African fish eagle looking across the Zambezi.

Learn to use the law to protect you and your business (Part 1)

__Plan ahead with wisdom and vision.

A few days ago, one of you here wrote a message to another member on this platform who had fallen on tough times but was working to rise again: “At every turn on the road, a new stretch of the road begins. Don’t stop at the bend. Go round the bend (the problems and issues). On turning, you will see a new stretch of the highway (openings, opportunities and new vistas). May God perfect your healing and sharpen your focus. Happy New Year 2019.”

I love it when I see you supporting each other on this platform. This is an important message for everyone! Thank you to Jonathan from Nigeria.

Now during the last week, you saw how easily a crisis or challenge can emerge in a business or even your personal life. Quite often it is not of your own making, and it just comes and “boom!” You are in a dispute with someone, or another organization. In business, disputes occur mostly with business partners, suppliers, or even customers.

There are also times when something controversial occurs involving you, the business, or one of your products or services. Sometimes as often happens these days, it is an article in a newspaper, or even something someone says on social media.

There is no “one size fits all” response I can advise you on. I can just give you some guiding principles, again based on my own personal experiences, and not that of others:

#1. Keep a cool head.
#2. Think fast.
#3. Don’t be rash.
#4. Assess the situation constantly, with professional advisors.
#5. Act appropriately.
#6. Stay truthful and ethical at all times.
#7. Never be driven by anger or the need for vengeance.
#8. Do what is in the best interests of the business.
#9. Act lawfully.
#10. Have humility at all times. Clothe yourself in it.

I believe most items are self-explanatory. You can use this and checklist from other experienced entrepreneurs.

Today I want to talk about #9. If you are going to be a successful entrepreneur, you will likely have disputes at one time or other.

In any crisis whatsoever, you must always talk to the lawyers first. Big companies like ours have armies of in-house lawyers (we could have as many as 25 across the group, which is nothing compared to the global giants). We also work with lawyers who are specialists in litigation, because our own lawyers deal primarily with business matters.

In your case, it is important to have access to a lawyer that you call “my lawyer.” (Ideally, it should be someone who is a specialist in corporate rather than criminal law).

# A good lawyer keeps you out of court, and not in court.

# The best lawyers are those who say, “Let’s try and talk to them.”

# A good lawyer must give you the right counsel, including things you don’t want to hear, such as: “We are going to be given a lashing if it gets to court. Allow me to try and settle this.”

# A good lawyer is a winner! If the fight heads to court, he or she will be ready. You never, ever want to mess with our own Beatrice Mtetwa or Adrian de Bourbon. Our Nigerian lawyer Prof Alfred Kasunmu in Nigeria is one of the best in the world.

As I wrote last week: “The road to success is always under construction…” When your business idea becomes a business, then grows, or when disputes arise, you must be sure to have a credible lawyer to advise you. Choose carefully! (By the way I used “lawyer” here as a general term for legal counsel. Depending on your situation, it may be an “advocate” you need. Senior class can help explain the difference if you don’t know).

Now the New Year is nearly a week old, and it is time for we entrepreneurs to keep our eyes on the road…!

In last week’s post, I talked about #decision#dedication#discipline, and also #goal-setting.

__Is your written list of goals somewhere safe so next New Year you can share your progress? If not, get moving!

I will close by reposting a favorite quote by Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr that I have shared here before:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Selah.

May we recommit ourselves, whatever country we are in, and whatever our differences may be, to the greater vision of how we can work together to do what must be done to help improve the lives and livelihoods of people across our continent…

Now let us sharpen our focus and get back to business!

To be continued. . .

 

by 32 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.

32 thoughts on “Learn to use the law to protect you and your business (Part 1)

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.

    We must continue urgently to #WorkTogether to build Africa’s century. It is rarely easy, but let us not get detoured. Millions of our people are hurting and struggling to survive! I know many good people would like to debate about different ways forward, and this could be an important discussion for another time and place, if done with mutual respect, even if we disagree. Here is not the place please.

    This platform is for entrepreneurs across Africa! And across the world actually…

    Whatever disagreements may happen, and they can be very important ones or simple misunderstandings, let us dedicate and discipline ourselves to #KeepOurEyesOnTheRoad. There are countless problems to solve, businesses to start, innovations to launch and jobs to create!

