Who you’ll meet at SheHive London – Lausanne Kimbidima

As we continue our countdown to SheHive London, we talked with Lausanne Kimbidima, globe-trotter, all-round travel enthusiast and founder of Good Africa. Lausanne shared a bit about her initiative and why she’ll be attending SheHive London.


Thanks for speaking with us. Can you please introduce yourself, tell us who you are and what you do?

My name is Lausanne Kimbidima – my family is originally from Brazzaville, Congo, from which my parents moved to Paris in their twenties. I have always loved travel. I first left France at age 8 when my family decided to leave our small town, which was about a 45 minute drive from Paris. We moved to London, where I learnt English within 6 months, and years later, ended up studying for a Communications degree in the West Midlands.

Is this where you thought you would end up?

Growing up over 300 miles from the majority of my family, led me to travel often. I would train-travel on my own when I was as young as 15 years old. Later I travelled Europe with friends but I became mostly curious about experiencing Africa. Although I was working towards a career in Media & Communication (I had worked on projects for Disney, and British cinema film releases), I pursued my travel ambitions.

Prior to my first trip to Senegal, people told me to observe and take notes so I could brainstorm enterprising initiatives to boost the economy. However, when I got there and submerged myself in the diverse city lifestyles, the wealth of culture was undeniable. So upon my return, I launched an Instagram page called @wearegoodafrica, to share this vision of contemporary Africa, and we now have over 3,000 followers.IMG_20160808_212831

What’s your big idea that you’re looking to achieve in the next 5 years?

We are building a curated platform dedicated to African lifestyle which will provide insight into the new travel habits of millennials, as well as the everyday lives of the locals.  Good Africa will feature tips, guides and reviews from travellers worldwide. As Good Africa was born due to a lack of resources on authentic 360 African lifestyle —work, and travel included— we are also developing an inclusive programme, where travellers will be invited to a transformative travel experience.

Good Africa is an advocate for freedom. We believe every moment you wake up and decide that you want to experience work and lifestyle anywhere else in the world, this should be possible. This is what drives our mission.

What professional organisations are you associated with and in what ways?

I am a School of Media, Birmingham City University Alumni, and a proud Good Africa ambassador!

good africaWhat made you want to attend SheHive London?

Prior to moving into the next phase of Good Africa, I am excited to connect with other individuals in the travel sector and just anyone determined making their mark on the world.

Who are you looking to network with and meet at SheHive London?

I am 100% open to what this experience will bring – and look forward to insightful conversations with business owners to investors and travel enthusiasts.

What skill are you most proud of that you believe can add value to another attendee at the event?

I am bilingual! I’m also an eternal optimist. I hope to motivate and inspire other attendees to start their journey, and add value to others.

Meet Lausanne at SheHive London! Buy your pass here!

Who you’ll meet at SheHive London – Jessica Laditan

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Jessica Laditan is the Founder and CEO of Pop Up Africa, a pop up events company that runs African-inspired events across London. She’ll be one of the many participants at SheHive London (which is now just 8 days away!). SLA intern, Lamin recently talked with Jessica about her work and her expectations for SheHive London.


Thanks for speaking with us. Can you please introduce yourself, tell us who you are and what you do?

Hey guys, my name is Jessica Laditan. I’m the Founder and CEO of Pop Up Africa. Pop Up Africa is an African inspired pop up events company. We curate and run African-inspired events across iconic spaces in London. The idea is to bring diversity to the space whilst celebrating culture and giving traders who sell African inspired goods a platform to promote their brand to a wider market. Our events vary from trade events, to street food markets, cultural festivals, private functions and networking seminars.

I’ve been featured on the Women4Africa ‘100 Gold List’ 2016. Earlier this year I was a Judge in the ‘Next Star in African Food’ Initiative launched by Red Magazine in partnership with publishers Harper Collins.  I also regularly share my knowledge and expertise on pop up retail for African brands at events, on radio, online and via print features.

Is this where you thought you would end up?

Haha no, definitely not where I thought I’d end up. In school I had dreams of becoming an actress until my dad quickly told me to think of a more serious career. I studied Marketing at University and wanted to go into Fashion PR.

I dabbled in that for a bit until it quickly became apparent that I wanted to own my own business. Having my first child gave me that push that I needed and a few poor business ideas later I came up with Pop Up Africa and haven’t looked back since.

What’s your big idea that you’re looking to achieve in the next 5 years?

