7 steps to Managing Your Finances while on campus

So you get your school allowance or money from your side hustle and you’re ecstatic! Next thing you know, you’re flat broke and now all you are left with is the billion-dollar question…

How did this happen?


Managing your personal finances while on campus can be hard, but we have a few tips below to help you survive sis!

1. Create a Budget

A budget is simply a statement showing how you plan to spend your income. Creating a budget starts with being realistic. This means that you are realistic about how much money you currently receive/earn and how much you spend or hope to spend.

The word budget can come off as scary and intimidating to most of us and where does one even begin?? Please keep in mind, a budget is super important to have to maintain financial stability while in school.

Let’s be honest. No matter how much money you have, it will never be enough to cover every single thing you need to buy. So budgeting is one key way to ensuring that you spend your money on the things that truly matter to you.

Document everything you spend your money on, from mobile data to hair supplies to that take-out from last weekend to groceries, clothes, and stationery, all while being realistic with your current income.

This helps you take charge of what exactly you want to spend and sticking to it helps reduce impulse spending on things that you don’t really value.

If you can't save when you earn in thousands, it will be difficult for you to save when you earn millions Click To Tweet

2. Save, Save, Save!!!

Your allowance might be small, but truth be told, if you can’t save when you earn N20,000, it will probably be difficult for you to save when you earn N20,000,000. This is because your expenses and tastes will inevitably rise in response to your new income. In light of this, the best time to start saving is now!

My favorite tip to share for saving is to open a savings account and DO NOT get an ATM Card or Mobile/Internet Banking for it, you’ll thank me later.

Transfer a certain percentage of all the income you get, (including the money you lobby out of relatives, yes, even that) into that account. This makes it difficult to access the money at will.

Another option is to use a piggy bank. A lot of small businesses make and sell beautifully designed ones to order. Put some money into the box and only open it for emergencies or to invest.

Finally, you don’t have to attend every brunch, every party or buy every dress on sale, I promise you won’t die if you don’t do all the social activities in one month. Always stick to your budget.

3. Budget money for the fun things too

Include an amount of money for the fun things you love to do and buy. If something extra comes up that is not in the budget, politely decline and if necessary you can include it in your budget for the next month.

Spread out these kinds of purchases over different months. For instance, you could buy that dress this month, go for the Wizkid concert next month (or when we’ll be allowed outside again, stay safe!) and buy those new shoes a month later.

4. Take advantage of Student discounts

Don’t be embarrassed to use your Student ID to get the student discount on a movie, event or even products. Look out for these discounts and coupons and make the best of them.

However, with everything else in life, moderation is key. Don’t splurge on everything simply because the word “SALE” is attached to it.

5. Get a Side Hustle

Can you make wigs, create content, draw, do makeup, code, etc? Then get a side hustle – sharpen your skills and monetize them.

Spread the word about these skills and confidently charge money for them. This will serve as an extra source of income for you.

6. Flee Debt!

You’re too young and too cute to be in debt sis. Try not to borrow, especially if it is not urgent. Live within your means always.

Not only do unpaid debts make your relationships sour, it also reduces the amount of money you have to spend on yourself when you receive your next income, making you run out of money early and pulling you back into debt. See, it’s a vicious cycle.

If you must borrow – please try to pay back as soon as possible. Don’t hide from your debtors – be transparent, this ensures that if you ever need to borrow again, you are creditworthy enough for friends to comfortably lend you money.

Whatever you do, run away from debt!

Always live within your means Click To Tweet

7. Already up to your neck in debts?

Don’t worry – create a space in your budget for the repayment of these debts. Split them up into manageable bits, create a plan to repay, and discuss this plan with your debtors. Back up your words with action and ensure that you pay back as planned.

I wish you the absolute best as you SLAY your financial goals!


If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.

10 Startups Selected For The Inaugural SLA Accelerator

Accelerator

Earlier this year we kicked off the first ever She Leads Africa Accelerator Program. In partnership with the Work in Progress! Alliance (VC4Africa and Oxfam) and Guaranty Trust Bank we set out to create a 3-month accelerator program designed to identify, support and fund the next generation of Nigeria’s brightest female entrepreneurs.

The SLA Accelerator received applications from over 120 startups from across Nigeria. The selected entrepreneurs were evaluated based on their traction and progress in the market, management team and vision to grow and scale across Africa.

