__Proud of some of my former cubs!
More and more often I read comments like the one I am going to share below and I just want to say — congratulations. Some of you are really no longer “cubs” anymore. During the storms, you soared like eagles, and you’re still flying. You remembered #NothingTurnsOnThis when challenges arose, and got back up into the sky. You stayed focused and did your homework. You identified gaps and created opportunities out of problems. You crunched your numbers and tidied your pitches again and again… and you didn’t take no for an answer!
You kept knocking, and when doors “started” to open, you were ready. You had prepared.
Now I know many still think it’s impossible for small and medium size businesses (SMEs) in Africa, like some of yours, to raise even $1 USD in equity capital, let alone millions. But some of you right here are proving the naysayers wrong. You’re launching up, up and away! And if you’re not in flight yet, you’re perched on the edge of the nest…
While I don’t know the specific business situation of the #person whose comment I’m sharing below, I think reading about his learning #process and #mindset is something all of you will be inspired by.
Well done to Japhat who writes:
“Strive, I wish I could buy you a tangible gift but as far as I’m concerned you can already afford anything and everything that money can buy. You taught me the most valuable of business lessons through your mere mention of Stephen Schwarzman.
A few years ago I came to learn about Stephen Schwarzman (Co-founder and Chairman of Blackstone, the largest private equity firm in the world by AUM) from one your posts. It led me to Helios Investment Partners (Africa focused private equity firm based in London) , KKR, Apollo, BlackRock, TPG, Credit Suisse, UBS, JPMorgan, Jefferies, Stifel, GV, NEA, KPCB (now called Kleiner Perkins), etc. It led me to things like M&A, IPO, Convertible Notes, Mezzanine Debt, etc. But most importantly it taught me how to RAISE CAPITAL. It taught me how to look at business opportunities through the eyes of an investor and I can safely say today that (raising) capital is the last thing on my checklist and the least of my concerns as an aspiring entrepreneur. I’ve come to learn that a sound “business plan” (not the piece of paper) will get you funded no matter what, no matter how long it takes, if you know where to look and who to talk to.
Maybe, just maybe, one day (after building a reputation for pure excellence and integrity) I’ll consider establishing an SME “investment bank” to raise capital on behalf of small and medium enterprises for a fee.
Thank you for the great lessons.”
How’s that for inspiration from one of your peers on this platform? Japhat has read these posts and also clearly did his own homework, and then it seems his entrepreneurial journey continued onward and upward… which is something you all must also do! Wow.
Now I know many others of you on this platform have your own inspiring stories, but this comment a few days ago got my attention, maybe because raising capital is really difficult to tackle when you’re a young African entrepreneur getting started or just about ready to go to the next step and grow…
If you were advising a new cub reading on this platform today (perhaps not yet in the Senior Class) what lessons would you say that he or she should focus on?
# What advice or training or network really helped you yourself get started as an entrepreneur?
# What kept you going through the rough times?
# Other than your search for funding (which we’ll talk about again), what other kinds of support as an entrepreneur have you needed that you couldn’t find anywhere?
Your answers here are important!
To be continued. . .