In the next 5 years, I’m praying that the business will grow to higher levels with an international presence.

Pop Up AfricaWhat professional organisations are you associated with and in what ways?

Over the past few years, I have developed and worked in partnership with a few organisations including, Spitalfields Market, The Southbank Centre, Farm Africa, Red Magazine, Google Campus…

What made you want to attend SheHive London?

I’ve been tracking She Leads Africa and the SheHive events and couldn’t wait for it to come to London! The founders are inspirational and I love events where African women come together to empower each other so I decided that I definitely had to attend SheHiveLondon.

Who are you looking to network with and meet at SheHive London?

I’m open to networking and meeting anyone at the SheHiveLondon event.  I’m looking forward forward to hearing and learning from others. Also to meeting anyone that’s interested in Pop Up Africa and the work that we do.

What skill are you most proud of that you believe can add value to another attendee at the event?

I’m most proud of my event management skills, my knowledge of the London pop up scene and my skills in helping brands raise their profile.

Meet Jessica at SheHive London! Buy your pass here!

5 Zambian women doing amazing work that Linton couldn’t be bothered to

Unless you have made a vow to stay off of social media and the news, you’ve surely come across of the hashtag #LintonLies. #LintonLies trended for a few days last month after actress and producer Louise Linton wrote her “How My Dream Gap Year in Africa Turned Into a Nightmare” piece. It was a recent addition to the White Savior trope and was filled with so much inaccuracies about Zambia that African twitter had to say something. The hashtag #LintonLies was created in response and forced Linton to remove her book from Amazon.

While Louise was clawing her way through the jungle and chasing off humongous spiders in her mind, she could have simply picked up her cell phone and asked Zambian women to help her tell the real story. Write it, film it, market it. The reality though is that Zambian women aren’t waiting for their stories to be told for them to be deemed worthy. They have charge and are doing a darn good job of it. Even though more can be done to improve the lives of women in Zambia ( that’s another discussion for another day) those who stand up and make a change should be applauded.

Here is a list of Zambian women that are engaging in entrepreneurial bombassery that likes of Linton could learn from. Zambian women aren’t known to simply sit and let things happen, they are the women that are running businesses and changing the entrepreneurial landscape of the country. samba-yonga

Samba Yonga

Founder of communications powerhouse Kuatenga media, Samba is a media communications specialist whose work has showcased Zambia to the world on various platforms, local and international.

Kuatenga’s latest work is The Tikambe Natulande TV show , a youth-led program focusing on issues of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Zambia. The Tikambe Natulande show focuses on educating young Zambians without losing them, showcasing stories they can relate to and answering even the most embarrassing questions. Questions like:

“What would you do if your religious leader asked you to sleep with him to solve a problem?”

Known for her great style and her deep laugh, Samba is passionate about unearthing authentic Zambian stories. She does not shy away from stories no matter how uncomfortable. Samba also challenges challenging harmful beliefs and narratives respectfully while delving into preserving our languages and cultures. Quite a feat!

If you are ever in Lusaka and hear of a cool cultural event, Samba has probably worked tirelessly behind the scenes. Yet she may also just be the lady at the market next to you buying finkubala.

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Monica Musonda

Queen of entrepreneurship bombassery. This woman is revolutionizing the way young Zambians eat (cue the satisfied rumble of the stomachs of university students). She is the founder of Java foods whose main goal is to provide convenient, affordable and nutritious foods made from local products. This successful commercial lawyer set up the food processing company in Zambia in 2012. Since then, Monica has been pretty transparent about what it takes to be an entrepreneur on the Zambian scene. She is also open about leadership issues and often hands out solid advice.

Monica and Java foods are all about churning out nutritional foods that tackle the problem of malnutrition in countries like Zambia (by producing a nutritious porridge consisting of sorghum, millet and soya, for example). Java foods engages with small-scale farmers to provide them with grains through a self-sustainable system.

Monica encourages young women entrepreneurs to not be afraid of starting their journey. Do you have an idea? Get started, and don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way.

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MaFashio

Sekayi and Tukiya are two stylish entrepreneurs from Zambia, styling and profiling with their blog MaFashio. The sisters are very popular and are good at putting together great outfits, interestingly enough via thrifting. Instead of making style out of reach by only wearing designer things that a young Zambian girl may likely not be able to afford, MaFashio show that thrifting is a great source of pieces waiting to be handpicked.

