Pause: Amidst storms, try to stay focused on your dream…

__Dig deep, see far, soar high.

“Have confidence in the young people, give them a chance and they will surprise you!” said my good friend, the late former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. How right he was, and is. When I read your thousands of comments here each week, I am awed. I salute you for your vision and also resilience in storms (that is the life of an entrepreneur).

Did you know that, thanks to millions of you, our Facebook page here, turned out to be #1 in the whole world for the year 2018? Wow! Our Facebook page… together…focused on entrepreneurship in Africa was #1. I didn’t even know about this until one of you shared the link with me a few weeks ago.

Without doubt, this is thanks to you. I simply created this FB platform. It was all you who made it #1! If you don’t believe me, you can ask the ones who compiled the ranking! It’s truly you, and your interest in entrepreneurship, that has made this platform great. Thank you for teaching each other and also teaching me.

__You are busy building Africa’s century together and maybe you don’t even know it!

Now let me remind you once again, because#WordsMatter, that it is not just me who reads and (sometimes) get inspired by what you write. Unexpected people all over the world have mentioned to me that they read my posts, but especially that they enjoy learning from your comments and positive words of support you often give each other…

Some are investors, heads of state, donors, sports stars, ministers, philanthropists, or just recruiters looking for highly talented personnel from Africa!! Don’t ever feel that you aren’t heard, because you are. Please be sure to keep this in mind when you write. In the next series I am going to be featuring some of your stories.

You never know where it might lead…

I think many of you probably saw the Fireside Chat in Davos, Switzerland last week. The session was hosted by myself and Svein Tore Holsether (CEO of Yara). We were joined by two amazing young tech entrepreneurs, Ada Osakwe (Nigeria) and Rapelang Rabana (South Africa)… who I wrote about here in 2015. Wow!

It was like I was sitting between two rock stars! Last time I looked, we had a spectacular 5.1m+ views!! I hope you enjoyed it. If not there’s still time.

The main thing we talked about was a new partnership vision for young entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector that we are calling “Generation Africa”. We will launch it officially in the next few months. Stay tuned. This week in London the teams held some excellent planning meetings and more are coming soon with others who share the same vision. It’s really exciting.

Now what is most important is for us to make sure we are creating something that young entrepreneurs across Africa really want…

Let’s talk!

__What have you seen others doing that has been totally inspiring to you? I’m speaking today of people working, promoting or somehow involved in the “agri-food” sector in Africa:

# What are they doing that is inspiring?

# Why is it innovative or new or interesting to you?

# What challenges did they overcome?

As I read your comments, I will turn some of them into posts for a new 10-part series. If you have questions about what kind of businesses might qualify as “agri-food,” please ask. The Senior Class can help fill you in here. It may not be what you think!

__One more question: If you yourself are in the agri-food sector, what are you doing that might inspire others? Some of you have selflessly shared here telling me about others. I’m inviting you to shine, too.

A food-related #Product#Process? or #Peopleworking on the value chain from “Farm to Fork”? Even if you’ve already shared here, please do again. The Generation Africa team will be studying your advice and stories.

If you don’t know what a “value chain” means, that’s part of the language of business you need to know. Senior class, please help. I’ve already given some hints.

Thank you once again to everyone here for making our African entrepreneurship FB platform #1. Please give a word of thanks to each other, too.

Let me close with a reflection by Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr which I know applies to many of you, especially your disciplined focus on trying to create jobs and grow your businesses, despite so many obstacles and tragedies that occur around you:

“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”


by 48 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.

48 thoughts on “Pause: Amidst storms, try to stay focused on your dream…

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.

    The Generation Africa vision is huge and we will be wanting to learn from all of you as we put it together.

    What is more important than to support successful youth-led businesses that create jobs, create wealth and at the same time help the continent as a whole become a net EXPORTER of food… yes, Africa feeding itself and also the world?!

    What part do you think you might want to play?

    “Let us choose to unite the power of markets with the authority of universal ideals. Let us choose to reconcile the creative forces of private entrepreneurship with the needs of the disadvantaged and the requirements of future generations.” Kofi Annan

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author


    “Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation, and it is perhaps the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development and peace,” said Kofi Annan.

    I have been thinking of my dear late friend a lot lately.

    These are challenging times and my heart absolutely breaks when I hear about violent attacks on anyone, but especially on vulnerable children and women. There is never ever a single excuse for this… in your own home, or anywhere in the world. Women are our mothers, grandmothers, daughters… I have five daughters as most of you know. I pray ceaselessly for all who are suffering abuse and violence, whether physically or from bullying of any kind. This must stop!! #RespectWomen. #SayNoToViolence.

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.
    “If you’ve got an idea, start today. There’s no better time than now to get going. That doesn’t mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100% from day one, but there’s always small progress that can be made to start the movement.” Kevin Systrom, Instagram

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 4.

    I gave you some homework in my last post but it did not run for very long because of the Fireside Chat in Davos. Thank you for your feedback even in that short time. The questions below were put together for us to discuss after the Davos chat was over. There was one topic for each of our six tables. It’s not really homework for you, but I thought some of you might be interested.

    Anything you want to share on these topics is welcome. This is a collaborative effort. Creating interesting and good-paying jobs and profitable businesses run by young people across the African continent is an urgent priority!

    #1. How can we champion a new agenda with an inspiring narrative that brings leadership, learning and resources to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs across Africa to consider opportunities in the agri-food sector?

    #2. What innovative investments are required to transform local agri-food systems and support promising young businesses cross the threshold to venture capital, become profitable and scale their businesses? How can we mobilise large scale inclusive investments that provide win-win opportunities to entrepreneurs?

    #3. What can Generation Africa and partner organisations do to increase access to diverse forms of finance and related technical support to small and growing businesses in the agri-food sector?

    #4. How can young people use digital technology to find the information they need to build more robust and profitable agri-food businesses? What efforts exist already, and what is still required to provide the knowledge, support and skills to aspiring entrepreneurs? Who should be a part of this effort?

    #5. Where are the biggest opportunities for innovation in the agri-food sector in Africa? What is needed for young people to get into high value addition part of the value chains? What are the “natural advantages” on the continent?

    #6. How might we better support African agri-food entrepreneurs on their journey? Many initiatives exist serving the youth entrepreneurship and job creation agenda across Africa. What are some notable success stories? What are key lessons learned for Generation Africa?

