Editorial – Getting your business started

Every entrepreneur goes through a moment in their business when challenges, such as getting the right people to work with, raising adequate funds, and breaking through the competition on the market, become daunting.

An entrepreneur beset with such challenges is most likely to have second thoughts about the business even if it stems from a great business idea.

At this point, what you, as an entrepreneur, must keep in mind is not to freak out about these challenges.

READ ALSO: Editorial – Growing your business

Rather, embrace them and let them guide you into creating innovative alternatives that would make the business survive.

It is also important to remember why you started. The passion that drove you to start the business can inject a new surge of energy to overcome that hiccup in the business.

In this edition, we highlight the stories of successful entrepreneurs who share their journeys.

One of such is Emmaline Datey, a freelance speaker, business and career coach, mentor, consultant and MC, who has become a force to reckon with in a fast growing industry in Ghana.

She was named one of Ghana’s top influential women in 2017, one of top 100 speakers in Ghana 2018, and has a lot to share from her experience in her chosen industry.

We again have the inspiring story of Kofi Gyan, our living legend, who has experienced the ‘extraordinary’ and has a compelling story to tell anyone who is faced with the option of giving up in life

Also in this edition are jokes, poems and short stories meant for your relaxation.

We love to hear from you. Kindly contact us on info@bizzafrica.com with any questions and comment.

Bonne lecture!

READ ALSO: Editorial – Achieving your goals

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What you never knew about Cape Verde

Cape Verde was a former colony of Portugal and had their independence on the 5th of July 1975.

It is now a republic with a president, who is the head of state, and a prime minister who heads the government.

The president is Jorge Carlos Almeida Fonseca and the prime minister is Correia e Silva.

READ ALSO:  What you never knew about Burundi

The name of this Island originated from the Cap-Vert Peninsula in West Africa; where the Cap-Vert means Green Cape in Senegal.

Geography

It lies in West Africa, west of Senegal, and is a group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

The country comprises of 10 islands and 5 islets, all but three are mountainous.

These islands cover a combined area of slightly over 4,000 square kilometres.

It is ranked as the 176th country in the world in terms of size.

Its largest island, Santiago, is the home to the current capital, Praia.

The country’s population is estimated at 560,899 as at July 2017.

Economy

The economy is service-oriented with commerce, transport, tourism, and public services accounting for about three-fourths of GDP.

GDP is estimated at $3.6 billion; which is expected to grow on an average of 3.8%.

The Cabo Verdean Escudo is the official currency of the country.

The country’s labour force is estimated at 196,000.

Banana, beans, corn, sweet potatoes, sugar cane, coffee and peanuts are some of the agricultural produce of the country.

Portugal, Spain, France, China and Russia are the main trading partners of the country.

Human Development

Maternal mortality rate in Cape Verde stands at 42 deaths per every 100,000 live births; while infant mortality rate is 21.9 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Life expectancy for males is 71 years while that of females is 75 years.

About 87% of the population can read and write from the age of 15 years.

Cabo Verde ranks 122nd out of 187 countries in the United Nations Development Programme’s 2016 Human Development Index (HDI).

Trivia

Cabo Verde’s expatriate population is greater than its domestic population due to drought which occurred in the 20th century.

Languages spoken in Cape Verde are Portuguese and Crioulo (a mixture of archaic Portuguese and African words).

Christianity is the main religion of the country.

Nine of the ten islands of the archipelago are inhabited.

Santiago, Fogo and Santo Antao are the islands that see the most rainfall while Sal, Boa Vista and Maio see almost no rainfall.

READ ALSO: What you never knew about Burkina Faso

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Editorial – Growing your business

In the previous editions, we have remained resolute and kept our prime objective in mind.

BizzAfrica has sought to constantly provide the platform for the young African entrepreneur to harness all available advantages.

This would ultimately lead to growth in business.

READ ALSO: Achieving your goals

As you have come to expect of us, we bring you relevant content that would inject the oomph your business needs to rise to the next level.

What are the legal implications of a merger or an acquisition?
What kind of businesses are gaining grounds in Africa?

What are the 7 mistakes most startups make?