They began with simple street style, but these two have fast become the go to for styling, makeup artistry and photography. They have also being a part of great social initiatives and looked good while doing it.

From styling the techie guys at Tech Hub Bongo Hive, to sitting in at Zambia Fashion week, the MaFashio brand is growing. MaFashio showcases great Zambian talent but staying true to the reality of living in Lusaka. Now, Sekayi and Tukiya are not fashion airheads who only live and breath fashion. They are young women who are working on various projects behind the scenes (like finishing uni amongst other things. Congratulations!)

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Cathy Phiri

If you scrambled to get the newest issue of Trendsetters when you were in high school in Zambia, then you probably know who Cathy Phiri is (especially if you also wore that sky blue and navy blue skirt daily to school, you know which one, Roma stand up!). Cathy Phiri has been in the Zambian media game for a long time, starting in 1995 when she and her sisters started up a non-governmental organization in Zambia called Youth Media which led to to the development of the award-winning newspaper (later magazine), Trendsetters.

After years in the business, winning awards and working as Media 365 (the company at which she is managing director) Cathy has a new show called HerStory. HerStory helps Zambians look at various issues from different angles. Media 365 is a dynamic creative and communications agency that focuses on communication strategies, audio-visual campaigns, marketing, and research services for social change and development.

Cathy has focused on educating the masses on HIV/AIDS but with HerStory she is diversifying. Now she’s diving into discussing the political situation in Zambia, the Blesser/Blessee phenomenon amongst other stories. The premise is that Zambian women can and will weigh in on what is happening in their society fearlessly.

Having been a part of popular shows like the MTV show Shuga (remember when Lupita was on Shuga?) where she was executive producer, Cathy’s evolution can be traced from each project she has worked on. She just keeps getting better! Cathy has long had a passion for this kind of work and gone at it silently. She usually pleasantly surprises us with her highly enjoyable work, which is always above par in Africa.

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Chisenga Muyoya

Now, Chisenga is not playing around with IT. Mmhhmm, no sir she is not. Founder of Asikana Network (cue song, sisters doing it for themselves), Chisenga works hard on to teach young women the power of technology. Asikana Network also aims to increase interest in and to enhance the active participation of women in the ICT sector. They want to change mindsets and eliminate negative stereotypes attached to girls and women in ICT. Imagine a virtual reality game made by an African girl with an amazing story? I can!

Amongst other important things, like being a global shaper and consulting at the leading Zambian tech hub called Bongo Hive, Chisenga is on the ground teaching and equipping young entrepreneurs on the ins and outs of technology. By doing so, she ensures that young Zambians aren’t left behind.

Chisenga just keeps on learning and growing. She is open about her education, courses she is taking and workshops she has facilitated. She  inspires young Zambian women to enter and be a part of the technological changes happening the world over.

this_whitneyNow, these women I have mentioned are only a sprinkling of the women entrepreneurs making waves in Zambia. From Towani Clarke, Chizo, Zed Girl, NouKoncept, Cathy Funda Funda, Joanna Hickey, Mukuka Mayuka, Lulu Wood…the list goes on.

Its unfortunate about #LintonLies, but lets not dwell on the web of lies that she weaved (hope you do better Louise!). Instead, lets celebrate the work Zambian women are doing, the work many before them have done, and those yet to join the race.

Zambian women, we salute you!

Ask a Financial Advisor – Volume 2

Financial independence starts with careful planning. If you want to be a millionaire in the future, you have to do the work today.

We’re excited to present the second installment of our Ask A Financial Advisor column. Financial experts from United Capital have once again taken questions from our community and answered with real advice. Volume 2 of Ask A Financial Advisor features advice on starting and maintaining a saving plan as well as saving for future goals.


How can I start the process of investing my money? Right now, I know nothing and would like to educate myself before doing anything. What are some trusted sources and beginner tips? – Naome Jeanty

It’s great that you want to educate yourself prior to getting on the investment ladder. There are loads of resources available to one on the internet, so please do as much research as you can. The best way to create a life that is not dependent on a paycheck is to start investing early in your life and these are our top three tips –

1) invest at least 20% of your savings on a consistent basis.

2) take calculated risks, especially when you are young

3) start investing for retirement as soon as you have a steady income from paid employment or an on-going business venture.

I earn N134,000 and I look forward to getting a landed property and also a car by this time next year. How can I save to meet up with this target? Thank you. – Toyin

As with starting any project, it’s important to define clear goals -which you’ve done already. You do however need to prioritize these goals such that you are able to differentiate between routine expenses, short term and long term savings goals.