    If you want to find out more, here’s a link to a paper we released in Davos entitled: “Generation Africa – A Landscape Study: Youth Enterprise in Africa’s Agri-Food Sector.”

  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    A CNN report I read today had an interesting figure on the number of Chinese students who study in America, every year. What do you think it was?
    (a). 10,000
    (b). 50,000
    (c). 350,000

  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Paul Nyangani writes,

    In Chimanimani, Eastern Zimbabwe we introduced the Guinea fowl as a source of organic meat and eggs for the less priviledged communities.
    Our mission is ‘to provide an egg per day on the table of every family’.
    Our vision is ‘to become the largest producer of organic meat and eggs in Zimbabwe and beyond’.
    In 2017 I registered a hatchery business.
    I started off with a 288 egg incubator. In August 2018 I purchased an 880 egg incubator. In January 2019 I purchased another 880 egg incubator. I wish to quadrapple the capacity in the next year.
    The whole community is now involved in the project. We buy guinea fowl eggs from local farmers who own as low as 3 guinea fowls. We value them because they provide us with the much valued input. We hatch the eggs and brood the chicks. We sell the chicks to other farmers. Sometimes we hatch the eggs for the farmers for a fee.
    Guinea fowls are hardy and resistant to most tropical poultry diseases. They can forage like their wild counterparts. This makes them easy and cheap to raise. This makes them a suitable source of income for the poor communities.
    In the next breeding season we are targeting an output of 500 eggs per day. This will be sufficient for hatching and table eggs for families in the area.
    We wish to partner donor communities and expand to other provinces with enough land for extensive guinea fowl rearing.

    My reply,
    I love this initiative!
    Absolutely brilliant.
    The key now is to scale, even as you increase your knowledge.
    I have copied this to our team working on supporting Rural Livelihoods. They will be in touch with you!

    God bless you.

  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    David Makovah writes,

    We are developing online training content to enhance skills across the entire agricultural value chain. We are integrating entrepreneurship, finance, and general business acumen into this content. It’s been a long journey but we are almost there. Thank you for the inspiration, wisdom, and example that you are.

    My reply,
    Well done. Please provide us a link to the work you are doing.

  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Goodluck Ojusin writes,

    Leader, there is an uninterrupted power supply in the rural community where am running my business. But here is an opportunity I see. Chickens and Eggs farm could be established here and being transported to the various neighbouring rural communities. If am given the opportunity to talk on this, it’s will be a great talk.

    My reply.

    Just go ahead and do it. There is nothing more to talk about.

  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    I just gave someone on this platform, who is working with Guinea Fowl in Zimbabwe the opportunity of a life time. We are going to assist him to scale this initiative.
    There are two lessons for the rest of you:

    #1. Always focus on making an “elevator pitch”. The reason is there are people who come on this platform that read your comments from all over the world. Some of these guys will spot something, and just reach out to you. Sometimes people have found partners, and investors completely unbeknown to me!
    #2. I spotted something which always sparks my entrepreneurial spirit, even when I’m not seeking to do something. I saw @INNOVATION!
    Over the next few weeks, I’m going to come back to @INNOVATION!

  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Samuel Onazi Egwurube II writes,

    “If I was a young man starting out I would be in the agricultural sector”.

    I thought same to myself knowing I didn’t meet the PC or too young or perhaps naive to act on the internet and telecom wave but thank God opportunities no longer comes but once.

    My team and I decided to venture into the Agric Sector with emphasis on value addition to commercially available agric produce.

    Today we have created food products to address Weight management. Our food products which can help curb over weight and obesity and its vices like diabetes type 2, hypertension, cardiovascular disease etc. got the attention of the British Council in Nigeria and we got a little grant support.

    Our products just got NAFDAC Certification for our products and can now begin selling commercially.

    During our test phase we sold products over N4.3m Naira (abt $12,000). With above 50% being repeat purchase.

    We seek distributors across Nigeria and perhaps Africa and beyond to get this products to millions of households.
    Reach us at

    Also instigated by your #reimaginerural post we decided to expand our scope to apply our model in addressing malnutrition.

    Today we have developed a cost effective Ready to Use Therapeutic Food for treating severe malnutrition that will be upto 50% cheaper than the major competitor’s. We are currently testing it’s potency.

    AFRILIFE® is on top of Africa’s weight management using agricultural produce.

    Most interesting, we are basically a team of youths leveraging our talents, skills and contacts to develop sustainable solutions in a profitable way.

    We welcome all partners.

    You can reach us at

    We’ve got a Continent to Build. Let’s get to it.

    My reply,
    If I was a venture capitalist, I would be looking for you!
    You are a serious guy. You will get there!

  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Samuel Onazi Egwurube II writes,

    “If I was a young man starting out I would be in the agricultural sector”.

    I thought same to myself knowing I didn’t meet the PC or too young or perhaps naive to act on the internet and telecom wave but thank God opportunities no longer comes but once.

    My team and I decided to venture into the Agric Sector with emphasis on value addition to commercially available agric produce.

    Today we have created food products to address Weight management. Our food products which can help curb over weight and obesity and its vices like diabetes type 2, hypertension, cardiovascular disease etc. got the attention of the British Council in Nigeria and we got a little grant support.

    Our products just got NAFDAC Certification for our products and can now begin selling commercially.

    During our test phase we sold products over N4.3m Naira (abt $12,000). With above 50% being repeat purchase.

    We seek distributors across Nigeria and perhaps Africa and beyond to get this products to millions of households.
    Reach us at

    Also instigated by your #reimaginerural post we decided to expand our scope to apply our model in addressing malnutrition.

    Today we have developed a cost effective Ready to Use Therapeutic Food for treating severe malnutrition that will be upto 50% cheaper than the major competitor’s. We are currently testing it’s potency.

    AFRILIFE® is on top of Africa’s weight management using agricultural produce.

    Most interesting, we are basically a team of youths leveraging our talents, skills and contacts to develop sustainable solutions in a profitable way.

    We welcome all partners.

    You can reach us at

    We’ve got a Continent to Build. Let’s get to it.

    My reply,
    If I was a venture capitalist, I would be looking for you!
    You are a serious guy. You will get there!