    Reply
  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.

    If you do find yourself having to go to court against someone for any reason, don’t talk publicly about it. It’s bad strategy and could also compromise your evidence later. Also don’t make public and childish threats like “I’m going to sue you!” If you have to go to court, just do it. Never talk about ongoing litigations, particularly with the press.

    Reply
  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.

    Never attack judges with comments such as “The judges in this country are corrupt.” There is nothing dumber than that! In most countries if judges hear about it, it will land you in jail for contempt.

    Reply
  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #Pause:
    I formally go back to work tomorrow, to begin a very hectic schedule. I will not be able to comment as often as I did over the holiday period. Remember to use any comment now or in the past as being there for you, even if I did not address it as such. I cannot answer every comment or request. A couple of points:

    #1. Town Halls are determined by my business schedule. If I am in a country for business, then I will do a Town Hall if at all possible. This is because I have a full time job for which I’m paid a salary by our company.

    #2. LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram:

    I closed them down because I don’t really use them. My staff did all the posting on those. I have never once sat down myself to post something on Twitter, for instance. Now if some people open fake accounts and draw you in to believe it is me, then people will take you for a ride; some might even take your money. If you get scammed, please don’t come to me because my lawyers will remind you what I just said: I only have one site, and it is here on Facebook.

    I appreciate all your support as always, and have a blessed and profitable year ahead. SM

    Reply
  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #Reflection:
    Let me tell you a story that helps you understand these principles:
    Many years ago [Kibaki days] we were having a dispute with our local partners in Kenya. They had huge influence with the Minister, and they were trying to use it to change the terms of an agreement to favor them.
    One Saturday morning the Minister stated on radio that he had cancelled our license!
    I immediately triggered our legal “war council”. A team flew out of Joburg that night with lawyers; in Nairobi the best lawyers and barristers worked through the entire weekend, some 12 hours without rest preparing a court application. Our plan was simple, get in front of the judge, as the courts open.
    Throughout the weekend I said nothing even though the media was calling.
    10 am Monday morning the case had not only been heard but the Minister’s decision had been reversed. The judge, a Kenyan rebuked the Minister.
    No one is above the law.
    It’s also how you must learn to see the use of the law in business.

    That is what #Rule of Law is all about!

    I have used this case to encourage investors looking at making an investment in Kenya:
    “They have a serious legal system. I have tested it in battle for my rights. Your money is safe in Kenya when you are a foreign investor. I will invest there without hesitating.”

    Reply
  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #Reflection:
    The #Rule Of Law at work:
    There was a certain Minister who hated us with a passion and thankfully he was not the Minister responsible for our industry. But one day the actual Minister went on leave, and the President appointed this guy Minister. Within one week he gazetted a law which would cripple our business. We heard about his plans in the grapevine, and we waited for him quietly. The law was gazetted at 5pm; we had secured a hearing before the duty judge at 8pm. He reversed the decision on the spot, and told the Minister not to interfere with our business again!
    #Rule Of Law!

    Reply
  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Goodluck Ojusin
    Writes about the Kenya example:

    This is a legal fight. We will always win big. Although God favour was with you and will always be with you.

    My reply,
    I did not go to Nairobi. I went into fasting and prayer until victory my boy!
    When I fight I also use “Heaven’s Air force”—Hehehe!

    Reply
  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #Reflection:
    I have been in legal battles where there would be more than 50 lawyers in court.
    I have fought global giants who could hire the biggest law firms the world. And I have always prevailed.

    But it was not always like that, I was once running a small business like some of you on this platform. I relied on lawyers like Tawanda Nyambirai when they were just fresh out of college. We grew up together.

    I always had friends who were lawyers, many my own age mates, and they were always willing to teach me about the law and business. Canaan Dube, Beatrice Mtetwa, Gula Ndebele, Mervin Immerman, Nic Rudnick, the late Antony Eastwood to name a few.

    They remain men and women that I hold in highest esteem to this day.

    It matters who you hang out with even at weekends. Do your best to hang out with people who teach you things that will help you to prosper in life.