Answers to these and more await you in this edition.

We are confident that as we have begun this year, we would grow with you, so your business could get you the returns you have worked so hard for.

And one more thing…

Do get in touch! We would love to hear from you.

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READ ALSO: Give your customers an experience

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Of politics and politricks

“Man is a political animal; the only being that lives in organized communities, in which relations are regulated” – Aristotle (384-322BC)

The political season comes and goes as it wills. Year in, year out, all forms of elections at all levels of administration do well to catch the attention of the man on the street; the signs and symptoms appear in every nook and cranny.

Some, previously quite reserved with regard to general manner and disposition to debate and other forms of political discourse, seem to suddenly develop “superhuman” oratory skills, all in a quest to convince the populace of their ability to turn situations around.

READ ALSO: Your business idea

Posters appear everywhere, advertising the hopefuls in all ways, each being portrayed as the best of the lot, with the Midas touch to cause an impact when voted into power. But then the question arises: why this seemingly “crazy” quest for power?

A myriad of answers then drop in:

  • Some believe they could improve existing state of affairs when given the nod and are in control of available resources.
  • Others believe that they are naturally gifted with the leadership ability, hence can improve upon the present state of affairs with their skills and abilities.
  • A third group approach the issue from a messianic point of view – to them they are the “chosen ones” specially created to deliver all and sundry from long-inflicted woes!

Then a second question drops in:

Do you necessarily have to be in power to provide help or save a situation?

This question tends to knock them off balance, and in a bid to regain their posture, they come out with responses such as:

  • “When in power, you tend to have the authority to direct the execution of pressing projects and programmes, and you are obeyed forthright”.
  • “Power draws attention to you. You are recognized as a leader, hence there is the possibility of effectively coordinating procedures, unlike when you are not”.
  • “Your followers get to know exactly what you have in mind for them faster and easier than when you do something on a personal note”.

In a quest to attain power and authority, huge sums of monies are pumped into elaborate campaign strategies, which tempts one to wonder if it wouldn’t have been better if such monies were appropriately channeled into other ventures.

It’s interesting to note that in spite of this, some of them, with confidence, declare that their overriding desire is to help their followers out of their woes.

Followers expect a lot from colleagues who find themselves in leadership, and as such, anything short of this would be misrepresented as an abuse of office, since that has become tag that is placed on almost everyone who expresses interest in leadership. Such persons are branded as corrupt, simply because the level of trust placed in such people have been abused over the years.

The time to change that perception is now! Leaders are expected to put in place measures to create the impression of credibility and accountability; sugar-coated words should be a thing of the past, and a voice for the voiceless should come to the rescue.

Realistic programmes and policies should be put in place to improve the welfare of the ordinary person and politicians should spare us the agony of hoping for things to come, yet waiting in vain.

The world is ours to protect. It’s up to us to rise up and elects leaders with clear-cut visions, not ones with oratory skills and advertising strategies.

READ ALSO: Designing your dream

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What you never knew about Burundi

Burundi is an East African that gained independence from Belgium in 1962. It must however be noted that the country has some cultural and geographical ties with Central Africa.

The country’s motto is “Ubumwe, Ibikorwa, and “Iterambere” meaning “Unity, “Work” and “Progress” in Kirundi.

Pierre Nkurunziza became the first president to be chosen in democratic elections since the start of the war in 1994, but Louis Rwagasore was the first Prime Minister of the country.

READ ALSO: What you never knew about Botswana

Red, white and green are the national colours of Burundi; with the lion their national symbol. A citizen of Burundi is called a Burundian.

GEOGRAPHY

Burundi is a landlocked country of about 27,834 square kilometres. In terms of land size, the country is ranked 147th in the world.

The country is bordered by Tanzania, Rwanda, and Lake Tanganyika. The capital of Burundi is Bujumbura and has a population of about 11.18 million.

Bujumbura has a population of about 751,000 inhabitants as at 2015. Gitega is the second largest city in the country.

ECONOMY

Burundi’s GDP is estimated around 3.1 billion US Dollars. Agriculture accounts for over 40% of the country’s GDP and employs more than 90% of the population.