Use the SLA Savings calculator and remember that an emergency fund is key. This is where it comes in handy to set up a Private Investment Trust. And when you do need to borrow, let it be for investment purposes i.e. purchase of land etc.

How do I start and MAINTAIN a savings plan. I currently live paycheck to paycheck when debts have been ignored. I want to put money aside, I’m currently paycheck to paycheck (bills paid, rent paid etc) but at the cost of ignoring some debts. (Owe family and friends money…I can’t afford to pay them back at the moment). – Gloria

Determination here is the key, both to getting out of debt and maintaining a consistent savings plan. The first step is to determine what you can actually save after taking out your routine expenses, i.e. food, transportation etc.

Then the next step is ensuring that you actually do save. A great way to going about this is to set up a direct debit order on your salary account or main business account which ensures that a designated sum is debited at regular intervals i.e. monthly, quarterly etc and moved into an investment vehicle such as a Private Investment Trust.

If you’d like to get your questions answered by a financial advisor from United Capital, submit your questions by clicking here

5 wedding planning tips for the business savvy bride

Have you recently gotten engaged? Congratulations! Are you deep in the trenches of the madness that is planning a wedding? E-hug. I had no idea what I was getting into when I began to plan my wedding. Prior to getting engaged, I had invested little to no time envisioning my wedding, and I generally dreaded attending weddings (with some exceptions). What I have always enjoyed though, is research and strategic planning. Likewise, when it was time to plan my wedding, I treated it like I would any professional project.

It’s been a year since I got married and with the rear view mirror in sight, here are 5 tips I would give any #BossBride:

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1. Develop your wedding brand

To begin my wedding research, I followed major wedding sites like Bella Naija on social media. I pored through every single post on blogs like Aisle Perfect and bought books like Vogue Weddings: Brides, Dresses, Designers. Once I had a better grasp of things, it was time to decide on my wedding brand. What will my wedding look like? What will it feel like? I asked myself these questions because I didn’t want my wedding to be a copy-and-paste smorgasbord of every trend. It was especially important to me to have a bit of my personality stamped on the wedding.

Accordingly, I put together a concept note describing my vision for my wedding (aka #Blavid2015). I have always been passionate about the arts and I created my vision around this. Both my traditional and ‘white wedding’ were like mini-concerts: I had traditional dancers, a choir, musicians, a quartet and poetry reading. Of course several things went wrong on my wedding —but what most people (hopefully) remembered, was the music and the ambiance.

 

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2. Get the budget figured out early

A vision without the finances to execute it is pretty much useless, so it’s important to get the finances figured out early. While the bride’s family traditionally pays for the wedding in Western countries like America, this is not always the case across the African continent. My husband and I come from different Nigerian cultures, with different traditional rules about who pays for the wedding. Thus, it was important for both families to discuss who was paying for what and decide on the budget early in the process. Getting a budget together will require getting various price quotes and a lot of prioritization, so it’s best to get an early head start.

3. Do not waste your human capital

Once I had a vision and a budget, it was time to figure out who would help me execute my vision. Beyond the usual suspects like my maid-of-honor and best friends; my mother and I delegated tasks and asked favors from whoever asked what they could do to help (perhaps to their shock, Ha!).

For example: a family friend who owns a marketing firm designed our logo and handled the programs; another who is a creative helped design my wedding website and invitations. One of my photographer friends did my engagement shoot, and another friend with a hair business hooked me up with a great hair extensions. A former family chauffeur organized a tour of the city for our foreign guests, and my brother-in-law’s fiancé made our bridal train proposals. I could go on and on, but the point here is: #TeamWorkMakesTheDreamWork.

 

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All you need is a few people that have your back!

4. Beware of social media vendors

Beautiful Instagram feeds do not a good vendor make. Some vendors spend so much time boosting their social media profile that they neglect their actual products and customer service. Additionally, particularly in Africa, some of the best vendors might not be social media savvy or on the Internet at all. No matter how many popular wedding hashtags a vendor is affiliated with, no matter how many blogs rave about a vendor, no matter if a vendor is a family member or friend —do not choose a vendor whose work you have not seen, touched, tasted, heard, etc.

 

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My cake baker did not have a social media presence, but she delivered!