The selected businesses are:

  • Fresh Direct Produce and Agro-Allied ServicesAn eco-friendly social enterprise that produces premium organic produce through hydroponics and community action.
  • DeliveryBros – Helps you save time and stress through pickup and drops from the market to your house or office.
  • Medsaf.co – Solves the medical industry’s procurement problem, by providing a technology enabled distribution solution resulting in transparency and simplicity.
  • Koko’s Kitchen – An indigenous brand of confectionary dry mixes specially tailored to suit the taste buds and pocketbook of the quintessential person on the go.
  • Bubble Tii Bringing the Bubble Tea phenomena to Africa.
  • Shuttlers Enables professionals to access comfortable and efficient transportation to and from work using seat matching technology.
  • Keek’s – Designs tailored weight loss packages for busy women who want a plan that is both effective and simple to implement.
  • Art Splash Studio is a virtual art studio offering a social art experience through our  Paint Nite  painting classes hosted at different venues in Abuja. Paint, eat, and sip on cocktails while you create. Our instructors will guide you. So bring your friends and let’s have an art party!
  • BathKandy Co. – Creates sumptuous dessert-inspired beauty treats for women who crave the finer things.
  • Independent Personal Assistant (iPA) – Provides strategic virtual assistance to high-level executives across Africa. We take care of the mundane while you focus on what matters.

SLA Accelerator participants will spend the next three months working on their business strategy and growth, while networking with investors and potential partners.  Experts and program mentors include Chudi Amu, Vice President of Investment at Verod Capital; Shirley Somuah, Investor at Cardinal Stone Partners; Seun Abolaji, Creative Director at Wilson’s Juice Company; and Tunde Kehinde and Ercin Eskin, Cofounders of ACE.

The entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to pitch their businesses at an investor Demo Day in October and compete for N2 million investment from She Leads Africa along with other business support services.

Congratulations to all of the selected entrepreneurs!

Twitter Chat with Laila Macharia: Understanding What Investors Want (Apr 14)

Laila Macharia

There seems to be a major disconnect between what investors and entrepreneurs are looking for. Investors continue to say that they can’t find good businesses to invest in while entrepreneurs are getting frustrated that they can’t get the funding they need for their businesses to grow. With this type of situation nobody wins.

Join us on Thursday April 14 for a twitter chat with Kenyan investor, entrepreneur and business mentor Laila Macharia on understanding what investors want. If you’re not sure how to effectively communicate with investors, get them interested in your business or even find them, then you need to join this chat.

Follow She Leads Africa on twitter and use the hashtag #SLAChats to ask your questions and participate in the discussion.

Topics that we’ll cover: 

  • What are investors looking for in a new business?
  • If you don’t know any investors how can you start to develop relationships with them?
  • What areas do you believe young entrepreneurs are the weakest?
  • What are the industries and companies that you’re most excited about to change Africa?
  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about leadership?

Twitter Chat Details:

  • Date: Thursday April 14, 2016
  • Time: 12:00pm WAT // 2:00pm EAT
  • Location: Follow She Leads Africa on twitter and use the hashtag #SLAChats
Understanding what investors want - Laila Macharia
About Laila Macharia: 

Raised in Kenya, Namibia and Somalia, Laila Macharia is currently an Angel Investor based in Nairobi. The current Vice Chairman of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, the leading national business association, she also serves as a non-executive director at the Barclays Bank of Kenya as well as at Centum, the largest listed private equity firm in East and Central Africa.

Admitted to practice law in New York and Kenya, Laila holds a B.A. from the University of Oregon, a JD and LL.M from Cornell University and a doctorate in law from Stanford University, all in the US. She was honoured in 2010 as a Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Africa Leadership Initiative and in 2012, was named one of the Top 20 Women to Watch in Africa by the Times of London.

8 things we learn from the acquisition of Kenyan beauty brand, SuzieBeauty

Suzie Wokabi

In 2011, Suzie Wokabi, founder of Kenyan cosmetics brand, Suzie Beauty, said the following about her vision for her brand: “My dream is to turn SuzieBeauty Limited into a household name for everything beauty on the continent, and internationally. I want to become the MAC of Africa!”.

Six years before that, she had returned to Kenya as a trained makeup artist looking to stock up on goods. She faced a number of challenges such as not being able to find the high quality brands she was used to. Where she was able to find them, they were often unavailable, overpriced, or counterfeit. So in 2009, Wokabi launched her own local brand.

Seven years later, she is in reach of the vision she set out for her company. On January 25th, 2016, SuzieBeauty announced that it has been acquired by regional manufacturing company, Flame Tree Group, pending approval of the competition authority. Suzie said the following about the sale of her company: “For me this is the biggest milestone so far.”
Suize Wokabi

Wokabi explained, “with the resources at Flame Tree Group, SuzieBeauty will likely expand its range to include skincare products such as cleansers, moisturisers and eye creams. There will also be investments into better distribution and marketing. In the long-term, production could be moved from China to Kenya”.

This wife, mother, daughter, and entrepreneur is trailblazing the way for other Motherland Moguls. There is so much to learn from the successful sale of Wokabi’s company. We’ve narrowed it down to just 8.

1. Do your research

In choosing to start a beauty brand, Wokabi did extensive research on the Kenyan beauty market. In an interview with How We Made It In Africa, Wokabi said the following: “My research shows that the development of products to fill our specific market needs has the potential of becoming a big and profitable business.”

She also did extensive testing of her products in the market before launching her business. She developed her product line and spent a year of testing on the market before launching in 2011 and beginning retail operations in 2012.