The primary exports of Burundi are coffee and tea. Cotton, corn, sorghum, sweet potatoes, banana, and cassava are the other notable crops grown in the country. Inflation remained steady at an average of 5.5% in 2015, compared with 4.7% in 2014. The current labour force of the country is estimated at 5.3 million.

Germany, Pakistan, DR Congo, Uganda, Sweden, Belgium and Rwanda are the main export partners of the Burundians.

Nickel, uranium, copper, platinum, niobium, gold and tin are some of the natural resources of the country. The official currency of the Burundians is the Burundi Francs.

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

The population of Burundi is estimated to be growing at a rate of 3.26% as at 2016. Birth rate stands at 41.7 births/ 1000 population; while death rate in the country is 9 deaths/ 1000 population (2016 estimates).

Maternal Mortality rate is 712 deaths per every 100,000 live births. Life expectancy at birth for males is 58.8 years, while that of the females is 62.3 years.

TRIVIA

Burundi won gold medal in 1996 for the first time in Olympic history – becoming the poorest country ever to win an Olympic gold medal.

This medal was won by Venuste Niyongabo, a runner. The Bank of the Republic of Burundi is the central bank of the country.

REFERENCES

www.afdb.org

www.cia.gov

www.worldbank.org

www.bbc.com

READ ALSO: What you never knew about Burkina Faso

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Intellectual Property: Handling confidential information

As you start your business it is important to safeguard certain pieces of information related to your business.

This information includes trade secrets and personal or private information. It is important to know how to protect such information as your business grows in order to maintain that competitive edge.

The law of breach of confidence is concerned with the protection of business transactions & negotiations, secrets or commercially valuable information that may have been communicated or obtained in confidence.

READ ALSO: Drafting an arbitration clause

In Ghana, there is no statute law on confidential information. Rules governing it are, therefore, are based on the provisions of the common law.

When your confidential information is breached, it is possible to maintain an action in court for that breach.

However, for your information to be treated as confidential and subject to protection by the law it must meet some requirements.

ELEMENTS OF CONFIDENTIALITY

  1.  Quality of confidence: The information itself must have the necessary quality of confidence about it. It may be technical, commercial or private. This means that it should not already be in the public domain.
  2. Obligation of Confidence: It must have been imparted to another person in circumstances importing the obligation of confidence. This arises from the circumstances in which the information was imparted to that person. The closeness of relationship entails that some information will pass between the parties which is likely to be considered as confidential. Eg Employer-employee Relationship; Former employee obligation etcetera.
  3. Unauthorised use of information: There must be an unauthorised use of the information by the person to whom the information was given to the detriment of the owner of the confidential information.

Further, you must have taken enough steps so that non – members of the company could not access that information. This action will not succeed if you gave consent to its divulgence.

WHAT ARE THE REMEDIES AVAILABLE?

You can sue for an Injunction to prevent the divulgence; Damages for the breach; Accounts for profits derived from the breach; Delivery up and Destruction of Articles in relation to the confidential information.

Now with this little insight, you know how to protect that important business information!

Key word:

Trade Secrets: Any confidential business information that provides an enterprise with a competitive edge over others.

READ ALSO: Mergers and acquisitions; taking the right steps

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Editorial – Achieving your goals

What has your business achieved or accomplished this year? Are you any closer to achieving the targets you set for your business at the beginning of the year?

According to Brian Tracy, “All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.”

Making plans and setting targets for your business is important but it is more important to work at achieving those goals. It is the only way you can track the growth of your business.

READ ALSO: Give your customers an experience

We at BizzAfrica have made it our personal goal to track the growth of budding businesses. We tell the stories of entrepreneurs and the progress they are making with their enterprises.

In this edition, we interview young African entrepreneurs who are constantly raising the bar a notch higher in the areas of event management and the general coordination of ceremonies.

They tell of the struggles and challenges with their startups as well as their high points which have contributed to the growth of their businesses.

In this edition you will also find information about trending African businesses, interesting facts about Burundi and many more. You can also break the ice with a crossword puzzle and some jokes. It promises to be an amazing journey.