5. Negotiate your contracts like a CEO

I shamelessly negotiated prices with every vendor I worked with and they all gave discounts. Two of the most stupid mistakes I made however, were paying some vendors 100% upfront and not insisting on written contracts. As a lawyer, I am very ashamed to admit this. I blame my desperation to book these vendors and what I’ll call PWSS (Pre-Wedding Stress Syndrome).

One vendor failed to deliver on almost everything he had promised—it nearly brought me to tears at my reception. When I wrote to him after the wedding, he apologized and explained that a bus with some of the materials he needed had not arrived on time. One year later, a promised refund remains buried in a labyrinth of excuses and justifications. I wanted to sue, but my pastor-mother insisted on leaving it all to God. The moral of this story: a) protect yourself by insisting on paying a balance after the wedding, and b) document all your expectations in a detailed contract.

giphyA final note: flexibility and adaptability are important skills for any seasoned professional or entrepreneur in today’s world. The same applies to a wedding: you may have to make concessions to make your family, in-laws and partner happy. I was resistant to some things at first (Type A problems), but I eventually realized that I would have a much happier wedding if all the important parties had some buy-in. I also rolled with the punches—or danced with them, I should say. I decided I would be happy on my wedding day no matter what, and for every mishap I noticed, I danced a bit harder. By the end of my reception, my curls were undone, my foundation had bled, and I had danced my happy heart out.

 

Ask a Financial Advisor – Volume 1

Ask a Financial Advisor

Financial independence starts with careful planning. If you want to be a millionaire in the future, you have to do the work today.

We’re excited to kick off our brand new column called Ask A Financial Advisor. Financial experts from United Capital are taking questions from our community and providing real advice. Read on for our first series of answers covering topics such as investing as a fresh graduate, real estate as an investment property and how to start investing even when you feel like you don’t have any money to spare.


Hello. I would like to ask about the best place and way to invest my money in Nigeria presently, some say federal government bond buying, but am not so clear nor sure. I mean am not so super rich and just 3yrs out of college but I think the little money I make part if it invested would go a long way. Pls kindly help a sister out. Gracias! – Abimbola

Investments when being done on a relatively small scale, are safer when carried out under the umbrella of a professional Fund Manager/ Trust Company. That way, the minimum requirements for say an FGN Bond or any other instrument will be met through the pool of funds being managed by the company. Also, the risks involved will be shouldered by the company and you will be privy to professional wealth advisory services suited to your investment objectives.

What can one invest in that requires minimum money? I’m a single mum and I feel I’m living hand to mouth, I’d like ideas on what I could invest in and how that will require minimum money that could potentially accumulate or grow. – Nikita 

You can invest in a contributory scheme with a minimum annual contribution of N60,000.00, which will come to N5,000.00 per month. If you were to set up a Private Investment Trust, your contributions will be pooled with other contributors’ funds and invested in profitable investments which the N5,000.00 would ordinarily be insufficient to partake in. The result of this is a healthy mix of stable returns as well as minimum -risk  investments which will be affordable to you and simultaneously accumulate in the long term.

Every month I seem to just break even and in some cases I am over budget. How can I save money whilst breaking even on my budget? – Sharon

You need to decide on a percentage of your income to save every month, we would advise 10%-15% for a start. Once that decision is made, you can invest in a contributory scheme which requires you to make contributions per month. A Standing Payment Order (SPO) given to your banker to automatically credit your contributions to the Fund Manager/Trust Company will ensure you do not begin to overspend before the contributions are made. This will improve your financial discipline and at the same time ensure you have accumulated a tidy sum which would have yielded a stable return in the medium to long term.

With the rising cost of living, buying property is virtually impossible. Although I qualify for a small amount, should I rather buy an investment property (property that I will rent out and never live in) or wait until I can afford a place of my own and buy one for myself? – Kendi

Buying property is a highly capital intensive venture and may not be advisable if you do not have the liquidity. It would rather be advisable to invest your funds in REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) through a professional at a minimal fee, so that you can accumulate the funds until you can afford the property of your choice, whilst still enjoying some benefits of real estate investments through the underlying assets of the REIT.

If you’d like to get your questions answered by a financial advisor from United Capital, submit your questions by clicking here

The one basic lesson to teach your kids about financial responsibility

shehive accra financial responsiblity she leads africa

Don’t you just wish you had been taught about financial responsibility when you were much younger? In our rapidly changing world, it has never become more imperative to teach our children the need for handling money well.

