Pause: #SolutionMindset

__Not having enough, does not mean we have nothing!

In Africa we don’t have enough of most things: We don’t have enough food. We don’t have enough electricity. We don’t have enough clean water. We don’t have enough schools. We don’t have enough foreign exchange. We don’t have enough houses, teachers, doctors, or nurses. We don’t have enough of almost anything you can think of!

Most people looking for solutions, including governments, donors and entrepreneurs (for profit and not-for-profit), are mostly focused on trying to get us more of what we don’t have, but there is something else we can “do,” and always need to remember…

# Not having enough, does not mean we have nothing!

One of the first questions I posed when I started blogging five years ago was this: “What do you have in your hand?”

I posed this question at the time also as a statement of my faith. God asked Moses: “What is in your hand?”

And when he answered that all he had was a shepherd’s rod, God essentially said to him: “That is enough for what I need to do!”

And we all know that with the rod, Moses was empowered to even open the Red Sea!

# Not having enough, does not mean we have nothing!

When we have little, we must not only try to do what we can, we must also never waste the little we have!

__Extending the capacity of the little we have is @RealEntrepreneurship!

Now the new pathway to entrepreneurial success lies in the “shared economy” business model. By now you have heard stories of young people from around the world who are busy launching amazing businesses with extraordinarily little to start with, compared to what was traditionally expected.

# Not having enough, does not mean we have nothing!

You might live in a country where it is virtually impossible to get a loan to start a business, particularly if you are a woman. It might also be that you live in a place where the elite appear to have basically cornered every opportunity for themselves and their families. This is particularly the case when it comes to natural resources-related businesses.

__Getting a job may also be almost impossible, simply because they are not there…

Do not despair!

“What is that in your hand?” …is enough to get you and your friends going!

I know one thing that is in your hand: You now have a smartphone or access to the Internet, otherwise you and I would not be talking to each other on Facebook! A smartphone (even a cheap Android one) is enough to launch you into business. (Senior class, you know this).

Now who can tell me what I mean by the “shared economy” business model? (Senior class, it is now your turn).

# Not having enough, does not mean we have nothing!

As we have discussed here before: Businesses like Uber, AirBnB and Tencent are all created and built around the concept of the “shared economy” business model.

The next millionaires and billionaires in Africa are those who master the business models of the “shared economy” and use them to leverage efficiencies in the use of our continent’s meager resources.

Consider this: Over 40% of farm produce in Africa is lost long before ever getting to consumers. This is called “post-harvest losses.” If we eliminated just half this waste, the impact would be phenomenal, beyond imagination.

# Imagine as an entrepreneur, if you study this problem (as some are doing right now) you can have amazing opportunities. Some of the most exciting African entrepreneurs today are working in this area: “Ways to reduce post-harvest waste.”

Consider this: In some countries, nearly 40% of the children are stunted due to poor nutrition. An egg a day will cut stunting by a whopping 47%!

# Imagine if we could develop business models (as entrepreneurs) to get eggs, or the benefits of egg protein, into every school! In India they have programs to try and get a glass of milk and an egg to young children.

I recently visited a business in Rwanda which produces food for babies specifically to tackle this problem. I love this business! There are hundreds of amazing businesses emerging around the area of agriculture using the “shared economy” model.

During a meeting of an organization called the Giving Pledge a few years ago, I ran into a young man called Brian Chesky who co-founded a business called AirBnB. He is now worth more than $5bn. He was in his early 30’s when I met him, even though he looked much younger!

What an amazing business model!

__But here is the thing: A smart young entrepreneur like you can use that same concept to solve other types of problems right here in Africa! And if you don’t do it, someone will come from America, India or China and do it right on your doorstep…

My fastest growing and most exciting businesses are all based on the “shared economy” business model—they are disruptors of traditional business models.

How can you as an African entrepreneur take this principle, and use it to tackle some of our challenges?

I want us to focus our attention on businesses that use the “shared economy” business model. This is one of the most important new pathways to entrepreneurial success!

Say to yourself: “I’m on it!”

#SolutionMindset. Now get rolling!

To be continued. . .

by 17 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.

17 thoughts on “Pause: #SolutionMindset

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Christian writes,

    Sincerely sir, what i have in my hands is my Smartphone. It will intrigue you to know that i wrote my first book with my smartphone using an app called #Docs that helps one to write as many words as possible. with the same smartphone i have been able to sell ecopies of my book titled “UNDERSTANDING HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY”. Thank sir for inspiring me over the years.