  12. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Aggrey Tumuheirwe writes,

    Mr Strive sir!
    As a child, I always derived much pleasure from helping my father at his farm in Kiruhura district, Uganda. But as it went on, I realised one thing : middlemen cheat farmers in the process of connecting them to buyers. I felt bad for my father and decided I had to put an end to the profit sapping middlemen.
    Being an internet enthusiast, me and my fellow university students like Mr Bazil Mwotta developed an app called “AgroDuuka”, an online platform that directly connects farmers to buyers in the market thru use of sms and the internet. The farmer only needs to text that ” I am (let’s say) Moses, I have 2 tonnes of maize and I am selling each killo at shs 800.” We then send him the possible buyers and what prices they offer. He can then connect with them and sell his produce. We also provide smallholder farmers with real time information on markets and farming inputs.
    My farther can now market and sell his produce right in the middle of his one acre farm.
    AgroDuuka launched in March 2017 and we have so far interacted with over 800 farmers from different villages in Uganda, charging 10 per cent commission on sales, which is 95 per cent less than the profits middlemen amass from exploiting there farmers.
    We have represented Uganda on international Fora like: The Queen’s Young Leaders Award fete in London, The East Africa Post Harvest Technologies in Arusha, Tanzania, The Ashoka American Express Innovators Boot camp in Nairobi, Kenya and The African Youth Forum in Ibadan, Nigeria among others.
    We would love to play a big part in the transformation of Agriculture in Africa. Though your Mentorship, I would like to champion this struggle by doing all with in my means to address the challenges faced by the Agricultural sector not only in Uganda but also Africa at large. Farming is easier, than we thought.

    Over to you Sir!

    My reply,
    That is true entrepreneurship!
    You identify a problem, and reach out to solve it.
    Because it is in my sweet spot of interest, I’m going to ask the Cassava team working on Ecofarmer to reach out to you!
    We already do this with 1m farmers!
    We will help you with technical expertise for your own markets.
    Well done.
    You see, I’m looking for people who see a burning problem, and try to participate in its solution, either wholly or just in a small meaningful way.

  13. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Babalola writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa Sir I did exactly this some years back, giving over 80% of my energy and income to my Agro business, when it crashed, I almost crashed with it. Thanks to friends and words of encouragement from our Chief Dr Strive Masiyiwa, I resurrected bigger and better. Now we are set from start to finish.

    My reply,
    The most successful entrepreneurs in the world often failed spectacularly before they hit success!
    There is a reason we call entrepreneurship risky; most entrepreneurs have experienced failure at some point.
    The other day I listened to a podcast interview of Richard Branson. What caught my attention was the candid way he spoke about dealing with failure.

    Listen to Richard Branson from The David Rubenstein Show in Podcasts.

    I have a series on dealing with failure, which I will release later this year.
    People who do not know how to deal with failure, or laugh when others fail, are not entrepreneurs or entrepreneurship minded.
    In Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are encouraged to speak openly about failure, and venture capitalists prefer people who have a failed venture under their belt.

    Let me share a secret:
    I also prefer to hire people who have tried and failed to run a business, rather than someone who has not!

  14. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afolabi Oluwasogo writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa, as a young entrepreneur i have a lot of ideas ringing in my brain. Starting and Finance is the main problem and i don’t want to jump in and latter jumped out again. I am taking time to study the feasibility and the viability experiment very well.

    My reply,
    Being able to raise money for a venture, is part of the skill set every entrepreneur MUST acquire, and will continue to perfect throughout their business career.
    It does not matter where in the world you are. It is not going to be solved by a government, even though some progressive governments might take some measures.
    It might not be what you want to hear right now, but better you know now.

  15. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Ajionzi Hillary writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa
    True that sir
    I was surprised of my idea of street parking app in Kampala
    To only read an article on newspaper that the government has entered in a contract with a Korean company to provide the services
    Something I had complete thought only remaining to put resources together for the app

    My reply,
    Get over it, and move on!

  16. Strive Masiyiwa Post author


    I’m working on a new series about the power of @InnovationForWealth:

    Real wealth for our nations will be fully realized when we tackle what I call @ResourceInnovation:
    When a child leaves primary school, he or she must know the natural resource wealth of their nation;
    When a student leaves high school, he or she must know all the current #Products made [INNOVATED] by the natural resources of their nation;
    When a young person leaves college or university, he or she should know HOW [THE INNOVATIVE #PROCESS] these products are made;
    And when they become entrepreneurs, they should seek to develop NEW #Products using their country’s natural resource wealth…

    No pressure!

    It’s time we all moved into the senior class of our nation’s pathway to prosperity.

  17. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Mary Chioma Etokwudo writes,

    Dr Strive Masiyiwa please I have some questions on failure. I would be glad to get your feedback.
    1. Do all entrepreneurs fail at first attempt?
    2. Is experience (in failure) really the best teacher?

    My reply,
    This is a very important question.
    #1. 70% of new entrepreneurs fail in the first year, even in America and China!

    #2. When you fail, it is important for you not to see it as the end of the world. Brush yourself up, take a few months thinking about what went wrong. Don’t rush into another venture; sometimes even get a job, and come back after a few years.
    Approach your failure with as much integrity as you can.
    It can be extremely chastening, and you can lose your self esteem.
    When you return, and you must, you will stand a better chance of success.

    #3. The people who back entrepreneurs must also be willing to accept that chances are high that they will lose their money completely, particularly if it is a family member.
    Accept the risk!
    Encourage. Don’t condemn.
    In Africa we are generally intolerant of failure, which results in fewer people actually trying, particularly those with high skills.

  18. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Gerald Woodend writes,

    Today, you are a global name, resident in Great Britain, a billionaire in dollar terms, a benefactor to many honorable causes and much more. I am in the diaspora too and WATCHING!!!!!

    My reply,
    With respect Gerald, what is your actual point?
    Imagine that you got into a lift with me or Aliko Dangote, and you have an opportunity to discuss something that can positively benefit your business; is this the comment you would make?
    It is almost as though you want to threaten me. I know that is not your intent, but what is this “I’M WATCHING!!” Stuff?

    Say something that can be a blessing to yourself, and to others on this platform.

  19. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #Today’s Tip on negotiating skills!

    Be careful with jokes, and small talk!