    You must have friends in your circle who are lawyers. Value them, pay for their advice as part of your business costs.
    #Act Lawfully!
    #Respect The Rule Of Law.

    Reply
  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #Freedom of Expression:
    I went to the highest court in my country on the provision in our constitution called “Freedom of Expression”. Our license was not granted on the basis of a politician’s decision but it was a ruling from the Constitutional Court.

    It took five years, and eleven court hearings before we got there!

    I think I understand what “Freedom of Expression” is and is not.

    You cannot just wake up one morning with a little conspiracy theory based on your own warped idea, and start posting little videos, about people.
    It is not freedom of expression, it is called defamation under the law.

    If the person you defamed goes to court the process is quite simple:
    #1. A judge will order you to first remove all the material, and to shut up, so that you do not do anymore damage pending a full court case.

    #2. The judge then invites you to come to open court, and repeat what you said. You are free to invite your family and friends to hear you testify and repeat those allegations. You will be cross examined and you will be required to prove what you said. You can be grilled for 3 days none stop by the lawyers of the other side. I have seen people who were all bravado when makes defamatory statements break down and cry. I know of one guy who tried to convince the judge that it was insanity that made him do it!

    I once hauled an actual Minister who was humiliated by my lawyers, because I will always seek protection from the law from people who defame me or my brand.
    It’s my right, as it is yours.
    I believe in Rule of Law. And no one is above the law.

    If you lose a defamation case , it will not be because the other side had fancy lawyers, but because you had no evidence just “pub talk”. Usually something you were egged to say by someone who was smart enough not to say it themselves.

    #3. The damages will be set by a judge and you could end up losing everything.

    If you are ever sued for defamation and you lose, the record will always reflect that you are a fool!

    Now I’m not saying that you should not be speaking out against politicians that you elect. That is different as long as you don’t make it so personal that even they sue you, which is not likely.

    But the world of business is different, because there they are trying to protect brands, and they will not hesitate to come after you with the full force of the law.
    If you think someone has done something unlawful, use the law, don’t break it yourself.

    One of the most painful experiences I ever had was to be cross examined in an arbitration for three days. I survived the experience and won the case.

    May you live long, and avoid some of the most unnecessary experiences like being sued for defamation.

    Reply
  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Adedayo Olumuyiwa writes,

    The “Rule of Law” is one of the factors that investors and business people consider before investing in foreign countries and economies.

    Businesses and economies atrophy when this phenomenon is absent or weak!

    Thanks for sharing great Chief.

    My reply,
    The type of investor that is going to build factories worth billions in your country is all about #RuleOf Law!
    They are not interested in what your President has to say, that is just an opening. Once they decide to consider investing they ask top lawyers to examine how your court system handles major disputes!
    The guy called “Chief Justice”, is not just an “old man in a wig”—that Is your Chief Investment Officer lol!
    #Rule of Law matters. We should pay attention to it. More important than #RuleOf BigMen called Mr President or Hon Minister. Good President’s know that.

    Reply
  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    # A call to entrepreneurial laws in Africa:

    The legal profession in Africa, has not yet risen to the challenge of proper institutional response to the SME sector. This is rather like how big banks operated before the likes of Steward Bank was created.

    Let’s #ReImagine Legal Services so that small business can get access to this vital service:

    There are three things that can happen here:

    # The Law Societies in Africa need to take up the challenge of providing services to the SME sector.
    They should encourage their members to set up specialist services for SME clients.
    They should make it easier for young lawyers to practice in this area by going into business to service this sector.

    # We need Legal Aid initiatives for small businesses, who need advice.
    There are already many templates for this kind of thing.
    There are also a lot of things you can do online.

    We must pay particular attention to the needs of women entrepreneurs. This calls for practicing women lawyers to think about what they can do to help women in business get legal advice.

    # Government policymakers, particularly Justice Ministries need to ensure that this huge sector which provides jobs, is able to access such a vital service.

    I want to hear from the lawyers on this platform about how they are going to help.