In fact, it’s such an important skill that it will guide their decisions well into adulthood. If you’re able to do a good job with the lessons now, your children will look back and be grateful to you as a parent. And in getting this done, there’s no better time to start than now —your child is never too young to begin.

It’s important for kids to get savvy about spending wisely, saving and the value of giving to others.

Delayed gratification —an important lesson

When I mention that there’s one basic lesson to teach your kids about financial responsibility, I mean that at the heart of every financial decision you’re getting your child ready to handle in their future is one basic fundamental lesson, which is ‘delayed gratification’.

Delayed gratification is learnt from deciding to do a chore now and watching TV later. It is about eating up two candy bars now or keeping one till tomorrow.

You see, for the most part, the concept of saving money and spending wisely is more about learning to wait for something versus getting it now. Financial discipline is first of all the ability to spend less than you earn (which requires proper budgeting and sticking to it) and secondly, being able to put that excess in the budget away over a period of time (savings).

How do you help your child to be financially disciplined with the concept of delayed gratification?

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Start early

Children form their habits based on what we expose them to. They are influenced by their environment and learn from the things they see on a regular basis. If you let your children understand that it may not always be the best thing to get something now, they grow with that lesson and it becomes easier as time goes on.

For instance, I hear a lot of parents say they don’t like to go to the supermarket with their kids because they are afraid of the demands to buy something that’s not on the budget.

If you train your kids that we do not always get what we want when we want them, they learn to respect those boundaries you’ve put in place.

Teach by example

Children learn by example. They’ll do whatever they see you do. There’s a need to model this concept for the children in everyday living. Use regular situations of life to let your children understand the need to wait for things. They can either decide to get something now or get it later.

Showing them the benefits of waiting can aid them in their decision to wait for something they love. Let them see that waiting is better. The way you conduct yourself on decisions that have to do with spending and savings will impact on your kids.

Don’t shy away from discussing money matters with them.

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Encourage savings

Let your kids learn to save every part of any amount that comes through their hands, no matter how small. Teaching your kids to save is an integral part of helping them to understand the concept of delayed gratification. They can save towards the future or simply towards a desired gift or toy.

Teaching your kids to understand delayed gratification is a gradual process and they will learn as long as you remain consistent in your teaching.

Self-control is a gradual process for your kids and they will get there. Just be firm and compassionate about it. They’ll thank you later.

For young African women II: How to build wealth at every stage of your life

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In Part One of How to Build Wealth at Every Stage, I discussed how to build wealth at the younger stages of life, from childhood to 19 years old. Here I discuss how to build on those stages.

Stage 3: The Young African Woman

This is known as the accumulation stage and is typically between ages 20-30/35. At this point, a person has just graduated or has started working and has some disposable income. Income is typically larger than expenses at this stage. Some may live with their parents while some may begin to consider getting their own accommodation.

This is also a stage when people begin to think about settling down etc. This is the best time to begin to develop a personal financial system. The earlier you start the more time you have for your money to grow and enjoy the benefits of compounding.

I love Albert Einsteins quote which says “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it…he who doesn’t pays it”. Basically, compounding interest simply means that the money you earn as interest is put back into your account or investment thereby allowing your money to grow faster. An individual at this stage should develop a savings and investment culture, learn and practice the principles of personal finance which is budgeting and also consider setting up an emergency fund. In terms of investing, this is a good time to invest in riskier assets and take advantage of long term growth opportunities.

 

You can also begin to buy valuable jewelry like gold, which appreciates over time and can be sold when cash strapped. It is very important to withstand peer pressure at this stage. Focus on your vision and goal.

Key things to consider at this stage include:

  1. Have a vision board
  2. Set financial goals
  3. Prepare monthly budgets
  4. Establish a savings culture
  5. Invest in the stock market
  6. Pay off any debts accumulated in University such as student loans, credit card debts etc
  7. Invest in yourself.
  8. Start a business

Stage 4: The African Woman

This is called the Consolidation stage and is typically between ages 30/35-55. At this stage your expenses are rising higher than your income. You may be married or starting a family. You may have moved out of your parents’ home and live on your own. Needs include education for kids, rent, mortgage, planning for retirement, higher education etc. Financial discipline is required at this stage.

It is important to be strict with budgeting and not forfeiting savings and investments. In terms of investment it is also important to begin to diversify your portfolio. This is also a good time to take some risks depending on the side of the spectrum you fall on.