2. Choose to work in your passion

Wokabi once said, “If I did not completely love everything about SB and the beauty industry, I would have given up a very long time ago. I now understand why most startups fail. When you don’t have the passion and everything is an uphill battle, it becomes so easy to quit.”Suzie Wokabi

3. Dream BIG

From the start, it is clear that Wokabi had a strong vision for her company and brand. From her early interviews before the launch of her product line to more recent ones, the vision has always been, as she said, to “distribute Africa-wide. The sky is the limit”.

4. Know your magic

While strong on quality products, Wokabi has said time and time again that the affordability of her products is what makes her competitive in the local and international market.

When she was asked if SB stand out in the midst of international beauty brands that had recently entered the Kenyan market? She responded, “None of them will ever beat me in price. The whole point of SB is the affordability of quality beauty products.”Suzie Wokabi

5. Get help in your weak areas

Wokabi says she knew nothing about business prior to her endeavor. She has especially struggled with financials, an area her husband has supportive in.

6. Learn from your mistakes

While successful, Wokabi has never shied away from the mistakes and mishaps in her journey. After some false starts with partners, Wokabi made sure to engage differently with future partners.

She explained: We have had so many bad partnerships. We have had both equity partners and debt investors. There were just too many mistakes made. We were very particular about this one. This time we didn’t make any mistakes – and it feels right, completely.”Suzie Wokabi

7. Engage with investors and finance partners who understand your company and your vision

While in talks with Flame Tree Group, Wokabi was in talks with other potential investors. She had this to say about Flame Tree Group: “The chemistry has always been right from the beginning. So any challenges we ever came across, we would fix together.”

Flame Tree Group CEO, Heril Bangera, also had this to say, “We want to increase the brand’s presence in the market. We have seen the brand is successful, so there is an opportunity now to use that as a base to grow it within Kenya and beyond.”

8. Knowing that someone did it helps

Wokabi often mentions her role models, Bobbi Brown, in interviews. Bobbi Brown was an American professional make-up artist who founded Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. Estée Lauder, the America beauty products giant, bought the brand in 1995, with Brown retaining creative control. Wokabi will similarly retain creative control of SuzieBeauty.

We wish Wokabi, SuzieBeauty, and Flame Tree Group much success in their new venture. What other insights have you learned from this acquisition? Share them below.

Webinar with Andrea Barrica: The Do’s & Don’ts of Investor Pitching (Feb 2)

Don’t miss another event! Join our community and always stay informed.

RSVP for the webinar

Andrea Barrica-1If raising capital from an investor is one of your top business goals for 2016, then you need to join us on February 2 for a special webinar with an experienced entrepreneur and venture partner from Silicon Valley.

Some of the questions we’ll cover:

  • At what stage in your business should you be looking to speak with investors?
  • How long should your business pitch be?
  • How can you find investors interested in your business?
  • Do you need a professionally designed pitch deck?

About Andrea Barrica:  

Andrea Barrica is a Venture Partner at 500 Startups, a global seed fund and accelerator for early stage startups based in Silicon Valley. She was previously co-founder at inDinero, an accounting and taxes software solution where she led the team to the first $1M in sales in 10 months.

Andrea was a guest trainer at She Hive Lagos and coached our bootcamp participants on effective pitching and is excited to work with the SLA community again.

RSVP for the webinar here. Make sure you’re part of our community to get access to more upcoming events and programs.

Want to learn more about preparing for pitch events and competitions? Read our article on 4 things you must have to be pitch perfect.

RSVP for the webinar

Quick Read: Your 1 minute guide to startup financing

You already know that it takes more than a stellar business plan and an ace team for your startup to thrive. You also need financing to get your ideas off the ground. COLD. HARD. CASH.

But what type of financing is available for me, you ask? Well, you have 3 options:

1. DEBT FINANCING 

Your company receives a loan and gives its promise to repay the loan. It includes both secured and unsecured loans, and can be long-term or short-term.

Pros: You aren’t giving away any part of your business.

Cons: Defaulting on the loan = signing your life away.

2. EQUITY FINANCING

Your company obtains finances from potential investors, family and friends, business angels or by issuing an Initial Public Offer (IPO).

Pros: You are not obligated to pay a dividend

Cons: Equity finance generates capital from external investors in return for a share of the business.

Shark Tank Gif - Cash Flow and financing

3. MEZZANINE FINANCING 

This is a combination of both debt and equity financing. It begins as debt capital that gives the lender the rights to convert to an ownership or equity interest in the company if the loan is not paid back in time and in full. This type of financing allows the owner both debt and equity options.

Pros: Allows you to get the money you need without giving up a huge chunk of your company’s ownerships…as long as you pay your debt on time.

Cons: Interest rates are much higher than traditional debt financing.

Want to learn more about financing and savings options for your business? Visit PAL Pensions to learn more about their unique products for young entrepreneurs.