    Reply
  12. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    James John writes,

    But sir my question is has not answered about how to right a religious book

    My reply,
    You are misunderstanding the purpose of this platform. “I’m not an agony Auntie” on every issue of society.
    I’m an entrepreneur. Why would I be interested in “how do I write a religious book”?
    Come on son!
    If you want to write a religious book go and find someone who writes them and get your advise from them.
    I’m here to help you run a business better or s social enterprise like a foundation because that is what my personal experience is all about.

    Reply
  13. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Ivy writes,

    When I started my business, contacting a lawyer was the last thing on my mind. After all, there were many more ‘important’ things to take care of.

    Then issues with business incorporation arose and I was almost on the verge of losing money. That was I realized I should have gotten a lawyer involved right from day one.

    Now, we have a company lawyer/friend who supports us with legal issues at discounted rates and even sometimes pro-bono. Anytime I have an opportunity to speak to entrepreneurs, I encourage them to always have a lawyer in their network, even if a friend who can give legal advice.

    My reply,
    It is exactly how I started with my very first lawyer. He helped me part time for pocket money, just like my book keeper.
    Every evening he would drop by and help me draft things like employee contracts, and review my contracts with suppliers etc. Soon he went into private practice and I became his client. I introduced him to my friends and soon he had enough of us to support his business.
    If you run a little law firm and you want why not introduce yourself on this platform so you can get clients!

    Reply
  14. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Kenest Asiamah writes,

    #Strive My name is Ernest Asiamah from Ghana. In the mid of last year, I met foreigners from India who were in our country to brand their business. By then I was running small advertising firm which was chosen among other firms to compete for their projects. Though I didn’t get the job but the things that they needed I have to rent for them. Being a follower of this platform, I got an idea and quickly a name was chosen “Renit “ I got two people, one is a marketer and other one a designer so we develop the UI and the flow of the app. I did programming in web but not in mobile so I was looking for partners but unfortunately all those I knew wasn’t ready and was giving me excuses. Having small capital I gave it to a freelancer. Am happy to inform you that we will test the app next week. It has not been easy but with Almighty God on our side it will not fail. Thank you very much for the encouragements. You are doing a good job. God bless you

    My reply,
    My greatest business opportunities were born in much the same way.
    Well done.
    Keep us on the loop.

    Reply
  15. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Reflection:
    If you are running a law firm or you want to start one that focuses just on entrepreneurs, as an entrepreneurial opportunity for yourself, why not reach out through this platform this week:
    We want you to find customers [I don’t like the word “client” because I want you to be entrepreneurial].
    I’m also interested in hearing from entrepreneurs who are involved in any legal service that assists entrepreneurs, I want to give you a #ShoutOut!

    Reply
  16. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Godswill Esezoobo writes,

    When entrepreneurs are in the legislative arms of government that’s when laws that will favor entrepreneurship will be enacted. What shifts can a lawyer do but to interpret the laws made. That’s what we need. I have tried to begin several Businesses that could have helped modular power production in Nigeria but I know how many times am shunned by those in authority because the laws is not in favor of my proposals. They simply say it will not fly. I am a simple SME guy and cannot influence things at the moment. What I need at the end of the day is to produce power but I cannot overrule the law because am zealous. At the end, nothing is done. So those in government are quite important if the law must favor you and I. #EntrepreneuralLegislators so to say. Until someone that knows what I need is in authority I won’t get the best share to succeed as a small business owner so am encouraging the young African leader to understand the plights and expectations of the sme owner. Dr Strive thank you sir.

    My reply,
    In one respect I agree with that we need our legislators to be more supportive to entrepreneurs. The best way for this to happen is to do what happens in most advanced economies like the US,and that is to go and seek works to enlighten those that are there now. You will be pleasantly surprised how many of them will listen to you, and actually do something. Even on this very platform I have legislators listening quietly.

    Having said that, when I entered telecoms, it was illegal for private companies. I went to court to change that. Would I do that today? Maybe not, because every situation must be assessed on its own times.
    As an entrepreneur the challenge for you is to “work in the conditions and not against the conditions”. Think of new innovations that overcome the challenge you face.
    Hard things are hard…but you can do it!