Key things to consider at this stage include:

  1. Set up an education trust fund
  2. Buy land and or get a mortgage
  3. Health insurance
  4. Life insurance
  5. Build up your assets
  6. Plan for retirement
  7. Create multiple streams of income
  8. Invest in yourself

It is also important to note that you are never too old to dream. Mrs Betty Irabor started her magazine at this stage. Mo Abudu  started her tv station, Ebony Life TV in her late forties.

Stage 5: The Older African Woman

This is called the retirement stage and is age 55 and above. At this stage most individuals would be getting ready to retire or be retired. In most cases there is no steady income except from pension allowances. Needs include healthcare, retirement home, and vacation, maintaining a standard of living, estate planning and leaving a legacy.

A woman who was financially intelligent in her younger years will enjoy this stage. She may have set-up a business that is running on its own and therefore be enjoying the fruits of hard work during her youth.

This is also a time to ensure you are fulfilling purpose and at this stage you may even start a new business.

Please note that these age ranges are just a generic template and not cast in stone. Individuals may past through these stages at different ages.

Once you have determined the stage you are in your financial life cycle, it is important to set financial goals and to determine action steps required to achieve your goal. An important point is to ensure that you create a plan to achieve this goal and that your plans are as flexible as possible.

For example you could have a goal to set-up an emergency fund of 6 months’ worth of living expenses by 30/12/16.

Action Steps:

∙         Track spending

∙         Create a budget

∙         Pay-off all outstanding debts

∙         Reduce excess spending on eating-out and eat home-cooked food

∙         Reduce spending on aso-ebi

∙         Set up direct debit with bank

What are some of your goals for your financial future? What phase of life do you find yourself in? Could you begin to implement some of these key elements now?

For young African women: How to build wealth at every stage of your life

Multigenerational black women

This is part one. Read part two here

The Young African Woman – How to Build Wealth at Every Stage of Your Life

I recently attended a seminar where one of the key speakers mentioned that there are three main categories that are forecasted to thrive and succeed in this season: Youths, Africans, and Women. It is therefore a good time to be a Young African Woman.

In order to succeed as a Young African Woman and to ‘win’ in all areas of your life, you must be in control of your finances and build wealth. It is therefore important to understand the different stages of life i.e. the financial life cycle and how to build wealth at each stage.

I would start from the girl child, in order to ensure that we also empower our children, sisters, students, mentees etc.  This is the most important stage because if you get it right at the stage, you are likely to be wealthy.

There are different theories on the number of stages in a financial life cycle, however, for simplicity they’ve been split into 5 stages.

Stage 1: The African Girl Child

This is typically between ages 0-12. At this stage, we begin to understand the value of money i.e. N200 can buy more sweets than N100. We begin to have conversations like

Kid: “Mum, why can’t we buy a bicycle?”

Mum: “Because we do not have enough money at the moment.

Kid: “But mum, what about the money in my piggy bank? I have a lot of money in my piggy bank.”

Mum: “Honey, N500 is not enough to buy a bicycle.

Generally, we believe that money is to be used to buy junk food and also to buy toys. At this stage we receive pocket money.

Financially intelligent parents would begin to teach their children the basics of savings via a piggy bank or a kids’ account. They would also learn the concept of earning money by being paid for household chores as well as through mini businesses such as making and selling lemonade or bracelets etc.

I attended a conference where a speakers stated that when she was younger, her parents paid her whenever she did her household chores and that was how she learnt the value of hard work and earning money.

My daughters started their first business at age 6 and 3. During their Christmas holiday, they made personalized bracelets from beads and with virtues such as love, faith etc, and sold them to their aunties, uncles and friends. Shortly after, they received an order to make personalized bracelets for a birthday party. Within two weeks, they made about N30, 000. I introduced the concept of a piggy bank and also taught them how to give as well.

I also had a very proud moment the other day. My daughter had received some money as a gift from her uncle at Church to buy ice cream. A blind man came to ask for money and she heard me say I didn’t have any cash left. She then said to me “Mummy, he can have this money” and she gave him her ice cream money.

At a very young age, I opened investment accounts for my daughters with a monthly direct debit in place. Warren Buffet began investing also at this stage. He has also created an online club for kids called the Secret Millionaires club where kids learn the basics of entrepreneurship and wealth management. This is a good place to start.

Stage 2: The African Teenage Girl

This is typically between ages 13-19. At this stage, we develop a better understanding of money. Our needs include buying top-up cards for mobile phones, shopping and entertainment etc.

