but also helps protect it.

DFS is currently solely funded by Ayeesha. According to her, even though business has slowed down in recent times, she is optimistic there would be a turnaround in no time.

READ ALSO: Meet Ayuba Tanko, founder of Ayuba Tanko Photography

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.

READ ALSO: Meet Ed Obi, founder of Ed Obi Fashion House

Connect with her:

Instagram: @divaforeverbeautyspa

Facebook: DivaForeverBeautySpa

LinkedIn: Ayeesha Tsotsoo

Gmail: divalatifa75@gmail.com

GET IN TOUCH:

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  • WhatsApp: 0209856865
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