    Reply
  17. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Stephen Mgalileya Ndhlovu ,

    Seems to me you’ve also quite hinted on a virgin entrepreneurial idea – a platform that increases/improves an interface between smes and applicable laws. Fertile ground. But like you point out often, such things you don’t say – you close up yourself in the room, and start working… Some of the ways could include simplifying the language of the law, in brochures or such formats that make it easier for smes to understand; development of abridged versions of the law (some even summarised to a page) for smes ….

    appreciation of respective busines/trading legal instruments; development of IEC materials to inform, and create journey.

    My reply,
    You are my kind of guy!
    If I was giving prizes today, you would get my prize. If you ever get to do it, please come back and talk about it here and I will give you s shout it.
    I have taken out details because you talked too much!

    Reply
  18. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #Reflection:
    There is a difference between a good lawyer and a great lawyer!
    Good lawyers help you to look after your business. Great lawyers help you to build your business!
    I’m always looking for great lawyers.
    It’s time for every entrepreneur to draw around them great lawyers!

    Reply
  19. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought:
    For those who will one day be big!

    Have you ever noticed that very large companies don’t say very much, and when they do, only one or two people ever speak on behalf of the company?
    Why do you think this is so?

    Why can’t all the employees have the right to speak on behalf of the company, particularly to the media?

    The answer is simple:
    It’s called litigation!
    It can open the company to being sued for millions of dollars, if one careless employee says something stupid.

    Even when they speak big companies will not mention the names of other companies or even people.
    Everything they say is first reviewed by lawyers.
    Learn the practices even if your business is still small:
    Companies and their executives are very careful and measured about what they say.
    Politics and business are not the same thing, and they both have very different ways of communicating in public.

    #Keep yourself and business out of legal trouble. Have a disciplined approach to your communications because the corporate lawyers [of your competitors] are watching and listening for potential slip ups!

    Reply
  20. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Prezzo Booker T from South Sudan writes (edited due to length):

    Strive Masiyiwa Strive Masiyiwa ….happy new sir…
    I’m a south Sudanese by nationality ,i came to know you through my friend called Tadenda frm Zimbabwe.

    It’s really a pleasure follow you on social media and found that you always share ur experience with us around the globe…..
    I completed high school in 2015 …in South Sudan and started up a poultry project which wen successfully and I was planning to make it bigger since my plan was to open up the biggest poultry farm in my region …….but unfortunately in 2016 tribal war broke out and everything got messed up my farm was burned down all of us were chased to Uganda as refugees….then 2017 ….after I return back to South Sudan (juba) to come and try other chances since it’s said that when plan A fails try plan B ….. but due to the insecurity I can’t really manage to survive in my own city …..on top I don’t have good certificates that can allow me to get good job……so tried all my best then a friend of mine who was in Egypt told me at least to move to Egypt if I can cuz here one can find a job and study at thesame time …..so I thought it was good plan for me since my plan was to study ……so on August 2017 I moved to Cairo Egypt then my friend looked for a job as a bartender in club here in Cairo ……..I’m now like one n half year in Cairo but all the money I get ends on rent ,food n transport………….since my plan was to work and study and education was my first priority of coming to Egypt ……………..

    My reply,
    There are many young people in your situation in Africa, and I wanted to address you and them, through this post:

    #1. There are many highly successful people in world history who once faced in their lives even more difficult situations than your own. Men like President Kagame grew up in refugee camps in Uganda, when it was even under Idi Amin!
    They got out, went home and helped to rebuild.
    #2. Don’t allow despair to overwhelm you in life. Be patient. 18 months, is really not that long for you to be in despair.
    Settle yourself down, learn your craft even their in Egypt. Try and get established in something there.
    You can always read, and study even without certificates.
    #3. Be very careful who you are listening to. Next someone will come and say “let’s go to Europe, or Israel”. Don’t listen to them. My advice for what it’s worth is that if after another year or so [provided your stay is legal], you still feel you are not making progress, return home. The risk there is far less than the risk associated with other options.

    #Don’t despair, in and about life. It will all work out in the end. Just believe. Have joy which is not based on your circumstances.

    Reply
  21. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Prezzo Booker T Joseph worked in Egypt as a slave for what some believe could have been 20 years or more. He still emerged as a great man. You will be great one day! Continue to acquit yourself with your chin up, and with dignity.