    I once secured a meeting with a well known global investment banker in London. I flew from Joburg with one of my advisors for the meeting. My advisor could not believe it as I told him who were going to meet:
    “These guys were featured in a book about Wall Street, called Barbarians at the Gate.”
    “I know the book.” I replied quietly.

    As we sat down with one of the senior guys my excited advisor said,
    “You guys are famous, you were in Barbarians at the Gate!”
    The banker turned red with anger, and then turned stone faced.
    I couldn’t believe what my guy had done.
    In the book, they were portrayed as villains and scoundrels. Which was not quite fair, and they are one of the biggest banks in the world today.

    Needless to say our meeting was a total disaster. The guy ended the meeting within 15 minutes.

    There is an African expression which says “know what you have travelled for…don’t play the fool”.

    #Be careful about jokes and small talk, particularly when crossing into other people’s culture. What is funny in your country or language does not always work, and can destroy a relationship before it starts.
    #Dont get familiar, avoid rushing into calling people by their first names [particularly, if they are opposite sex, or older than you], allow them to invite you to do it.
    #Dont engage in their politics, or make assumptions about who they support in their political debates. Stay away from their politics.

  20. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Amos Ntabo writes [edited]

    Parception Of Agriculture In Africa Is Still Poor! And When It Is Done, It Is Done In A Primitive Way, Only For Consumption,!

    This Is Very Challenging, Kudos To You Doctar Masiyiwa For Your Engagement , As A Graduate The Challenge Am Facing Hear In Tanzania Is Capital, But What I Have Done It Is Encouranging ,i Started With Nothing After University Graduation,until Now I Have 700000tsh,approximately 300us$ by july am expecting to regster a company in order to operate formally, i ‘m dealing with vegetable and seasonal fruit,the demand is high, compared to the suppling capacity i have, if Possible You Can Say Anything To Help Me Even The Capital For Expansion, My Vision Is To Feed The World To What I Farm, Am Amos Ntabo From Tanzania, My Project Is Located At Muhoro Rufiji Near To Dar es Salaam Citx

    My reply,

    This comment that you make in your opening pitch, is potentially offensive to others. You cannot generalize in such a way, because Africa is a very big place, and you have not yet seen enough of it to make such generalizations. It also adds nothing to the main issues that you raise, which are quite good and useful.
    How we open our “pitch” matters, because we can put off people or get into an argument before you even start. Here is what you said:

    “Perception Of Agriculture In Africa Is Still Poor! And When It Is Done, It Is Done In A Primitive Way, Only For Consumption,!”

    Africa has some of the most sophisticated farmers in the world, at the top end of the game. You just haven’t had the opportunity to meet them yet. Even the smallholder farmers cannot be described using words like “primitive”. Careful with such words because they are inappropriate and offensive.

    Let’s look at what you raised in terms of substance:
    I’m excited that as a graduate you have made such an encouraging start. Read the story of the founder of Nike. He too was a graduate and began by selling shoes from the boot of a car.
    #Raising capital is a skill you will have to master, in your own local environment. It will come, and I’m glad you have made such an excellent start, save every penny and just keep ploughing back. Be patient. Don’t rush. You are going to be just fine.

  21. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Negotiating Tip of the day!
    #Business lunch or dinner is not for food!

    In business a lot of deals are done over a meal with your potential partners. Learn the skill of negotiating over a meal.

    When you are invited to a lunch or dinner meeting, always remember you are not there to fill your stomach, with your favorite food. You are there for business.

    #1. If you are hungry eat either before you go or after. Leave enough room just to participate in the meal. Don’t be a glutton during a business lunch or dinner.

    #2. Don’t order complicated foods, such as spaghetti, or oxtail!

    If it is at a house, eat whatever is offered unless you are allergic or for religious reasons, in which case tell them in advance.
    Don’t be fussy.

    Don’t talk with food in your mouth.
    Don’t talk loudly so that people on the next table can hear you!

    #3. If you drink alcohol do it in absolute moderation. I personally don’t drink at all.
    #4. Exercise total restraint on things like going on to night clubs with your hosts, or inviting them to such places.

    These are not your personal friends but business partners. Know the difference.

    #5. Stay focused on “substance over form”.
    Don’t give things away. Close your deal.

  22. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Kudzaishe Bhuza writes,

    Dr Masiyiwa, how do you deal with the challenge of monopolizing giants as a start-up young entrepreneur. The other major challenge for us young Africans in business is competing with monopolizing giants that will destroy your ideas to bits. If you have confidence in the young, please address that issue…

    My reply,
    Every single company you see as a giant today, was once also a start-up, and had to also deal with giants of its day!
    Microsoft had to deal with IBM, Netflix had to deal with Disney and Fox. Virgin Airlines with British Airways.
    Some of the battles are quite legendary.

    It is part of the game!

    In my own business, I had to deal with state monopolies that used political and market power. I had to deal with giants like Telone, MTN, Vodafone, Bharti etc., I can write a book about it, even in the media business. But I won’t.

    It’s all part of the game!

    You are always going to face players who are bigger, more resourced, and more capable than yourself.

    It is part of the game!

    There are some key things you need to understand:
    #. Be quicker than them;
    #. Be more agile;
    #. Be more customer focused;
    #. Be smarter!
    #. Innovate, innovate, innovate,
    #. Avoid taking them head on, in their area of strength and comfort,
    #. Don’t announce your plans, and ideas in advance. Just do it.

    #. Don’t expect sympathy! It’s a jungle out there.

  23. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Onoja Emmanuel writes,

    Thank you very much, Dr., for your continuous enlightenments in trying to reshape the young minds with the right mentality by introducing us to the paradigm of wealth creation in vogue, especially to our beloved African people.

    But Dr, I have a deep concern here, I come from agrarian community in Benue state, Nigeria, which by appellation the food basket of the nation. The state is endowed with good climate that enables reach support for agricultural produce; both in pastoral and food products, including some cash crops.

    But my biggest worry and concern is lack of sensitivity on the part of both government and private organizations to take advantage in harnessing the huge opportunities that abound in this state, either by establishing food processing industries or investing directly on the products to facilitate the process and by implications create job opportunities and boost the economy of the state. But as I write you, there’s no any food processing industry in the entire state. The community where I come from, we are endowed with a lot of vegetables and fruits but the number of metric tons of fruits and other food products being wasted yearly are countless.

