GrowthAfrica’s May 2019 round up


Uganda speakers Dr Barbara Ofwono and Maxime Dieudonne with Michelle Mboha

On the 9th of May 2019, we hosted a masterclass on leadership where we inspired entrepreneurs to find their leadership pulse. We the ran two of the events concurrently, in Uganda and in Kenya at our main office. For the Kenya event, we had Anthony Macharia the founder and CEO of Linksoft communications and Lizzie Wanyoike the founder of NIBS technical college and the Emory hotel. Whereas for the Uganda event we had the pleasure of hosting Dr Barbara Ofwono founder of Victorious educational services and Maxime Dieudonne the co-founder of Safe Boda.

Lizzie Wanyoike addressing entrepreneurs

Here are five crucial points to sum up the lessons from the business owners.

  1. A disruptive idea is a function of thinking critically, entrepreneurs should create time to let the mind run free.
  2. As a businessman or woman, you cannot say yes to every opportunity, have the boldness to say no to opportunities that you are not ready for.
  3. An employee will stay if they have bought into the vision of the company, this is one way you can measure employee retention
  4. Women entrepreneurs should always stand firm when building their enterprises, they should embrace boldness fully while pursuing their dreams
  5. Scaling is imperative for impact to be made. Don’t get comfortable in the same space, when you feel you’re ready to scale you must.


Daniel Dunga developing the minds of entrepreneurs

Gap Lab 4 on Financial Architecture was the most energizing for the 2019 Growth Accelerator Malawi cohort as it challenged entrepreneurs to consider how they currently address cost, pricing and revenue in their businesses and start thinking about how this can be transformed into a more systematic, informed and synchronized process. Daniel Dunga who is the Chief Investment Officer at CDH Investment Bank in Malawi, as well as a serial entrepreneur himself spoke to entrepreneurs. His passion is to support SME’s and start-ups in attaining a better handle on how to manage their finances and – to that end – is due to publish a book on the same topic. He delivered a 9-point talk to summarize the principles around how SME’s and start-ups can achieve this better management of finances, summarized as follows:

  1. Obtain financial literacy
  2. Know how money works and grows: Money always has a price and there is no such thing as “free money”. Learn to invest early
  3. Understand the Business Entity Concept: Your business should not be you but – rather – a separate legal entity
  4. Develop financial discipline: This can be roughly defined as the ability to say no to money when you do not need it to grow your business and the ability to choose not to spend unplanned money from your business when you can.
  5. Be able to manage cash: Differentiate between cash and profit
  6. Be able to manage working capital and debtors: Find your own formula of how the combination works in your business
  7. Be able to manage borrowed money: Stick to the purpose
  8. Be able to manage credit within your cash-to-cash cycle: Chase credit repayments and have realistic predefined parameters of how far you can bend as a business
  9. Prepare to manage your growth: Allow your business to grow organically and do not force it without the required capacity in place because then you run the grave danger of overtrading

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