    Reply
  22. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Sheth Ogweno writes,

    Welcome Dr.Strive,not only in Nairobi but also in Kisumu.As a Tailor and an upcoming entrepreneur,I promise one free dress to Mama watoto,I only need to get the measurements.

    My reply,
    How sweet Sheth!
    I have been to Kisumu!

    You are so generous. I spoke to my wife, and she said she would love to get a dress from you. We will get someone to send you the measurements.
    Now I hope you can set up a website (if you don’t already have one) so that others can order.
    One day you will be big, very big!

    Reply
  23. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    OJ Morrison writes,

    When the legal power structure is weak; every other structure within the country follows suit. It is our obligation to know the law without necessarily going to law school. It takes laws to stay in business just as it takes laws to get out of business. Law is a discipline which we ought to know and use if we sincerely think of a sustainable business. Sometimes the game turns sweet, some other times it turns bitter but two things in between the taste are the # law and the times. There is wisdom in studying both carefully.

    My reply,
    Great wisdom!
    As soon as I realized how important understanding law was I did everything to build an interest in it. I would even go to local courts to listen to cases that related to business disputes.
    90% of the legal issues we deal with in a business have nothing whatsoever to do with disputes with people, or going.
    A successful entrepreneur respects the law, loves the law, and always relies on the law!

    Reply
  24. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Ajibola Akintunde writes,

    I help Start ups and budding entrepreneurs build legal structures and understand regulatory laws bordering their businessess.

    I can help companies understand the legal framework covering their businesses and help them to comply properly to national and international best standards and practices. I practise in Nigeria and ready to be available for consult for intra African trade

    My reply,
    This is a great business!
    #ShoutOut!

    I want to see more of this type of business spreading to every country in Africa.

    Reply
  25. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Zibusiso Mpofu writes,

    Why is Steward digital bank not included in your list.you have already upscaled or shown intrest to upscale throughout Africa the companies you have listed above.without asking you to reveal all your cards why the appetite to upscale a company that is only months old compared to one that has shown growth and profits for years and the world is moving toward digital banking.if Steward bank bank will be housed by cassava international then dont mind my question

    My reply,
    In a hurry!
    But love your question, and it is all I can answer today:
    Steward Digital Bank is an extension of “EcoCash mobile money service”:
    #80% of its revenue and profits come from EcoCash and EcoSure!
    Steward Bank acts like a back office and treasurer for EcoCash operations, and it takes a fee.
    It is such a unique model that it took years for the industry to realize that we had not used the traditional model of mobile money services.
    A leading industry executive from Sweden called me one day and she said “we kept trying to figure out what you had done to make EcoCash so effective. It’s the bank! Wow!”

    #The future of SB is in Artificial Intelligence (AI).

    Reply
  26. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Ejiro Gbetsere ,

    I have read your lengthy response. Unfortunately I can not reproduce it.
    You make some valid points.
    There are basically two issues I’m trying to put on the table:

    #1. Encourage entrepreneurs who want to become big players to appreciate the need to act lawfully in every aspect of their business. This will become even more important if they ever want to raise capital.
    #2. Alerting them to the value of having good legal counsel:
    If you are being properly advised from a legal perspective your business will be more profitable.
    #3. I also want lawyers to see their practices as businesses, and to reach out for more Entrepreneurial opportunities that will help them serve more customers.

    Reply
  27. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #Pause:
    More than $15bn in wealth created for my shareholders and investors, as an entrepreneur!

    In the language of business, a “unicorn” is a start-up which is worth more than $1bn.
    I have now started four unicorns in my business career:

    #1. Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, listed and trading at a valuation of $3,2bn.
    #2. Airtel Nigeria, which was valued at more than $4bn, when I sold our stake.
    #3. Liquid Telecom, which trades on the Dublin Stock Exchange [bond market] with an enterprise value of $2,5bn.
    #4. Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe which is valued at $3,8bn.

    #5. I also started two other businesses [Mascom Botswana, and 2 Degrees New Zealand] that are also worth close to a billion dollars in value. I’m a shareholder in both.

    I personally started each of these businesses from scratch.
    We did not start them with foreign partners, but we do raise capital globally.
    In each case I was there to hire the first person, and to get it going. Some of them had turbulent times, but I was there.