    I know government have failed in her responsibility in harnessing these opportunities, but I don’t want to fold my arms and comply with their complacency in fulfilling her obligations. I therefore draw the attention of any individual or group of individuals to look in this direction and tap into this huge market waiting to be patronized.

    My people are peaceful, loving and hospitable and are willing to welcome any foreigner with the foresight to invest in transforming their lives through their agricultural products.

    My reply,
    I love the way you have promoted your beautiful state. I hope that any investors following this platform will take heed.
    There are one or two things I would like you to personally consider:
    #1. Become an entrepreneur, and use these problems to build a business yourself.
    #2. If the truth be told, governments don’t create industries or employment. Whenever they try to set up businesses [anywhere in the world], those businesses are either inefficient or lead to huge losses that distort the entire economy. And when governments try to create jobs we end up with bloated civil services.
    The key role of government is to create an environment which is friendly towards both local and international investors.
    If you don’t feel that you are an entrepreneur then go into politics and ensure that we have an environment conducive for investment.

  24. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Precious Onome WhiteDove writes,

    Good day to you Chief Entrepreneur for all Africans !

    Happy birthday in Arrear sir Strive Masiyiwa . God will keep you long enough to accomplish His purpose for mankind through you.

    Getting committed to the teachings and principles of #Product #People and #Processes , we are revamping our beverage production business DovelZobo Company LTD .

    We are producers of #DovelZobo, a local healthy alternative beverage drink made from Hibiscus leaf basically. WHO has it that it has over a dozen health benefits ranging from High Blood Pressure to boosting our Energy daily.

    A product with a 24-48 hours of shelve life, we have been able to stretch the life span to over 40days naturally without preservative, making it a natural drink for Africans and can be consumed in foreign markets.

    We are open for investment to enable us access new markets and scale production too.

    Also note, the product can be exported round the world. Because is a very popular drink in most regions of the world. Though known as #Sorrel or #Roselle in most part of the world.

    We are the next big African Beverage Company . Secure your future by investing today.

    #DovelZoboEnergyDrink #ZoboKing #DovelifyYourWorld #DovelZoboVariants. #InvestinUsToday

    My reply,
    To investors of the world:
    “My name is Strive Masiyiwa, and I wholly endorse this business for investment. These are serious young Africans who are building the type of business we want to see.”

  25. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Nedson Shoko writes,

    I am a market place pastor doing poultry farming in Norton, Zimbabwe. I specialise in Koekoek road runner breed, hanga/ guinea fowls. We offer incubation services in our community. I Have recently scaled from 2100 egg capacity incubator to 10 650 capacity because of the increase in demand. We currently have 864 point of lay. Before We expanded our facilities to 10 560 we have been selling an average of 300 chicks per week at 2100 egg capacity. Looking for partners to support the recent development towards my vision of feeding Africa and beyond.

    My reply,
    I love it!
    There is a special venture fund which I asked the team at Steward Bank to set up. It is part of our ReImagineRural Initiative supported by our family foundation. My wife is driving this initiative on rural livelihoods, and we have a commitment of over $100m for the next five years. We actually started more than 3 years ago, providing small loans to rural entrepreneurs.
    We want to see an explosion of small businesses in rural areas.
    I have copied this message to the CEO of SB, so that he can direct you to the appropriate people to evaluate your initiative. The key for me is #People, #Process, since you already have a great #Product.
    If you demonstrate that you can do it, I hereby personally guarantee a loan of $10,000 towards your initiative.

    Have a blessed Sunday brother, and remember to pray for our nation.
    Br. Strive Masiyiwa

  26. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Buchi Harrison writes,

    Thank you Dr Strive Masiyiwa, I was introduced to your page by a cousin, at first I was reluctant because I felt it was like every other page I have come across, over four years I started following your page and taking time to read different ideas from young Africans you believe in, today is my first time to comment. I must say you are the most exceptional Entrepreneur I know, your holistic approach to the world of business and helping develop our continent, is just unprecedented. 2016 I founded Teenovative Africa, an NGO saddled with the responsibility of identifying young Teenagers with ideas that can reshape the future, innovations that can spur growth and inventions that will enhance living and learning standard. I start with a team of volunteers in southeast Nigeria, it is the most tasking thing I have ever ventured into. Today, we have directly reached over 9000 Teenagers across Nigeria, with about 50 innovative works and inventions, Dr strive!! I must say that the guys with the most potentials to change Africa are the Teenagers but they are grossly neglected, we have seen ideas are brilliant and scalable as the ones I see here. Currently we have volunteers from Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana and we are still expanding. The financial demand is enormous and I felt I should get a company to take off the Project as a corporate social Enterprise this is due to difficulties in financing as we have tried to get funds from donor, government or stakeholders. Dr Strive, what’s your advice on my intended move? Thank you sir

    My reply,
    This really makes it worthwhile for me.
    Thank you.

  27. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Oagana M Modirelabangwe writes,

    Talking of value addition, here is an interesting article of a Rwandan entrepreneur who used the power of the internet and launched her business.

    My reply,
    I have asked my team to reach out to her so we can feature her in the series we are developing.
    This is exactly what I’m looking for!
    This is what I want to see:
    Entrepreneurs who take our raw materials, minerals, produce and turn them into local products. This is my challenge to this generation.

  28. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Thembisile Mlambo Mutlanyana writes,

    Hmm… These are challenging times especially when you’re a woman. Violence, abuse, rape, child trafficking etc. Sometimes You Ask Yourself why these things happens to us as women. You know #Chief my elder sister was stabbed dearth by her husband in 2000 and she left two sons, even now those kids are not well emotionally as they can’t keep a relationships with their girls friend… After that gruesome incident I told myself that no one, I mean no man that will harass/touch/intimidate me, I shall took upon to myself that I deal with that even before I can call the police, anyway who can dare try to do that to me, that would be the Day… #Jerrr…

    My dear sister,
    Thank for sharing this sad story.

    When I worked in SA, one of our employees shot and killed his girlfriend (who also worked for the company), then he turned the gun on himself. It was the saddest incident

    We need to raise our sons to appreciate that you cannot “own” another human being.
    #The weakest man is one who is violent towards women.

    Nothing sickens me more than violence towards women, and particularly the girl child.
    Studies from around the world [including the West] show that the most violent place for women is in the home, or from a man whom they know [including fathers, brothers, and partners]. This must stop!!!