    My reply,
    You are the best!

    Reply
  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.

    I am not really interested in government tenders, oil blocks, diamond and gold mines. I don’t even need real estate unless it is on the Internet! I need to understand things like coding, blockchain, AI, and the “shared economy” business models… businesses that don’t need land, licenses, or favors from powerful people, just a smartphone! If I can inculcate this mindset in you, it will be almost impossible to stop you. It will be like getting you to understand what Apostle Paul called “The Law of Faith”! (But that is for another day).

    Reply
  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2. QUIZ (continued from recent post)

    I will give ONE free iPhone to the first person from any country in the world who answers the following questions about Tuesday’s Argentina v Nigeria match:

    #1. How many times did the Ref blow the whistle in both halves?

    #2. What was the incident at 90’ +4m?

    #3. How many shots on goal did each team have?

    #4. Give the names of at least 3 substitutes not used by either side, and their positions.

    #5. Give the name of anything available on Kwesé Predictor?

    Normal quiz rules apply and you cannot contest my jury’s decision. Your answer must come only from KweséESPN. Please be sure to give me your name and your country, and please only answer right here under this Afterthought. Remember, only one prize this time.

    Now run!

    Reply
  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.

    Congratulations to Ivy Barley, the first person to answer a quick quiz that I thought of as I was responding to one of your questions about how to profit from the World Cup as a real estate and construction company…

    ‪My reply was this: “Interesting you should ask: I have concluded that the guys who are going to make some of the most handsome profit out of the World Cup are in the real estate business, and they do not even live in Russia.

    I will give a new iPhone X, to the first person who tells me the name of the business and its founders!”

    The business I had in mind was AirBnB! There were other really good answers which would have passed, like Trivago. There were also some wacky answers like “Wanda”!

    Reply
  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 4.

    Remember I told you that when I first took a ride on Uber I spent weeks just trying to study its business model. When someone asked me how it works, I said: “The principle is identical to EcoCash” (our mobile money service). Do you know the similarities that led me to this conclusion?

    Reply
  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 5.

    Do you want me to invest in your business? Bring me a serious, well thought out and executed “shared economy” business, and I will not hesitate to invest in or find you an investor! Now how often have you heard me say that? But if you have a government tender or oil block, or access to a new mobile license, I’m not all that interested, to tell you the truth; it’s yesterday’s game! (Don’t rush to mail me or write about it here. I know how to find you! Aha!)

    Reply
  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Reflection:
    My last post was to observe a “moment of silence” following the horrific killings of innocent farmers by marauding terrorists in Plateau State Nigeria.
    I also talked about the plight of the young girl Leah Sharibu who is being held by Boko Haram.
    I noticed that a few people [very few] failed to observe the solemnity of the moment and instead raised many other issues. The problem is when you do that others will see you as a person who is insensitive and selfish.
    There is a time and a place for everything. When we are mourning, let us mourn. It is not a time for recriminations or expressions of anger.

    #empathy and judgement do not sit side by side:

    I had to ban from the site people who made spiteful and viscous comments, including some who even blamed 15 year old Leah herself for the plight she is in!
    Lashing out at political leaders in your own country is not helpful on this platform. There are lots of Online newspapers comment sections of local newspapers where it is more appropriate. It is not why this platform exists.
    It is to help those of you who want to be entrepreneurs, and are looking for tips on how to build businesses.

    Reply
  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought:
    This Post is about “The Shared Economy Business Model”. Those who benefit from it will focus only on that issue. It is not about the World Cup.
    Even though I congratulate Senegal for their gallant effort. We are truly proud of them.

    Reply
  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #Senegal bowed out with dignity.
    It was a truly gallant effort.
    Very proud of Senegal.
    There is still lots of soccer. We still have “African” teams like Brazil…and a few others anchored by players whose origins are in Africa. We will support them.
    For now I’m with #Brazil.

    Kwese iflix (check out details in participating countries) and Kwese Free Sports (KFS) will continue to broadcast for FREE in 39x countries.

    Reply
  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought:
    I have been thinking about the “Shared Economy Business Model” ever since I saw Uber for the first time.
    I have studied businesses like AirBnB in minute detail.
    Since then I have launched several businesses in this space. They absolutely excite me!
    # When I get excited about something, I DO SOMETHING!