We understand that it is not everything you want that you can get. We also start earning money via jobs like baby-sitting, etc. In developed economies, at this stage, teenagers are sent to work in fast food restaurants or retail clothing stores to earn some money. Some teenagers are also required to work in companies as interns during holidays. Ty Bello, Nigeria’s renowned photographer started her hair styling business at age 15. One of Africa’s youngest billionaires Ashish Thakker started his first business at age 16.

When you get to University, you begin to understand the importance of managing your finances. In University, you are also introduced to the concept of credit cards, over drafts etc. It is important to educate teenagers on the pros and cons of credit cards and overdrafts. A lot of students get it wrong and end up in a lot of debt once they graduate from university, and this affects their ability to build wealth in other stages of their life.

Key things to consider at this stage include:

  1. Learn the value of hard work and earning money through internships, holiday jobs
  2. Start a business using your talents and gifts
  3. Start a savings and investing culture
  4. Be involved in the process of managing bank accounts and investing.
  5. Read books on personal finance

How did you fare in these stages as a young person? If you have passed these 2 stages, you can still share them with a young person or a parent who might need it.

In Part II, we discuss – stage 3: The Young African Woman,  stage 4: The African Woman, and stage 5: The Older African Woman.

10 excuses to give friends when you are too broke to go out

As Motherland Moguls, we know that every kobo, pesewa, and cent counts while chasing your dreams. So while we love our friends, going out often can be a financial burden. If you’re fortunate (or unfortunate – you choose) enough to live in an isolated town where eating out requires an hour commute to the city center, then you must be doing your fair share of saving.  If you live in a major city – Lagos, Johannesburg, Nairobi – that new pop up down the road that sells overpriced cereal is tempting.

To add to all of this, we all have that friend who always wants to eat out. But there are days when you really know you cannot afford to go out but don’t want them to know you’re skint. Yes, we know that, cause we’ve been there and had to come up excuses like 10 below.

1. “I didn’t do my BVN so my card is not working”

See Your LifeThis applies if you live in Nigeria, or all your money is deposited in a Nigerian account. If that is the case, you have the new banking policies to thank for this excuse.

2. “Oh, I’ve been eating at *insert restaurant name” too much”

RHON - Eating feelings

This excuse could come back and bite you, as it insinuates you go out to eat often.

In the same vein, you could be left with the burden of deciding what restaurant, which leaves you with two options: either suggest somewhere so awful that you know nobody would agree to venturing near, or suggest something completely different and free!

3. “I forgot my card at home”

Kandi - RHOA Really

This only works if you are actually out and about with them, or in their house and you have not brought out your card at all. This also means if you are dying for a bottle of water – no can do.

4. “Sorry, I have an appointment/meeting.”

Mad Men - Tell Them Im In A Meeting

Please do not Snapchat anything other than your coffee mug after making this excuse.

5. “Oh my gosh, I wish you had told me earlier, I just ate and I AM STUFFED!”

Zendaya - gif

This works better with people who do not know you that well. Why? Because if you love food the way I love food, then your friends know the truth and will know you’re lying.

6. “I’ve been really busy, and need to take time out to rest”

Pokemon falling asleep

I like this one because even if all you’re doing is watching show re-runs with a tub of ice-cream, it makes you sounds somewhat important and occupied with life.

This is less of an excuse and more of a genuine reason. Again, stay away from Snapchat.

7. “My parents want me home”

African dad meme

This excuse varies in effectiveness based on your age. But if you and your friends are from traditional African homes, I’m sure it would have a decent level of effectiveness.

8. “I’m not feeling too well” – ties in with number 6

I’m slightly wary about this one because it may come to pass. However, if you’re have a little headache, a little exaggeration would not hurt.

9. “Stuck in school/work/at a family event… rain check?”

Tommy from Martin - straight out of work

It’s always nice when an excuse has a reason behind it, followed by the possibility of rescheduling. This is probably the most respectful of the bunch.

10. * Phone on flight mode * “Did not get your call/message, my phone just does that.”

Big Sean - looking at phone

Not a big fan of this one. I think we can all agree it’s pretty rude. But a friend suggested this and it worked. It also helps to remember all the money you are saving from ignoring those calls and messages…

Business Tip: Anytime you cancel on your friends, put that money into your savings accounts. It always pays to pay yourself first, ladies.