Have a fun time flipping through these colourful pages and learn to work extra hard to make your business grow. Bonne lecture!

Contact me: rhodagyepigarbrah @gmail.com

READ ALSO: The power of enthusiasm

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Your business idea

The litmus test for entrepreneurship is the creation of a more convenient way of doing things so that the average citizen benefits.

The world of the entrepreneur is full of opportunities that when harnessed, produces results that promote the welfare of a myriad of people.

The African entrepreneur is now more energized than ever to translate ideas into reality, and it is in that regard that care should be taken in nurturing such ideas to fruition.

READ ALSO: Designing your dream

The core task of the entrepreneur is simple; create an environment in which people can mobilize their human and capital resources to achieve a common target.

The creation of that platform determines the exact nature of the work to be done. This becomes especially true when the scale of work to be carried out is explicitly specified.

As a result of this, it is very important to have a clear idea of exactly how you expect the business to shape out.

Projections should be made with regard to profits and losses for a considerable number of years from the date of start of business, so that such information could be consistently measured against reality, in order to find out if progress is being made.

It is certainly not enough to have one’s head in the clouds in the pursuit of ideas that may never see the light of day, as this is because carefully calculated plans tend to produce better results.

The idea is the genesis of the business, and as such putting in place measures to ensure its continuous refinement is the key to business growth, taking into consideration competitive factors that may be present.

Various ideas are proposed on regular basis, most of them similar to already existing ones. The entrepreneur needs to figure out how to design the concept in the way that makes it unique from prevailing options.

This is the key to drawing clients to your side as every consumer desires the best of products and services from providers.

Regardless the nature of the industry you operate in, one factor cuts across all platforms; the final consumer prefers businesses that provide enough convenience to the user.

In the case of competitive options, a vigorous marketing approach is required to out-compete business “rivals”, as at the end of the day, the package that serves the best interest of the client wins.

Nurturing a business idea often becomes a lifelong responsibility, as a well – planned system of continuous monitoring and evaluation of options assists in the suitability of the business idea to modern trends.

Several of the global giants in business today had beginnings that were quite mundane to the distant observer, but the keen-eyed entrepreneur(s) behind the story decided to push the idea to its farthest point, the result of that mindset being the vibrant economic system the world enjoys today.

There have been various instances in which positively – managed competition often fuels the progress plan of a community or country.

Bringing your new business idea on board then needs to promote the economic advantages that a perfect competitive market brings to all and sundry, and it is in the light of that that the wannabe business executive needs to carefully plan how to fit into the pattern in to add to genuine efforts at building on efforts to ensure a progressive plan of growth and development.

The world of the entrepreneur harbors opportunities for progress, and the smart individual is the one who figures out how to contribute to the growth plan and make profit as well. Ideas, when carefully polished can serve as catalysts for a representation of that kind of nirvana we all dream of.

READ ALSO: Getting Started 101

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What you never knew about Burkina Faso

This country was formerly called the Republic of Upper Volta before it was renamed Burkina Faso on the 4th August 1984 by the then-president Captain Thomas Sankara.

They gained independence from France on 5th August, 1960. Maurice Yameogo was the first president of Upper Volta.

The Republic of Upper Volta was established on 11th December 1958 as a self-governing colony within the French community.

READ ALSO: What you never knew about Botswana

In 1983 Capt. Thomas Sankara seized power but was ousted by Blaise Campaore, who went on to rule for 27 years before being ousted in a popular uprising in 2014. Burkina Faso is a francophone country; French is therefore the official language of government and business.

Citizens of Burkina Faso are called the Burkinabe. Mr. Roch Marc Kaboré is the current president of the country; winning the November 2015 presidential elections.

GEOGRAPHY

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa around 274,200 square kilometres in size (making it the 75th largest country in the world). 

Burkina Faso is bordered by Mali to the North; Niger to the East; Benin to the Southeast; Togo and Ghana to the South; and Ivory Coast to the Southwest. 

Its capital is Ouagadougou with a population of around 2.8 million as at 2015. The country’s population is estimated around 18.11 million (2015 World Bank data).