    Our Technology Group “Cumii Technologies” is a hub for accelerating and developing “shared economy businesses”. We have already launched almost 10 such businesses.

    Reply
  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #CUMII TECHNITES:
    is a Shared Economy Business!

    If you have a Kwese TV decoder, it was probably installed by someone we call a “Technite”.
    This is a Shared Economy Model.
    We also have Technites that install solar panels and lay fibre optic cables in people’s homes.
    We have more than 15,000 independent entrepreneurs, called Technites!
    We plan to increase them to over 100,000 across Africa.

    It’s a business inside Cumii Technologies, that trains and equips those guys. They also use an “Uber-type App” to find and deploy them!

    Shout out if you are a “Technite” and let people see you!

    Watch this space!

    Reply
  12. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Ikenna writes,

    I can totally relate to this, Dr. Strive. I started blogging with my Nokia 3230 Symbian phone 9years ago. It was all I had. That has paid for every asset and liability I own today. Plus employed a hand full. With a smartphone, we can do a lot more.

    My reply,
    You are @RealEntrepreneur!
    Someone like you will never starve or despair!
    A “Smartphone” is a handheld computer.
    You can use it to do most things that you need to do on a computer laptop.
    By the time you outgrow a smartphone’s capability you are very computer literate!

    Reply
  13. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Oby writes,

    Kwese iflix is awesome. I offer downloads and installation (As an Econet Brand Ambassador). Everyone in Zimbabwe Kadoma is saying Technology has gone too far! Thanks Lots hey, I guess this is my entry point to this new ‘Gold-Rush’

    My reply,
    This is really smart!
    Young entrepreneurs in Other African countries should do what you have done. They don’t have to get permission from us!
    So many people want Kwese IFlix but they don’t know how to download. So you help them download for a small fee!
    This means you are in business. Next you save the fees and soon you have capital to do other things!
    What could be more simple?
    Young people in Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Nigeria, have taken the country by storm, and they are making money!
    You can do it in virtually most countries!

    Reply
  14. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    “Uberized” Tractor:
    A young man looked at Uber, and it gave him an idea:
    “In my area we only have a few tractors. What if I developed an App, which allowed farmers to find tractors that are idle?”
    Immediately he had a shared economy business!
    When he came to Cumi Technologies, looking for investment, it was not an idea, because we don’t invest in ideas, I invest in businesses!

    One day soon you will hear about what we did with his business!

    All over Africa young people are looking at any area with scarce resources, skills, or assets and developing “Uberization/Shared Economy businesses”. These are the guys who two years ago listened to me when I said “it’s time for you to learn how to do Coding”. I don’t write these things as a “social commentator”; I write these things for those who want to DO SOMETHING!
    I’m creating the next generation of billionaires.

    Reply
  15. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Christian writes,

    Studies shows that Shared Economy is also known as collaborative consumption or collaborative economy or peer economy. It refers to a hybrid market model of a peer-to-peer exchange Such transactions are often facilitated via community- based online services. Uberization is also an alternative name for the phenomenon.

    My reply,
    You are absolutely right!
    It is now upto you guys to share books, articles, and examples of businesses in this space.
    The opportunities to “uberize” things we do every day are limitless.
    #1. It will help us to use limited resources, skills, assets, more efficiently.
    #2. It will help us to multiply capacity of limited resources, skills and assets.

    #3. Capital requirement for starting and building a business in this space can be as little as smartphone and data bundles.

    #4. They are very easy to globalize because they use Apps.

    #5. Those who can develop businesses based on this “uberization concept” are the ones developing the fastest and most valuable businesses of the future.
    Investors are throwing “silly money” at any business in this space.

    “I’m on it!”

    Reply
  16. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Breaking News!
    Allez le Bleu!

    Shoutout if you watched one of my adopted “African teams” [France] send Argentina home on Kwese IFlix!
    Although I love Brazil, I have always believed that France is the most gifted team in the tournament.
    Mbappé,Pogba, Dembele, Umtiti, Matuidi…how African do you get?!

    And if Brazil and France fail we still have Belgium as a plan B!
    Hey Africa is still in this!
    Please ask your friends to download Kwese IFlix.

    Reply
  17. Tinashe Chigwande

    Thank you for your post. We have started mednetwork, a mobile app that was launched to solve some of the problems in the medical industry and we got some inspiration from you. The App is available on Appstore and playstore and is the first app of its kind in Zimbabwe.

    Reply

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