    Leaders throughout Africa need to speak out against violence towards women.
    We must also stamp out child marriages.

  29. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Blessed Emmanuel Amukun writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa I love your response to this. Personally, in 2012 I was posted to a rural district of Busia in eastern Uganda as the first ever Dental surgeon. I tried in vain to persuade the leaders to set up proper dental care services at the hospital I work. I later decided to set up my own first ever private Dental clinic in the area. To date gov’t hasn’t done anything yet, but my decision has kept me practicing my skills and profiting from it, and the population love me for it because I “saved them the trouble of traveling long distances for the same services” Now we are setting up a small but modern medical centre in a place without electricity, or running water! We are planning to use solar to both pump water from underground, and supply the facility. When we get more funds we’ll keep growing. We already have the land. The biggest challenge is the power which we plan to upgrade as we get funds. All this from savings of the small dental clinic.
    The point is, if we look to government all the time, we’ll wait forever. Let’s get up and do something however small, it makes a difference. Surely there has to be something we can do.

    My reply,
    I love this so much!
    This is what I have in mind when I talk of ReImagineRural!
    I want to see professionals like yourself setting up enterprises based on your specialist skills.

    I have a friend in the UK, who owns one of the largest Dental Clinic Businesses in the world. I’m going to send him a note to see if he can donate you some equipment!
    #Im blessed to bless!

    Use the 3Ps to scale this business, and make it national!

  30. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Nwankwo Chioma Henrietta writes,

    Agrommerce is an online platform for aggregating and disseminating agricultural products in bulk to buyers especially processing industries, restaurants, food marts and exporters.
    More like a platform for eradicating wastage of Agricultural products in the rural areas as well as scarcity in the urban areas using proper distribution channels.

    My reply,
    I visited the site, and was very impressed. I would like to learn more about the people behind it.
    It is the beginning of something extremely important, and I hope to see more of this type of site for every African country.
    Where are our #FastFollowers?

  31. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Jerry Musungo writes,

    I will talk about Blessing Machiya Shumbakadzi’s agribusiness project.

    Blessing has ventured into food processing and value addition. She is currently drying fruits such as mangoes and bananas then packing them and distributing under her Shumbakadzi brand name in Zimbabwe.

    This project totally inspires me because hers is one of the few local ( if not currently the only Zimbabwean business ) in that space . The bulk of dried fruits sold in our shops are imported from South Africa.

    Her project is very important because it helps to reduce the amount of fruit – especially overripe fruits which are thrown away as waste invariably reducing post harvest losses and foreign exchange used to import dried fruits which could easily be made locally.

    I’m indirectly benefiting from Shumbakadzi after our shop (Natures Cabin)was commissioned as a distributor of the dried fruits in Harare.

    My reply,
    I’m a real fan of Blessing both for her efforts as an entrepreneur but also her enthusiastic participation in this forum.
    There are two key observations:

    #1. This type of venture is incredibly important. What Blessing needs to do is build up her #Process capability so that her business can scale. She will need to access more expertise through #People so she can get on top of things like packaging, merchandizing, and marketing.

    #2. For others on the platform, study carefully what others are doing, and look for opportunities as a @Fast Follower for your own markets.

    I’m a big, BIG, fruit and vegetable eater.

  32. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Nkululeko Mafu [we have edited out the things you said, as they would upset others, and lead them to abuse you, which I would never allow, even though you yourself abuse me.]

    There was a time when I saw the late Dr Joshua Nkomo [one of the founding fathers of modern Africa], every single day.
    I would always address him respectfully in the manner of Africa, even when we disagreed.

    Not having access to the media, there were a lot of lies told about him daily, and many things he said would be twisted by his enemies. This I knew, and was never quick to judgement.

    If there is something he was reported to have said that I did not agree with, I would seek his direct clarification, but I never once hurled insults at him.

    In return he showed me so much love, and unmerited respect. He went out of his way to teach me things that I today try to share with others on this platform, even as he asked to.

    At 58, I’m past the stage where I want to be issued “challenges” from others who think they know better about how I should contribute in society.
    I’m not a politician and I’m not part of any political discourse.

    I have not been to Zimbabwe in 19 years [even for one day]….

    The way you address me in both tone and content, is not consistent with the objectives of this platform. I respectfully urge you to find other platforms. Believe me there are many of them, and you will find there people who like your tone and style.
    For now I will allow you to remain on the platform, but I hope you will change your approach.

  33. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Veelyzee Makhetha writes,

    DR Strive, I’m from Lesotho, I supply broilers to the community people and sometimes the entrepreneurs selling food in town,the problem is,some community members are very resistant to pay when it’s time…but with the answer you gave on somebody who just wrote to you,I’m going to use that to increase my sales

    And please somebody, may I supply you with chickens?

    My reply,
    I love your style “please somebody, may I supply you with chickens”!
    #You are the best. I love Lesotho!

  34. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Trevor Chinyoka writes,

    absolutely true sir! i dont ever stop thinking about this as a young chrome miner. especially in the mining industry for example our country is so blessed with different minerals and they are mostly found in rural areas if we constract processing plants starting from rural areas #reimaginerural then process instead of exporting it raw, this means more jobs are being created and at the same time boosting the economy

    My reply,
    Personally I do not believe that processing is the answer when it comes to adding value to our minerals. We need to make #PRODUCTS with those minerals, and export #PRODUCTS.
    The value addition that comes from #PROCESSING is actually very limited in terms of value, when compared to #Products.
    What do the people who buy our chrome in Japan, China, and India do with it?
    Please give me at least 20 products made using your country’s leading minerals.
    I don’t really want to hear about oil, platinum. I want to hear about products…..

    If you say to me you produce Lithium, I want to know if we can set up a battery factory. First thing I thought when I heard Zimbabwe had found lithium!
    I even asked my team to look into it. That is how I approach things…
    It’s time, we moved on…

  35. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Precious Onome WhiteDove writes,

    Read through his wikipedia page over again yesterday night and started to think deep about the unending potential of Hibiscus flower and how it can be processed beyond just making #DovelZobo from it. And this 8 points are guide lights to me now. Thank you chief Strive Masiyiwa for this refreshing post.


    My reply,
    Now why did I choose you, as my student of the day?
    #you are on your way to becoming extremely successful.
    If I was not conflicted, I would buy would buy a stake in your business tomorrow morning!
    Stay on this platform….