The current population growth rate is estimated at 3.01%. Burkina Faso is a member of the African Union, ECOWAS and The United Nations, among others. The country is divided into 13 administrative regions.

ECONOMY

Burkina Faso is a low income country with a current GDP of around $12.01 billion. GDP growth rate of 4% was recorded in 2014 and 2015. Gold and Cotton constitute more than 70% of the country’s export. 

Burkina Faso is Africa’s largest producer of cotton; it is of no surprise that the local farmers call it “white gold”.

Agriculture, therefore, represents about 32.5% of its gross domestic product and occupies about 80% of the working population. Industry and services constitute about 21.8% and 45.7% respectively.

Livestock, Sorghum, millet, maize, peanuts, rice and cotton are the common agricultural produce of the country. GDP (purchasing power parity) for 2016 was estimated at $32.99 billion. GDP (nominal) is estimated at $11.9 billion.

CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine) Franc is their official currency. The inflation rate (consumer prices) is estimated at 1.4% as of 2016. Central bank discount rate stands at 4.50%

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

Infant Mortality stands at 73.8 deaths per 1000 live births in 2015. Maternal mortality stands at 371 deaths per 100,000 live births. Life expectancy is 55 years for men and 57 years for women.

Only about a third of the population is literate. Birth rate stands at 41.6 / 1,000 population. 

Death rate is 11.5 per 1,000 population. 46.7% of the population lives below the poverty line.

TRIVIA

More than 65% of the population is under the age of 25, and the population is growing at 3% annually.

Women in Burkina Faso have an average of 6 children. As a result, it is of no surprise that average age at first birth for mothers in Burkina Faso is 19.4 years. 2.2 million of the population are internet users.

REFERENCES

www.cia.gov

www.bbc.com

www.worldbank.org

READ ALSO: What you never knew about Angola

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Designing your dream

“Whether you believe you can or whether you believe you cannot, you are absolutely right” – Henry Ford

“Be true to who you are”, sounds a message in a hit song by Gospel musician Donnie McClurkin.

Albeit succinct, the above message summarizes the entirety of the pre-requisites of success in life.

READ ALSO: Getting Started 101

Many dreams have been left in their raw state; others half-formed, and merely a handful fully exploited simply because the individuals involved allowed many preventable obstacles to curtail their progress, hence the bitter results.

Psychologist William James believed that “Nothing is as fatiguing as the eternal hanging of an uncompleted task”. To Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nothing was ever achieved without enthusiasm”.

More often than not, our mindsets become the defining factor – whether to pursue that dream or let it be; whether to go ahead and work on that vision or let it slip by.

Albert Einstein propounded the Theory of Relativity; Charles Babbage introduced Computer Science; Walt Disney presented Disneyland to the world and Sam Walton is remembered as the founder of Wal-Mart stores.

All these people and many others translated their dreams from mere fantasies into reality. Charles H. Duell, the Commissioner of the Office of Patents of the United States, in 1899 summed it up this way: “People who need a mental shift; those who presume that all that can be invented has been invented”.

Thomas Edison was described by his teachers as a slow learner, yet he invented the light bulb and many other products; R.H Macy failed seven times before his New York store became a success; Babe Ruth hit fourteen homeruns; but struck out 1330 times; Colin Powell, despite the many challenges he faced whilst growing up, rose through the ranks of the American military to become amongst many other things, the first African – American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the USA – glaring examples of people who dared to go the extra mile despite the setbacks they faced.

We have all it takes to make the world a better place for us all. Determination in the face of difficulties always propels one to heights unimaginable. The graves have always been described as very rich places – rich in wisdom and knowledge, taking into consideration the number of people who die with their dreams.

When Martin Luther King (1929 – 68) declared in Memphis that “I HAVE A DREAM”, not many understood him. Had he lived his life to the full, he would have definitely seen his “DREAM” translating into reality – Africans, Europeans, Asians and Americans all blending together in various spheres of endeavour, without fear or favour. His winning of a Nobel Peace Prize four years before his untimely death supports this assertion.

Dreams can come true, if and only if the right steps are put in place. The time to start activating our dreams is now

READ ALSO: Africa: Yesterday, today and tomorrow

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