Control or growth? (Part 1)

__Can you keep control whilst being able to grow the company quickly? 

Watching Shark Tank on Kwesé Inc, as well as other shows on Kwesé Inc like The Profit, you should by now understand one of the big dilemmas of an entrepreneur who has made the decision to look for investors: To get money from an investor you have to sell them shares in your business. They will also want a say in the running of the business. They might even insist on taking full control…

So what are you going to do my friend?

Sometimes, if you don’t take the money, your business will be unable to grow and might even collapse. At the same time, it means you could “lose” control of your baby!

“Oh my baby, my baby!” I hear you crying desperately.

Let me assure you now, I have been through it and so has Aliko Dangote (even if he has not told me himself). I just know that all entrepreneurs face this dilemma!

# The business wants the money!
# You want control!

__Who wins? You or the business? Or both (is that possible?)

If you’re not ready for the senior class, we will excuse you for a few weeks, because this is “where the rubber hits the road”!

Oh boy! Who wins?!

If you don’t take the money, the business may never grow! If you do take the money, the business could grow to become a giant, or… your investors could kick you out and take over!

All this has happened to me before:

# I have taken money sometimes, and grown the business;


# I did not take the money, fallen short and been kicked out!


# I have found other ways around it!

Boy, it has all happened to me! So where do we start? Are you ready for some of my stories on this long, exciting journey we call entrepreneurship 2.0?

I am ready to hear some of yours!

“In any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety,” said the famous psychologist Abraham Maslow several decades ago.

There’s another option, too: #Step nowhere and get nowhere!

Let’s see what you are made of.

To be continued. . .


by 18 Replies

About Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, a diversified global telecommunications group with operations and investments in over 15 countries. His business interests also include renewable energy, financial services, media and hospitality. Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including Unilever, Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel, the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy, Morehouse College, Hilton Foundation's Humanitarian Prize Jury and the Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council. He is one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, the Carbon War Room, and a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education. Masiyiwa took over the Chairmanship of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) from Kofi Annan. He is also Chair of the Micronutrient Initiative, a global organization focused on ending child hunger and improving nutrition. In 2012, Masiyiwa was invited by President Obama to address leaders at the Camp David G-8 Summit on how to increase food production and end hunger in parts of Africa. In 2014, Masiyiwa was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. As a philanthropist, he is a member of the Giving Pledge, and his contributions to education, health and development have been widely recognized. Masiyiwa and his wife finance the Higher Life Foundation, which provides scholarships to over 42,000 African orphans. In 2015, he was the recipient of the International Rescue Committee’s Freedom Award and was presented with a UN Foundation Global Leadership Award for the work of the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, which he chairs and helped establish to fund the deployment of African healthcare workers to combat the outbreak in West Africa.

18 thoughts on “Control or growth? (Part 1)

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 4.
    I will give a Kwesé decoder to the first person from an African country where Kwesé is active who can tell me the percentage shareholding in their companies of the following corporate titans:

    1. Bill Gates
    2. Elon Musk
    3. Patrice Motsepe
    4. Mark Zuckerberg
    5. Jack Ma
    6. Jeff Bezos

    Also state the registered name of their company, and value of their shares (note as of which date). *If you don’t have Kwesé TV in your country, you gift it to a friend for Christmas. Be sure to only answer under this Afterthought and put the name of your country.

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.
    This subject is going to be easier to understand if you have been following some of the shows I selected for you which appear on Kwesé Inc. They cost me millions (each year) and you only have to spend $25 per month which you can even share with friends. Let’s get started.

    #Kwesé Inc is now available in 18 English-speaking countries and you can even use your mobile phone (to watch it) in those countries.

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.
    On Shark Tank and other programs, one thing they do not show you are the agreements an entrepreneur who gets investment has to sign! Even though I have never seen them, I can assure they don’t just get a cheque in the post! There are some very serious agreements aimed at protecting the investor.

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Please study carefully the answers to Afterthought 4. As you can see from the answers; it is the clear the RICHEST and most powerful business leaders in the world do not own 51% of their businesses!

    # I want you to think very hard about this…very hard.

    Big businesses require BIG capital, and BIG capital sits with equity investors (Not banks) who MUST have shares!

    Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos (now the richest guy in the world) did not finance their businesses with bank loans, and that is why they got so big!

    …there is no other way!

  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Musinguzi writes,

    I have decided to invest in a company owned by my brother after watching the Shark Tank and other entrepreneurial channels on Kwese TV.

    I have changed completely as regards doing business.

    I wish you came so many years ago.

    My reply,
    I was inspired to set up Kwese Inc after watching Shark Tank and The Profit whilst on a business trip in the USA.
    I was convinced that EVERY African entrepreneur needs to see these shows.
    We have gone all over the world looking for programming that helps entrepreneurs.
    Next we will start developing our own shows.
    All this costs money, which is why we charge subscriptions. A person can watch for only $3/week if all they want is Kwese Inc, or $25/week for everything.

    I think entrepreneurs should also show these shows to their staff buy setting up Kwese TV at the offices.

  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Hotel Impossible:
    Last night I watched a show called Hotel Impossible (Travel Channel on Kwese Tv).
    It is aimed at helping entrepreneurs who are in the hotel business. Even if you are not in that business, it is still worth watching.
    Let me know what you think of it?