  36. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Abdullateef Tanko Nayashi writes,

    I would like to share one story that inspired me to go into business world and to break barriers: The story of one woman feature in a talk show in Lagos Nigeria, seriously speaking program anchored by a season journalist Adesuwa Onyenukwe, the woman started a moi- moi ; a Nigerian delicacy mostly use for breakfast and a normal meal, she started selling it around a school premises Corona college and as patronage increases she resign from her job and employs the services of more people and thereafter, she expanded to a full fledged catering services and a training institute. It’s important to note that the former first lady of the US Michelle Obama even ate the moi-moi, prepared by this woman! You can Google her story: from moi-moi to White House, the moi moi lady etc.
    Lesson. From her story, I encourage my wife to start kuli- kuli business, kuli-kuli is a Nigerian meal or grandnut cake with different recipes source from our local ingredients, its tasty, sugar free, with rich vitamin. We have started supplying school and small shop owner. Our challenge is to go beyond that level, to supply schools with boarding system, super market etc.but we are faced with transportation problem to travel to deliver it in the neighbouring towns and cities. But, we will overcome it!

    My reply,
    I too would like to meet her, and eat “moi-moi”. I’m scheduled to be in Nigeria very soon.
    Let’s arrange that I eat “moi-moi”, and also “Kuli-Kuli” [you are a great @Fastfollower!]

    Please tell me about other local products that could be invested in like these ones. I have powerful friends on this platform who are taking notes!

    #Moi-moi, and Kuli-Kuli will put Kellogg’s cornflakes out of business!

  37. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Olufunke Ayorinde Anthony writes,

    Chief Masiyiwa, I love reading our page (as you called it). Thank you for this platform.

    My ideas have not been “birthed” yet but they solve such huge challenges in Africa that i don’t want to keep it away from humanity.

    1, Esusu….This is the Yoruba tribe (Nigeria) way of saving little by little until a particular time. Usually towards an event/goal/target. This cash given to individuals who go round houses and shops.

    Challenge: Unfortunately, most of these collectors wait until they gain people’s trust and run off with the money. Most traders/artisans have been victims of this

    Idea/Solution: an app partnered to any bank where a trader will set a savings target and will not be able to access the funds until they got their set target. By which time, the app will have a partner bank where the money will be cashed through whatever process that has been agreed on.

    This will ensure traders/artisans/students,etc save little by little towards a target without the fear of it being lost.

    2, Dried Meat: When we were young, TINKO (sun-dried donkey meat) was common place. Mothers have it for emergencies when there is no money to visit the market.

    Challenge: Herdsmen/Farmers clashes and unemployment.

    Idea/Solution:To reduce the quantity of cows being brought to Lagos by nomads, a food processing company needs to be established in the northern part of Nigeria where the cows will be dried in an hygenic environment and brought to Lagos. I know the market is huge as mother’s,bachelor’s students, etc are ready to purchase it. This company can also process the cow skin for leather

    The intense sunlight of that region will be harnessed as using electricity to dry the meat 100% will be very expensive . This will create jobs also reduce unemployment in that region.

    I am available with the “know-how” and full details if any investor intends to partner with me to embark on any of these.

    My reply,
    I love both your ideas.
    At Cassava, we have a platform known in Zimbabwe as EcoCash $ave!
    Traditional Rural savings clubs have been completely digitized, and we receive hundreds of millions of dollars from them every year. This money goes into our bank called Steward Bank.
    Several big Nigerian banks have approached Cassava to help set up similar platforms in Nigeria. Watch this space!

    #2. I believe that your ideas on developing Nigeria’s beef industry are extremely important. There are huge entrepreneurial opportunities in this sad situation in the north.

  38. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Munyaradzi Manenji writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa Glory to God,I am very excited about this initiative and I can testify on some of the impact which i saw in Mash Central province after women were given those loans via Steward bank. Surely this is a game changer,our rural areas will never be the same,this is the same route which South Korean leaders took to get to their modern day prosperity. Ngazviende mberi Dr Masiyiwa

    My reply,
    Thank you for those kind comments.
    This is only a small part of what I will be doing in this space.
    Zimbabwe is just the platform for what will be a Pan African push to help entrepreneurs who are interested in #RE|IMAGINE|RURAL.

    Philanthropy is at its best when we catalyze something!

    There is nothing found in cities that we cannot provide in rural areas. By the time I’m finished you will want to work and live in rural areas. They will have good housing, electricity, water, sanitation, entertainment, health care, good jobs…and it will all be provided by young entrepreneurs!

  39. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Ropafadzo Zimunya writes,

    Thank you Very Much Dr. Strive , As a 21 year old entrepreneur I feel like this is directly for us . This would Be amazing , we’ve been working on a product that Is aimed at reImaging Rural places like Honde Valley to become hubs of industrial activity through our banana Flour Initiative in these areas in the Eastern Highlands !!

    My reply,
    It is people like you that will change Africa.
    This is #RE|Imagine|Rural.

    The guys at Steward Bank are waiting to see you. We will even provide you solar power for this initiative, and help you to scale.
    Honde Valley is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I used to drive there for weekends. I once imagined living there!

    Cc. Dr Lance Mabondiani: check these guys out and evaluate their project.

  40. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Progress Ibrahim writes,

    Poem on The Reimagine Rural Fund.

    The Africa continent is seeing a light faraway.
    But how do we get this light in all ways to cause a wave?

    I see a man among thousand who wants to lead the way despite barricade.
    We shall have this light in all Africa countries, knowing that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

    Written by : Progress Ibrahim
    Dedicated to: Dr Strive Masiyiwa for coming up with a reimagine rural fund to spark rural economic growth in Africa

    My reply,
    I receive your beautiful poem with the joy of the Lord!
    Thank you!
    The Lord refresh you.

  41. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Austin Uzim writes,

    Chief, wow!!! This is a welcome development. I’m not from Zimbabwe but I’m definitely going to benefit from this. Watch me! My Zim friends on this platform Jerry Musungo, Blessing Machiya Shumbakadzi Tatenda Anderson Mareverwa, let’s entrepreneur!

    My reply,
    I will support any young African who has a unique venture, even if they are not from Zimbabwe. Work with your local partners. You keep majority, if it’s your business.

