Making a “pitch” to investors

__The clock is ticking… are you ready?

During the Transform Africa gathering in Kigali a few weeks ago, I took part in an event in which some really, really smart young entrepreneurs were pitching to a group of investors to take equity stakes in their businesses. The show was called Face the Gorillas. Each entrepreneur was given only about three minutes to make a “pitch” and then about 10 minutes to answer tough questions from the investors and to secure funding… right there and then!

Watching the event, I knew within one minute who would get money, and who would not. And in most cases, it had nothing to do with the quality of their venture.

I have been making “pitches” for finance for over 30 years. It is one of the core skills of an entrepreneur. You cannot delegate this, and no one can do it for you. If you’re going to do a venture, whether for profit or as a social enterprise, you must know how to make a pitch.

A few years ago, whilst traveling on business in the US, I came across a TV show called Shark Tank and became totally addicted to it. I have watched every episode that’s ever been shot, and sometimes several times!

I realized through this show that many entrepreneurs don’t know how to make a proper pitch to investors or banks, to provide them the capital they need. This is one of my inspirations for setting up the 24-hour entrepreneurial channel called Kwesé Inc.

# I told my team that they must go around the world and find content for Kwesé Inc so that entrepreneurs can see how “pitching” is done.

# We have spent millions of dollars ensuring that people across Africa can become immersed, day in and day out, in making pitches for capital.

Listen, it’s hard enough in Africa to raise capital, but opportunities will eventually come for you to get the attention of a financier (or banker) or even a venture capital investor. Increasingly, such people are taking an interest in Africa.

__When you get that opportunity to make a pitch, don’t mess it up by not knowing how to do it properly!

I’m so excited to tell you that Kwesé Inc has now recently started to show Shark Tank. It’s ONLY available on Kwesé Inc, and nowhere else in Africa for the next three years. It has already started showing.

There are other great programs which show how entrepreneurs make successful pitches for money, such as The Profit, Dragon’s Den, and so on. We’re also beginning to make shows specifically for African entrepreneurs, but how far we go depends on how much interest we get for the shows already on air.

On Kwesé Inc, we’re also developing a new concept whereby we’ll give an opportunity to entrepreneurs with an existing business or social enterprise to do a short three-minute video. We’ll then ask their peers on this platform to view them and “like” them, if they choose.

# The best will then be broadcast on Kwesé Inc, as a way to market (for free) those businesses across Africa, to millions of our viewers!

# This is also partly how we’ll choose the entrepreneurs who will come and spend time with me, as interns. We will be ready in a few months.

If you want to watch shows like Kwesé Inc, you can only do so with a Kwesé decoder, which can now be bought either online or through a dealer in your country. Go to the Kwese.com website to find out how!

Kwesé TV is now available in most English-speaking African countries, and we’re now beginning to work on French and Portuguese-speaking countries, too! We’ll keep you advised on progress.

For those of you who are entrepreneurs, I have done my bit when it comes to the subject of pitching to investors for money. You’ll find everything you need on those shows. Next year, we can discuss what you have learnt, and who knows… I might arrange for you to make a pitch to some investors.

End.

by 13 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.

13 thoughts on “Making a “pitch” to investors

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.
    When I consider the whole Kwesé TV project, by far the most satisfying component for me was the setting up of Kwesé Inc. I wanted a way to help entrepreneurs (including social entrepreneurs) to polish up their skills for securing finances, and also improve their businesses, in a way that I cannot do properly on a Facebook platform like this.

    Reply
      • Moses Shumba

        Thank you so much for the Kwese Project in Zimbabwe which is selling like hot cakes. I would humbly urge you to engage entrepunuers like oursleves to recruit thosands of school leaving graduants to take part in your programs so that they can develop Zimbabwe and the world at large.
        Thank you

        Reply
  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.
    A very famous friend of mine who is a music industry icon once complained to me that he’d gone to New York (the world’s money capital) to raise money for a very good business proposal, but despite seeing everyone that matters, he failed to raise any. He was shocked to learn that I had repeatedly turned down money from exactly the same people he had seen.

    “I may not be a famous musician,” I replied, “but I speak the language of money. You speak the language of music. I know how to make a pitch to investors, and you don’t.”

    “Please teach me!” he begged. Now he has lots of money for his projects.

    Some of you are going to have money coming out of your ears once you immerse yourself into understanding the world of finance and investment. It’s not rocket science, but it has to be learnt nonetheless. #WatchKweséInc

    Reply
    • Naabia

      Good evening from Ghana. My name is Amma Naabia Boachie Danquah. I own and manage a carpentry firm that has been in existence for the past 2 and a half years. I am in need of financial assistance. I don’t want the money to be given to me directly. I would rather it be channelled towards (leasing a property which I have identified) where we can set up offices/showroom. My men and I depend on this business and have quite a number of reputable clients in Ghana. Please consider supporting us. My email address is naabiaantwi@gmail.com. I am more than prepared to pitch on why My men and I need this boost. Thank you.

      Reply
  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Quiz #1 of the week:
    This week, Kwesé TV introduces, for the first time in Africa, a new channel for kids. I will give a decoder to the first 10 people from any African country where we have service if you can answer the following: 1) Give me the names of ALL the children’s channels now on Kwesé TV; AND 2) Give me the name of any children’s channel, or content on Kwesé Kids channel, which is not found on any other broadcaster in Africa (Kwesé exclusives!) You must also say where you got the information, and state your country, to win. (Prizes will only be awarded/shipped to your stated country). As always, only put your answers under this comment. Tomorrow I’ll be announcing quiz winners from last month, so stay-tuned to Kwese.com/news.

    Note: Please note Quiz is only available via my Facebook page

    Reply
  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Mandy asks,

    Please where can I find Kwesé decoder in Botswana?

    My reply,
    Simply go to Kwese.Com, and find a dealer near you there in Botswana. They will deliver you a decoder in a few hours!
    You can do this in 13 other countries already including Nigeria.

    Reply
  5. Moses Pukayi Shumba

    Thank you so much for these constructive comments and ideas that can build other people.I would like more ideas regarding building my Homeless Project in Harare. So far i am on a six months leave working in Harare till next year March.2018. Would you be my mentor in this field of building up a viable Business. When I started a Homeless Project in Nottingham United Kingdom in 2010 it started small but ended up being backed by Politicians which was a great achievement.Please help me in this building up to happen in Harare my Home area. Thank you

    Reply
  6. Asiimwe Godie GODWIN

    Where can I get kwese decoder in
    Uganda? And I need advice from the c/man Mr masiyiwa, Is OneCoin currency agd deal should I invest in it

    Reply
  7. Moses Shumba

    I would like to thank the Chairman’s comments.I would like to know also how Decoders can be accessed in some parts of Zimbabwe’s remote areas like parts of Chimanimani.
    Thank you

    Reply

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