  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    As an entrepreneur there are at least 10 reasons I can think of on why you should attend a course like the one run by Stanford, if you ever get an opportunity.
    I will not bother with all ten, but I will just give you one:
    #Access to capital from both banks and investors.

    Do you understand why?
    Please comment, but spend time thinking about it first.

    Now if that is not an incentive for you, I don’t know what is!

    As a young entrepreneur I would have sold my car to be able to finance such a course.

  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Nyabaro writes,

    Parents have to let there babys go and make a life for themselves. As Entrepreneurs if we want to grow our business we have to let it go.
    Now I get it.

    My reply,
    Today you got full marks!
    A parent who does not allow a baby to grow will stunt the baby’s growth.
    I long ago gave up the idea of owning more than 50% of businesses that had growth potential that I could not fund myself. So did Bill Gates and others!
    You will learn more from future posts,
    This is for senior class members remember!

  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    If you have children or nephews and nieces, or just want to bless an under privileged child, this Christmas, read this article:

    I don’t have young children anymore but these are the kind of toys, I would have gone out to buy.
    Who knows you just might buy them for yourself, because we are never to old to learn the skills of the future: Coding!

  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Beetrice writes,

    Banks can only give you money if you show them that you don’t need it.

    My reply,
    Over the years I have heard this a lot, and I know many people now believe it, but is not true.
    If you believe something like that you will end up trying to mislead the bank, which is harmful to both you and the bank.
    What is more important for you is to have a deeper understanding of exactly when and how to approach a bank.

  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Kwese TV Update:
    There are now 83 x channels on the Kwese Platform.
    Seven of the channels are national Free To Air channels which cannot be seen outside the particular country.
    This means most countries see a minimum of 77x channels.
    If you are a Kwese TV customer, you should check your “channel installation” on your decoder to ensure you are seeing all channels available in your country.

    The four FOX channels went live today.
    There are still more, and more channels to come in the new year.

    Thank you for your support.

  12. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Aderinko writes,

    Businesses don’t thrive on Bank loans because Banks are also into business.

    My reply,
    For a bank to succeed it must have clients who are also succeeding, otherwise they will be losing depositors money.

    Whether you approach a bank or an (equity) investor, they both have two paramount concerns:
    #1. To protect their money and not lose it.
    #2. To get a return on that money.

  13. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    The Apostle Paul once said, “as far as I’m concerned there is nothing stopping you from doing what you want to do, but the question you must ask yourself always, is whether it is profitable.” (My paraphrase):

    If you want to spend every day watching sport, there is no one stopping you, but you could also choose to spend the same time watching Kwese Inc, and learning how to start and build a successful business. It just boils down to your idea of what is “profitable”, and the choice is entirely yours.

  14. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Next year there is something I want you to do for YOURSELF…
    I want you to take some money and buy shares in a business on your country’s stock exchange. I’m not talking of a lot of money $20-100 (or minimum allowed in your country’s exchange). For this particular exercise don’t do more.

    I’m not interested in you buying shares in one of my businesses, in fact I prefer that you don’t do that with regards this exercise.

    Do it before the end of February.

    If your country does not have a stock exchange find a way to buy some shares some where!

    If you live in America, or India, or Australia; buy shares there!

    You can even buy them together with a friend, or a family member who is interested in entrepreneurship.

    Do not sell them until the end of next year.
    I do want you to report regularly how your shares are doing.
    I might even ask you about your share portfolio if I bump into you, somewhere next year. So please don’t disappoint me.

    I’m not going to say why today, or even before the end of next year.

    #Just do it!

    Call it a “senior class” exam for the end of 2017, and results to come end of 2018!

  15. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Njide writes,

    I already have shares, should I still partake in the exercise?

    My reply,
    This is a class exercise. I will want you to buy the shares, for this exercise only. The date when you bought them will matter, and there must be a specific date, starting today: 21st December 2017.

  16. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Understanding and coming to terms with the observation of Afterthought 4, took me on a journey which helped me grow my business.
    Making the transition to a situation in which I could be comfortable to give up “equity” control in order to finance the business, was not easy particularly in Africa. It is still very difficult to do.
    The best way to do it is through a Stock Exchange, that is why Every entrepreneur should dream of listing their company on a Stock Exchange. That is what the Richest people in the world ALL managed to do.

  17. Davith Kahwa

    Dear Strive,
    Thank you for initiating this conversation, it is talking to me direct because I started a business 4 years. I wanted the money to scale, therefore invited the investors who bought majority stake. The business was not generating enough cash to fund operating expenses. The investor agreed to provide additional loan which eventually was converted into equity. I was just kicked out of the business a few months ago.
    Big lessons beneficial foe my next venture.
    Eager to learn more……..

  18. Davith (Dave) Kahwa

    Thank you for initiating this conversation, it is talking to me direct because I started a business 4 years ago. I wanted the money to scale, therefore invited the investors who bought majority stake. The business was not generating enough cash to fund operating expenses. The investor agreed to provide additional loan which eventually was converted into equity. I was just kicked out of the business a few months ago.
    Big lessons beneficial foe my next venture.
    Eager to learn more……..


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