    For instance if guys like Hello Tractor, or Twigga want to expand into Zimbabwe, I will fund them through this initiative.

    Otherwise wait until we get to Nigeria.

  42. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Junior Guni writes,

    I had always wanted to raise pigs, broilers and layers before I moved to Harare. Back home at my rural home I have the land and pray that I can also be part of a worthwhile program to better livelihoods, myself and the community at large

    My reply,
    If you are willing to put together s proper business plan, and then undergo entrepreneurship training.
    Then move back to the Rural areas to follow this, we will back you. It is that simple!
    Your move!

  43. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Francis Thomas writes,

    Thank you Sir am honoured and proud to be from Lupane zimbabwe and certainly looking forward to innovative ways to reimagerural areas. I am currently busy with private rural schools in South Africa and looking forward to opening schools in rural Zimbabwe and Africa. What we have achieved at Kings harvest academy in 13 months is nothing short of the grace of God. We charge 1/3 of school fees and 2/3 is sourced by the business unit through various partnership of which community cooperatives mentorship and acting as there agent for contracts and markets as proved that a good school at a rural is as good as finding a gold mine . Quickly a city is developed as business activities increase. We have seen that a school like kings harvest academy not only develops each child as a king but allows trust to be built from the community leaders and with internet and computer programmes , the general populous are keen and very willing to learn and successful Entrepreneurs are groomed. Our school learners increased from 215 to 363 and our hostel increased from 14 to 49 from opening January ,2018. We now looking at keeping 2 dairy cows for milk, starting chicken projects to supply the hostel and neighbouring shops with eggs and chickens. We working with farming communities to grow paprika and supply a big corporation to feed Africa.Turning cooperatives to corporation through mentorship and partnership. Our farming cooperative are attracting a lot of interest. Our village is quickly becoming a town. Already we have a problem of Urban migration to our rural school. We are employing over 52 people and real change in the live of families is evident. How I pray that God Almighty whom I serve day and night also privilege other villages like he has favoured us and the glory of it all the school started in August 2017 with No funding and we had about R2000 just renovating old existing buildings and turned it into a Home for our learners and a standard of excellence. Thank you Dr Strive for honouring the Calling to Isaiah 61 . With 10 000 us dollars in the out skirts of Vic falls one can build an Academy of Excellence.For more info visit our website http://www.kings harvest academy or our Facebook page.

    My reply,
    If you can do that in Lupane, we can support you 100%!
    We will even supply you solar power for your school.

    This is our future. I have copied the relevant people. You have to find them.

  44. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Emmanuel Kayode Fasina writes,

    Papa Strive Masiyiwa, we are really blessed to have you as an inspiration in Africa. Working with your amazing team, the Cassava Smartech to scale my first ever ICT product BisMapp. I cannot over emphasize the moral support I’ve gotten from your team so far, most especially Mr. Ishe as I’ve been denied visa a couple of times now.

    Still in the midst of this I’ve developed AfriPreneurHUB, a pan African platform to foster direct one-on-one relationship within African Entrepreneurs home and abroad.

    This holds a lot of benefits for all our Entrepreneurs cutting across every sector including Agriculture. This will launch fully in a couple of days. Over 200 African Entrepreneurs from 10 African countries have pre-registered already.

    I must appreciate God in your life for the support sir.

    My reply,
    You are going to be great, very great!
    Thank you for being a member of this platform.

  45. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Chimfwembe Olivia Ngaba writes,

    I have seen Monica Musonda, Founder/ CEO of Java Foods rise & is one of the few Zambians locally producing Noodles. As an Agricultural Economics student, I am inspired by what she does & would love to be involved in the Agricultural sector one day. I’d like to be involved in value chains that aren’t expolited here in Zambia & possibly have more manufacturing & food processing companies to help local farmers add value to their produce.

    My reply,
    Monica is a dynamo:
    This is just the type of business I want to see sprouting everywhere, and also scaling to go into other African countries.
    Monica will be a billionaire from Zambia.
    Stay close to such people and learn from them.

  46. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #Negotiating tip of the day!

    Avoid saying things that offend your host or potential partner:

    One of my mentors, Ambassador Andrew Young, once told me a story which has stuck with me through the years:

    There was once a Presidential candidate in America called Ross Perot.
    He wanted to secure the black vote, so he asked for a dinner with some of the leading black leaders of the day.
    As he began to address them, he said something like this:
    “You people have been oppressed for a long time, and I really want to help.”
    As he began to lay out his program, people started banging on tables, and others left in total disgust!”
    “Why?” I asked, totally surprised.
    “Ross Perot was a billionaire. And that day he could have offered to give us black folk all his money but no one was interested, because he used the expression “you people”— it is highly offensive to us.”

    A friend of mine went to a North African country to negotiate a deal. He checked into one of the main hotels, and went to breakfast the following morning. He did not take notice that he was the only one there. He later complained to his potential partners about the poor service, and the lack of food.
    It offended his hosts, and the deal fell apart:
    He had arrived during Ramadan!

    # In negotiating with others, @Respect is key.

    I always ask people friends, “What are the do’s and dont’s?”

    I will not order food that my guests don’t eat, even if they say they don’t mind.

  47. Strive Masiyiwa Post author


    Don’t be afraid to go to other African countries to pursue your entrepreneurial dream:

    Some of the most exciting entrepreneurial ventures in Africa today have been started by young entrepreneurs from other countries, particularly the United States. Ventures like Twiga Foods, Flare Ambulance in Kenya, Heaven Restaurant in Rwanda, Zipline Drones in Rwanda.
    M-Kopa was started by a British guy.

    I recently met a young Danish guy who has set up a business in Kenya.
    I know of a young Israeli woman who has set up a solar power venture.

    Some are setting up social ventures like the remarkable One Acre Fund.

    I highly commend this development.

    Some of these businesses will hit $1bn valuations in a few years!

    Now I want to see young Africans @Fast Follow!
    I want them to start going to other African countries:
    I’m really serious now!
    You don’t have to start your own venture in your own country!


    These young Ghanaians are brilliant!

    WHY NOT?!

    Countries like Rwanda and Kenya will welcome you with open arms if you come as an entrepreneur to start a business.
    I have met several young Nigerians, Zimbabweans and Kenyans in Rwanda who came there to start businesses.


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