    We have other businesses like Cumii Technologies, Kwese Iflix, Cassava International, Vaya Mobility and Logistics, Technites, and DPA Africa, which I believe will one day also become “Unicorns”!

    #I don’t own these businesses on my own, and in some cases my stake is very small, but I have my share and the Lord has blessed me. I did not do it for money, but I simply like to start and build businesses that serve and meet the needs of people. It is my “calling”— If you want to be spiritual about it. In this I respectfully submit I’m no different from any other entrepreneur in places like Silicon Valley or London.

    Everything I try to teach you is drawn from my experience building these and other businesses in Africa.

    If you are developing a business right now, or working in a Start Up in a developing country, this platform is there to help you.

    # If it is wealth creation and jobs you want to talk about. I’m available to talk and listen. I believe I can contribute something.

    Reply
  28. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Engr Nwokeji Sunday CP writes,

    Sir I hope you saw my early comment about ” DEPRESSION” Pls we need you to write about it May promising youth are committing suicide.

    My reply,
    Although I’m deeply concerned about this issue, I feel I’m not qualified to discuss what is essentially a clinical condition.
    All I can say is if you of a friend are suffering from depression, do not feel ashamed or try to hide it; there are hundreds of millions of people who suffer from this condition around the world, including highly successful people in Business, sport, and other celebrities.
    Seek proper medical help for it. See it in the same way that you would look at other chronic conditions like diabetes. It needs treatment. A good [modern] doctor will give you medication which you may have to take regularly, and you will soon feel better.
    If you or a friend are having suicidal thoughts, seek immediate clinical help from a qualified physician. Do it right away.
    BTW:
    Don’t ever nurse any sickness or disease. It is not brave to nurse things like pain. Get it checked out, and don’t put it off.

    Reply
  29. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Farai Dunamis Chigs writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa I was in the process of forming an organization in Zimbabwe that provides legal services to SMEs. The idea was to create more of a legal insurance Society for SMEs in the Country in which SMEs contribute a certain amount monthly for legal cover and Support. The idea is to help entrepreneurs grow in compliance with National and International Laws. I am working with a team of five Lawyers in Zimbabwe and we intend to introduce the SMEs Legal Support Network sometime this year.

    My reply,
    DO IT!
    The key to what you want to do is to ensure you use technology to lower your cost structure below what traditional law firms. There are now a lot of digital platforms around the world that you can copy or license that enable you to automate a lot services that SMEs need from lawyers.
    Your capitation concept is available in a lot of countries for you to copy.

    Reply
  30. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Juliet Obiora Agba writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa My name is Juliet Obiora Agba . Am an investment and Entrepreneurial lawyer. My law firm THE.J.A.G.VINOFIRM Help startups , SME And Foreign Investors get the required legal assistance they need to operate legally like getting the required certificate from Corporate .We help with Mining license and other form of Regulatory license.
    We educate Startups by organizing conference from time to time to guide them through. Email .Julietagba603@gmail.com

    My reply,
    Please use Juliet’s business!

    Reply
  31. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Frankie Iwa Kaba writes,

    How about a situation whereby, I have a small business and we have a court issue with a person that is richer than me?
    I think it will result to the person bribing his way in the court to win the case.
    Please reply

    My reply,
    My mother has a saying in my mother tongue which translates “don’t fear from afar…”

    Many people build assumptions in their minds based on what they have heard, which often is simply not true!

    Let me give you an example:
    People said to me, “if you go to court in Nigeria, against governors and big companies, you will lose”!
    They told me Nigerian courts are corrupt, and rich people buy judges!

    We went to court in Nigeria, and sometimes faced 50 lawyers representing governors, states, international companies, local big wigs:

    Nigerian judges ruled in our favor, time and time again!
    #WE NEVER LOST IN NIGERIAN COURTS!

    The judgements they wrote will stand up to international scrutiny for the quality of what they call jurisprudence!

    Finally, it was s panel of majority Nigerian judges that ordered that we be paid the highest compensation in African business history.

    “Don’t fear from afar…”
    Besides why would I call myself a man of faith, if I’m to be governed by fear?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *