4 Ways You’re Losing Money Without Realising It

Money is such an inexhaustible topic – we talk about earning it, investing it, spending it, and even sometimes losing it. We’re usually focused on the first three and barely pay any attention to the likely ways we have been losing cash.

Most of us don’t have trust funds waiting for us, so every naira counts. Being on the lookout for money-sucking expenses can go a long way in increasing your disposable income.

I’m going to let you in on things you’re doing too much of or not doing at all that could cost you some dollar bills (or whatever currency you spend).

Tracking your expense schedule, asking for a discount and buying items in bulk can help save up cash and thereby reducing the risk of losing money - @adeyojuwon Click To Tweet

1. Bank Charges

It’s so funny that the banks are starting to do the exact opposite of what they’re meant to be doing- helping people save money.

The Fix

You probably have more than one bank account/debit card. Each account attracts individual maintenance costs.

A simple solution to ridiculous bank charges is trying as much as possible to have one savings account and one debit card. This will help eliminate charges that may arise from owning multiple accounts.

You can reduce constant cash transactions and erase the need for unnecessary bank fees by having a budget that’s restricted to how much you’ll need for a week.

2. Delay in Paying Off Debts

While taking a loan isn’t a big deal, delaying pay-off is quite a big deal. Especially when it has interest attached to it.

Interest accumulates over time so delaying your debt pay-off inevitably increases the amount you’ll pay eventually. This means you’re gradually losing money.

The Fix

Once you have an inflow of cash probably due to holiday bonus or a salary raise, it is advisable you pay off your debt as soon as possible.

This could give you a little extra to spend on other things and potentially save you a lot in interest payments.

3. Avoiding Negotiation

Another money-draining factor that might not have ranked high on your list is negotiation.

A lot of market vendors on this side of the world rarely quote the actual prices of their products. Most of the time, you’re expected to bargain and beat down the prices a little bit more.

This negotiation rule also applies to the professional world. You’re expected to negotiate your salary and not simply accept what you’re initially offered when you apply for a new job.

According to a paper by Harvard Business School, women are most likely to agree to the first offer on the table and lose money in the process, as well as better chances for career growth. It is time we change the narrative.

The Fix

Weighing other options available to you by knowing what prices other vendors are offering will go a long way when it comes to saving money. This also applies to knowing what other employees earn before you take a new job.

This similarly applies to online stores, when I was buying my new phone, I checked a couple of online and physical stores to get the best price and avoid being overcharged.

Always remember that avoiding negotiation comes with a price!

4. Subscriptions

Technology comes at a cost. There is a cost attached to watching an endless stream of movies and listening to your favourite music. There’s a long list of other subscriptions- magazines & newsletters, fitness groups, diet plans and a whole lot more.

It’s easy to forget what you’re subscribed to when payments are done automatically.

The Fix

You should only subscribe to plans you use regularly. This will help you avoid wasting money on plans you don’t get the most from.

Certain subscriptions can be done with a group of people to save money on the total cost.

Other significant ways you might be losing money includes wasting food, cancelling your Uber or Taxify rides, and impulsive spending.


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Here’s how to switch up your money management style!

Much of our anxiety stems from the fact that we just don’t know what's going on with our money Click To Tweet Have you ever interrogated your feelings about money? How would you define your relationship with money management; comfortable, in control, dysfunctional? Even with solid financial advice, some people still feel a level of anxiety around personal financial management. Sadly the topic of money is still viewed by some as ‘the last taboo’, and as a result, many of the attitudes we have towards it go unexplored. As budding #MotherlandMoguls, building a healthy mindset around money management should be a priority. Here are a few tips to help you to make peace with your bank balance, manage your personal finances and develop a healthy money mindset.

Determine your ‘money personality’

A useful place to start is to try and understand how you instinctively relate to it. Similar to taking a regular personality test, this will help you to understand some of your predispositions toward money management. You can find a whole bunch of free ‘money personality’ tests here.

Keep good records, make good plans

Recognizing your financial patterns and setting financial goals is the key to building a healthy relationship with your money. Much of our anxiety stems from the fact that we truly just don’t know what is going on with our money. Sound daunting? Don’t worry, we are here to simplify the struggle. Finance guru and friend of SLA Samke Ndlovu Ngwenya put together this worksheet to help you think through your goals, and keep track of your personal financial management. While you are doing this, take a look back at money management mistakes, or successes you have made and look out for patterns and lessons.

Figure out your conditioning

We all have a certain level of conditioning when it comes to money which has been proven to affect how we relate to it. For example, if you sincerely believe you deserve to make money, and that you are able to do so, this conditioning is considered positive. It can also be negative and limiting, for example, thinking about money with fear or scarcity. This conditioning is the filter through which you interact with your money. Money coach Lynette Khalfani-Cox says, “You have to ask: what falsehoods and ideas am I believing that are actually sabotaging my efforts, or keeping me from fulfilling my potential?” Work to change these ideas. You could even try out money affirmations if that’s your thing. To help you out with all the serious introspection you are about to do, I caught up with two savvy businesswomen. They gave me some insight into how a successful entrepreneur relates to their money.
money management Money means the ability to uplift - Carol Bouwer Click To Tweet Carol Bouwer is the Founder and CEO of Carol Bouwer (CB) Productions. This pioneering businesswoman is a committed champion of women. Her company PB Productions is behind The Mbokodo Awards which celebrate the work of South African women, as well as The African Odyssey experience.

What does money mean to you?

For anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to be part of shaping our community for the future- money gives you the ability to uplift. Materially and psychologically- money gives you the opportunity to create employment and empower others. It gives you the ability to inspire others to see what results could be possible if they apply the same level of discipline. Money is not the goal but it helps you achieve the goal.

Is there a specific event/lesson that has shaped how you relate to your money?

Losing it young. Some of the mistakes I made with money management as a youngster have been the greatest gifts in my financial life. The lessons are etched in my mind so they can never be repeated. My big thing with this as in everything in life- don’t lose sleep and lose the lesson- lose the former and gain the latter at all times!

What do you wish you knew about money management when you received your first salary/ paycheque?

Budgeting! I had a whole list of needs and wants but lacked the wisdom to differentiate between the two. To this day I remain grateful for being raised by an “interfering mom”… many of the mistakes I could have made did not happen thanks to her wise interventions.

What habit have you formed, or what trait do you possess, that you believe helps you with your finances?

Sobriety and respect. This applies to finances and many other aspects of life. It is easy to be impulsive but the most important trait one requires is respecting the work that goes into building one’s wealth. Being mindful of the energy you put into making every cent is what makes you more discerning about the choices you make when parting with it. Mindless spending is sometimes unavoidable in our youth but in this day, if I am not mindful of what I am spending my money on then I don’t deserve a cent of it. If I'm not mindful of what I'm spending my money on, I don't deserve a cent of it- Carol Bouwer Click To Tweet

Where do you go to get sound financial advice?

I could tell you to get a financial adviser or acquire financial planning services but I am not one to say that. My answer is, go internal. You inherently know what to do. You had the wisdom to acquire it, trust in your wisdom to grow it. Read and study the markets. Even when you go to your broker, ensure you are not solely an audience but participate. This is even more important for times when there are losses. It allows you to feel you made empowered and informed choices rather than blaming those to whom you hand your money over.
money management Be honest with yourself and those who need your financial support - Nicolette Mashile Click To Tweet Nicolette Mashile is a social entrepreneur, property investor and broadcast media personality. She is passionate about people advancement and development. You may recognize her from her popular Financial Literacy Vlog and talks. She is also a communicator by profession.

Is there a specific event/lesson that has shaped how you relate to your money?

Yes. When I was buying my first property, I didn’t know that an Offer To Purchase was legally binding. As a result, I signed for a property well out of my means. I had to fight the bank to retract a home loan of over 30 years which had been approved. The loan had been generated through a Bond Originator, who misrepresented my expenses and understated them. I ended up paying over thousands in lawyer fees. I eventually settled the issue at the cost of the money I had saved as a deposit. That day I learnt that it is very expensive to be financially illiterate.

What habit have you formed, or what trait do you possess, that you believe helps you with your finances?

Honesty, discipline and I have let go of FOMO. I used to what everything, what to go everywhere because I convinced myself that I could afford it. But I was refusing to be honest with myself whereby finances were concerned.

What is a small action/habit/idea that people can take up, which you believe could totally change our relationship with money?

Paying themselves first. Negotiating their salaries and knowing how much they actually need so that they can save 30% of their salaries. Most people negotiate just a little bit more than what they are currently getting forgetting the value of money changes over each year.

Do you have any advice on how to avoid over-committing yourself financially to family and friends?

Be honest with yourself and those who need your financial support, then budget for them at all times. Stick with what you allocate to them and don’t budge. Save for emergencies because its Murphy’s law, once you save an amount that is accessible there will always be a situation that rises to the occasion that needs that money

Hey Sis, Where Does All Your Money Go?

Have you ever wondered where all your money goes before payday? You are not alone in the struggle. Tracking your expenses is an important first step in financial literacy.

Zikoko, a culture and entertainment digital magazine based in Lagos, Nigeria, asked a sample of women how they spent the bulk of their income in the past month of the interview.

Here are some of the ways women responded. Can you relate?


I spend a lot on Uber rides

I don’t have a car and I hate moving around with public transport, so all my coins go to Ubers. Thankfully I can afford it.

It’s hard to calculate how much of what I earn goes to Ubers because I have a 9-5 and a pretty great side gig. But I’d say 20% of the income I get from my 9-5.

I’m aware that it’s a little ridiculous to spend so much money on just transport. But my life’s motto is comfort first. Plus Ubers saves a lot of my time, and I hear time is money.

Weaves. Weaves. Weaves.

I have a government job so my salary is a joke. But I have an online business that does quite well.

The average cost of my wigs or weaves is about 150k (~$400). My 9 -5 pays about 80k (~$210) a month. So I guess I spend like two-months salary on hair.

I’m not ashamed of it. It’s not like I buy weaves all the time. I can still afford to put food on my table and pay my rent thanks to my business.

My rent is expensive

The first year I moved out to live on my own, I had a flatmate. She left the country the year after, and I got stuck paying the full rent. I paid it in hopes of getting another flatmate, but I’ve had no luck yet.

I’d say the bulk of my money goes to rent. I earn 300k ($810) a month and my rent is 1.2 million (~$3,260) a year. This means 100k (~$270) of my monthly income goes to saving for my rent.

I really like my apartment and have no plans to move out. So for now, I have to keep paying the rent.


.

Internet is so expensive

I don’t have a job so my ‘income’ comes from an allowance from my parents which usually adds up to about 50k (~$135) monthly. I spend about 15k (~$40) on data every month. So data costs make up most of my expenses.

Food, I don’t like to cook

I don’t like to cook, so feeding can get a little expensive for me.

I’ve never sat down to do the math but between groceries, eating out and buying food every day I must be spending about 40 to 50% of my income on food.

My struggle skin won’t let me live

I have very problematic skin. I decided to start paying more attention to it about 2 years ago because a girl must SLAY.

The only problem is good skincare products are expensive. Don’t let those people telling you that black soap is all you need, lead you astray. They just have good genes.

I don’t buy skincare products every single month thankfully. On months where I run out of everything at once, I can spend almost 50k (~$130) on products. My monthly salary is 220k (~$590).

Makeup is expensive

I’ve always loved makeup and buying it wasn’t always so costly. But with the way the economy is set up, everything I love is now so expensive.

I just started a business as a make-up artist so I think most of what I make goes into buying new products. I spend like 80% of what I make on that.

I have way too many friends

In the past year, I’ve spent a ton of money on Aso Ebi. I’m at an age where all of my friends are getting married all at once and I’ve come to the realization that I might have too many friends.

I’m currently in between jobs so I can’t say how much I spend exactly. But based on my last salary, I’d say last month I must have spent 40% of my old income on just Aso Ebi. That’s ridiculous!


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world. Learn more about Zikoko here.

Young women should benefit from the growing impact investment market: Ujunwa Ojemeni

Ujunwa Ojemeni is a financing, business development and clean energy expert with experience in the areas of opportunity maturation, project financing and impact investing.

She has been in the energy sector for over five years now. She was in project development for a while before transiting to impact investment.

While in energy project development, she coordinated several gases and power development opportunities valued at approximately $300 Million.

In energy impact investing, her work has involved working with partners to catalyze funding to the clean energy sector such as the $100Million Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (OGEF) along with the African Development Bank and others, as well as driving investments in and managing investments in various clean energy companies.

She is currently working with project developers by structuring and arranging appropriate financing for their businesses, working with partners to deploy innovative energy solutions and providing long term strategic support to key energy enterprises.


Tell us about some of your projects

Earlier this year, I was selected as one of the 60 young African Clean Energy Leaders for the Open Power Africa 2019 program by Enel Foundation in collaboration with top African and Italian academic institutions.

I was one of the 16 finalists of the program who proceeded to complete the final module of the fellowship based on the quality of our capstone projects. I also emerged as a finalist in the IFC Sustainability Exchange Ideas Contest for Youth Innovations 2019.

To promote the participation of more women in the energy sector, I recently launched “The African Women in Energy Development Initiative – AWEDI Network”.

It is the pioneer African organization focused on women across the entire energy value chain to offer mentorship, career sponsorship (acceleration), capacity building, and leadership training for women at all stages of their energy careers and for female students at the secondary and tertiary levels.

I have always been passionate about helping SMEs to be successful and founded the “SME Transformation Project” through which I provide business advisory and funding to women-owned
SMEs in low-income communities.

I help them navigate through basic business challenges such as marketing and distributing channels, product line expansion, and most importantly, funding, which they have difficulties accessing from traditional financiers.

In addition, I am a mentor at the Cherie Blaire Foundation where I provide support to women entrepreneurs to help them grow as they build their businesses in different parts of the world.

Before all of these, I worked in the management consulting unit of KPMG where I focused on startup advisory and process improvement for such enterprises.

Share your experience with female inclusion in the energy sector?

In 2014, when I started my professional involvement in the energy sector, there were only 2 women on the team, and I was unclear how to navigate or how to find suitable mentors within or even outside the organization.

Although the numbers are gradually improving as more attention is being
given to the subject – more women are coming into the sector.

However, if you look at the management of most companies, it is mostly dominated by men. In fact, although female representation is improving globally, it remains considerately low.

In fortune 500 companies, only 6.6% of CEOs are female and 25.5% of board seats are held by women. This was one of my motivations to launch the African Women in Energy Development Initiative (AWEDI Network).

Being a woman in any sector let alone a male-dominated sector is generally tough and there is still significant room for improvement to make it more conducive for women to thrive.

As I always say, we are equal but different. Women are saddled with the responsibility of childbearing and a lot of times childbearing and home keeping.

Issues such as not employing pregnant women or newly married women are really sad and worrying. Organizations are typically worried about the gaps caused by maternity leave but the evidence is clear that a diverse workforce is good for the bottom line.

Furthermore, returning to work after maternity leave is not always smooth especially when you have been sidelined and not promoted along with your peers who may not even have performed as well as you.

In some other organizations, there is no provision for things such as nursing rooms for nursing mothers.

Another issue is the ‘flexible working myth’. Some organizations do not make any provisions for this, while others allow it in principle but in reality, it is difficult to utilize it as you might be considered unserious and penalized for it.

As a society and as corporate bodies we must institute
policies and implement the same to enable both men and women to perform optimally – paternity leave is still not taken seriously by many.

What were your major challenges in the industry and how can African women manage it?

One challenge is being undermined maybe because one is young. It is an interesting combination to be young as well as an African female committed to achieving big goals.

Nevertheless, I believe that being an expert in your craft is most important and clearly demonstrating this expertise by being visible. At meetings, there is always something you can contribute – most times we know more than we realize.

So I always encourage women to be bold and speak out more. In addition, we have to network sensibly; unfortunately, we usually do not have the luxury of time to attend all networking events due to other responsibilities but we should pick the most relevant events to attend.

We should also network horizontally and vertically i.e. with our peers and with those in higher cadres.

Another tricky challenge is finding the balance between being confident and people thinking you are self-promoting.

I have learned to ignore any naysayers and self-promote because if you don’t talk about what you have done and what you are doing and keep waiting for someone else to notice you, you will be waiting a long time.

So tell your managers what you have accomplished; share with your network your key accomplishments. We live in a social media age, so accept and embrace it.

Finally, it is easy for people to get threatened by your brilliance and even try to bring you down. But you must rise above that and focus on how you intend to bless the world.

Make your bosses look good but don’t dim your light because others are mediocre. Shine, shine, shine!

How can young businesswomen position themselves in order to benefit impact investment?

Simply put, impact investments are investments that are made with the intention to cause positive, measurable, economic, social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.

The major criteria generally agreed for an investment to qualify as impact investing is that it is intentional i.e. it has a positive impact on social or environmental impact, it is profit-oriented i.e. a clear expected return and although metrics are still being debated, that the impact is measurable.

There is a growing impact investment market globally and particularly focused on developing countries to provide capital to address the world’s most pressing challenges in sectors such as sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, healthcare, education and many more.

Young women can definitely benefit from this growing market either as impact investors themselves or by adequately positioning their enterprises to benefit from those funds.

The key is ensuring that the enterprise meets the criteria mentioned above, as investors are clearly keen on supporting such innovative enterprises.

A quick way to assess how impactful an enterprise is could be assessing its impact of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and considering broader metrics such as how many jobs are created through the enterprise.

Therefore when wondering if your enterprise would be attractive to impact investors, ensure it has economic, social and/or environmental impact accompanied by a financial return. So, impact investments are regarded by some as “doing well by doing good”.

Are there any career opportunities in energy and financial inclusion for women you can share with us?

There are numerous career opportunities in this sector depending on one’s interests, skills, readiness to take on these opportunities amongst others.

On the AWEDI Network platform, we share numerous opportunities daily and weekly. The real decision is for women to decide that they are qualified to take on these roles, apply for them, get the skills required and soar.

The statistics are that women mostly only apply for opportunities when they meet 100% of the hiring criteria while their male peers apply when they meet 60%. So I always encourage women to look beyond their shortcomings and believe in themselves.

In the energy sector whatever your interests are, it could be in legal, governance, finance, investments, technical, etc. there are opportunities for everyone.

Finally, personal development is crucial – I am a proponent for acquiring crucial skills for my next level it could be leadership skills or a new segment of the sector I believe is the future.

Before I joined the clean energy sector, I was in the gas and power sector. This had no form of renewable energy solutions. Over the years even before I switched, I started reading extensively on the future of energy, attending seminars and training to prepare myself for my next steps.

To improve my finance skills I did various financial modeling and investment courses some more structured while others at my pace – @UjunwaOjemeni Click To Tweet

To improve my finance skills I did various financial modeling and investment courses some more structured while others at my pace.

So, I suggest women identify where they want to go and acquire the skills needed for their next level and put themselves out there when the opportunity arises or better still seek out suitable opportunities and read widely.

One thing I learned a few years ago was about ‘pain letters’ from Liz Ryan – she is the founder of Human Workplace and is very vocal on LinkedIn. She proposes that the job seekers identify the pain they are solving for their hiring manager, and write directly to them explaining how they will solve the key challenges.

That is definitely the next level of being proactive and has yielded fruits for many.

What is next for you?

I am currently working on a broader program to better support green enterprises – super excited about this project and the impact these businesses will have in achieving the SDGs.

I will definitely share more details with your network soon.


How are you improving your spending habits this month? Click here to join the SLA #SecureTheBag challenge.

Wema Bank Is Redefining Nigeria’s Tech Sector with ‘Hackaholics’

As a mark of its resilience, Wema Bank has over the years proven itself as an incubator of inventions and creative ideas, traits that continue to define its operations long after its establishment in 1945. With the launch of ALAT, Nigeria’s first digital banking platform, they redefined and extended the limits of experiential banking. Safe to say they are Nigeria’s most innovative bank for a reason. This year, they are raising the stakes with the launch of their very own hackathon – ‘Hackaholics.’ They simply can’t stop, won’t stop innovating and creating magic. Are you an innovator, creative thinker, developer or addicted to hacking existing technologies to create better solutions? Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to bring your ideas to life. Nigeria's most innovative bank - @wemabank Is Redefining Nigeria’s Tech Sector with ‘Hackaholics’. Find out how... Click To Tweet From March 29 – 31, 2019, Hackaholics will pull together tech-driven professionals to create actionable solutions. Innovators and creative thinkers will be availed the opportunity to convert visionary concepts into workable applications for financial, institutional and social problems. More than just the prize award, winning ideas will…
  • Be nurtured to become marketable
  • Receive full technical support from Wema Bank
  • Get funding up to 10,000 USD
The goal of the event is to harvest impactful tech solutions that re-echo the bank’s passion for building a community of innovators constantly working to bring safer, more convenient and profitable banking to customers. Calling all innovators, creative thinkers, and developers addicted to hacking existing technologies to create better solutions. Don’t miss out on the Hackaholics by @wemabank. Learn more... Click To Tweet Visit Wema Bank Hackathon to register your team today. Entries close March 12th. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #hackaholic or simply follow us on our social media pages – Instagram: @wemabank. and Twitter: @wemabank
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Introducing the Money Talks Series – addressing financial issues young African women face

She Leads Africa and FSDH Asset Management partner to bring you an 8 episode web series focused on common money issues young career and businesswomen face.

Want to make serious money moves in 2019 and start taking steps to reach your financial goals? Whether you are getting married or are married, part of the bridal team, just started working, planning to pursue your master’s degree and more, the Money Talks series is here to help you!

With each episode focused on different financial issues most Nigerian women face, the Money Talks series aims to help women reach their financial goals through various FSDH product offerings.

The Money Talks series is brought to you by She Leads Africa in partnership with FSDH Asset Management and will be hosted by She Leads Africa’s Head of Content, Hilda Awomolo.

Each episode will feature successful career and businesswomen, including our co-founder – Afua Osei, who’ll share their insights and provide tips on each topic.

Watch the trailer here:

Through this series, viewers will:
  • Gain tangible advice on how to deal with various financial – related issues.
  • Have access to 4 Quick Math guides to help make money moves at the end of each episode.
  • Participate in a LIVE chat during the premiere of each episode on She Leads Africa’s YouTube channel.
  • Be provided with an opportunity to discuss topics in a Twitter chat every Tuesday on  She Leads Africa’s Twitter page.
The episode guide is as follows:
  • Episode 1 – Who gets your first salary? You or your parents?
  • Episode 2 – Are you a bad person if you don’t buy Aso-Ebi?
  • Episode 3 – Should you have a separate investment/bank account from your husband?
  • Episode 4 – What’s the actual cost of having a baby?
  • Episode 5 – How do people fund their master’s degrees?
  • Episode 6 – How do you react to friends and family who borrow from you? 
  • Episode 7 – Do your friends help you spend or save your money?
  • Episode 8 – Does your spending personality match your account balance?

The first episode will be released on Thursday, 28th February 2019 at 6pm WAT on the She Leads Africa YouTube and Facebook pages. Brand new episodes will go live every Thursday at 6pm WAT from 6th March on both platforms.


More about FSDH Asset Management

FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD – FSDH AM is a wholly owned subsidiary of FSDH Merchant Bank Limited. They are one of Nigeria’s leading asset management and financial advisory firm.

FSDH AM is versatile in financial transactions and investment strategies that meet the need of investors in an emerging economy like Nigeria. They recognize that today’s investors need the services of dedicated and expert professionals to provide them with intelligent investment counsel.

Therefore, their strategies are dedicated to preserving investors’ wealth while maximizing the value that they receive.

Eva Warigia: Be mindful of your network, it is the base of your success

Eva Warigia is a jack of many trades with a passion for Africans and their economic advancement.

As one half of the executive directing team of the East Africa Venture Capitalists Association, representing over sixty firms, she uses her knowledge of finance and strategy to position East Africa as a thriving investment hub.

In this interview, she talks about her leadership position, and how she’s working with stakeholders to promote investment in East Africa.


 At what point in your life did you first learn about your field of work and what drew you to it?

I probably came across private equity in 2011. At the time I worked for a technology and corporate advisory firm as a strategy analyst focusing on helping businesses fundraise.

It was there that I got to interact with the different structures of funding.

My docket as one half of the leadership of EAVCA is in leading the advocacy and intelligence - @eva_hawa Click To Tweet

You are one of the two executive directors of the East African Venture Capitalists Association (EAVCA) what exactly do you do?

EAVCA is a member association for private equity and venture capital firms who are interested in deploying capital in East Africa.

As a trade organization, we represent the interests of member firms deploying private capital in the region, which constitutes Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania.

We are the interface between the region’s stakeholders, the general public and the investors.

Our activities largely involve advocacy for the private capital sector, research, and intelligence for investors considering the region for investment.

Being the foremost networking platform for East Africa to advance thought leadership in the PE and VC space, and finally, conducting training for the sector. We also nurture the local professionals, as well as building awareness with the sector stakeholders.

My docket as one half of the leadership of EAVCA is in leading the advocacy and intelligence. This entails working with the sector stakeholders to create partnerships that promote investment inflows in East Africa.Internationally, less than 10% of venture capital funds go to female entrepreneurs. Is this situation just as bleak in East Africa?

This is also the case in East Africa.

There was a time when female-led enterprises were not as visible as they are now, especially on the funding front. Emerging trends for conscious investment (particularly gender lens investing) mean that the tide is slowly turning to acknowledge that female-led enterprises are equally lucrative.

Furthermore, women are more deliberate in their business planning and less likely to take investment capital for personal use.

What does EAVCA do to ensure that besides women-owned businesses there is diversity in general in businesses being considered for funding?

From 2018, EAVCA became more deliberate in local engagement by working with trade associations, incubators and accelerators to grow local awareness of PE and VC as alternative sources of capital. We are also ensuring we carry out industry-specific research showcasing opportunities that exist in East Africa.

One such research was on the opportunities available for fin-tech investing in East Africa, which we launched in March this year. This allows investors deeper access to sectors that have probably been on their radar but whose information may be hard to come by.

I think it is important for technical entrepreneurs to find partners who will help them with the business side of their enterprise or product - @eva_hawa Click To Tweet

What are some of the mistakes you have seen female entrepreneurs make while interacting with venture capitalists, and what can they do to better pitch their businesses to investors?

While I would not categorize this as a mistake, I think it is important for technical entrepreneurs to find partners who will help them with the business side of their enterprise or product.

Far too many entrepreneurs are struggling to raise capital by themselves without the tools or skills to approach this. Thankfully, there are programmes and incubators that equip entrepreneurs with the skills needed to begin thinking of their vision as a commercial venture.

There is quite an array of accelerators available for African entrepreneurs such as MEST Africa which is available in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Cote d’ Ivoire or Growth Africa for East Africans.

There are also institution backed programmes like the Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) by USAID, which is available in East, West and South Africa, or the Stanford Seed Transformation Programme in Ghana and Kenya.

Finally, we have philanthropy backed incubators also committing to support the initiative by Africa’s entrepreneurs such as the Tony Elumelu Foundation or Africa Netpreneur Prize by the Jack Ma Foundation.

 EAVCA has been led by women from its inception.  Can we interpret that to mean Africa doesn’t share the same discouraging international statistics when it comes to women’s leadership in VC firms?

As an association, we are privileged to have women as the champions of the industry in East Africa. For the VC and PE funds, the bulk of fund managers are still led by men although we have a growing number of women taking up that space.

I believe it is important for women to support each other in male-dominated industries such as ours and share their journeys so that we can all learn from each other.

How has working at EAVCA changed your perception of Africa’s potential to be an economic and innovation hub in the future?

I have always been an Afro-optimist and firmly believe in Africa’s value and ability to influence the future! Working with EAVCA has furthered my confidence in our potential as a continent.

 I interact each day with people who are as passionate about Africa as I am and who are effecting positive change within their different spheres.

I am able to see how it is all shaping out from my bird’s eye view at the Association and it just fuels me to want to do more!

 

What is the favorite part of your job?

Every day, I meet people that are clear about how they want to change the global narrative of Africa. Also, building a pension fund that will channel its funds towards a transformative development agenda, there are also regulators who are removing trade barriers and entrepreneurs that are innovating solutions to unique problems.

There are so many people who refuse to be distracted by the noise and get up every day determined to leave a mark, and it is an absolute honor to interact and work with them!

 What is the first thing you do every day to start your day right?

Introspect. I Remind myself of what my dreams are, what my values are and commit to applying the most truthful version of myself that day.

Also, I listen to and recite the Desiderata every morning as a reminder that I am part of something greater than myself.

 What do you tell yourself when you are afraid?

“It could have been worse”

What advice would you give other women that are interested in pursuing venture capital as a career?

Be patient and be ready to put in the work. It will be hard, but it will be worth it. Also, do not be afraid to speak up.

What are your tips for someone just joining the professional world looking to start an investment portfolio?

My advice would be to identify individuals with whom one shares goals and interests and pool funds which they can then use for their investment per the group’s shared objective.

In Kenya for instance, this has really taken off with the pooled funds “chamas” investing in real estate, equities, treasury bills etc.

I also know of a group of young university ladies who pooled funds and started lending these funds to their fellow students while charging interest, as an investment.

Be mindful of your network as it is the base of your success.

Spend more time listening to others in a similar position and take notes.

There will be hard days, but do not lose sight of what matters to you.

Above all and to the extent possible, try to have a purpose that is greater than yourself; therein lies true success.

We all have our unique fingerprint for the world and yours is equally important!

When all is said and done how will you know you’ve achieved your dreams?

When people are confident enough to pursue their vision due to the service I provided.

It would be a place where my work for Africa grows beyond personal responsibility when other people buy into my optimism and are able to stand for and contribute to the development of an inspiring Africa.


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Quick Maths (4): How to build up an emergency fund for yourself with FSDH Asset Management

Save for the rainy day… it might take a little longer for the sun to shine!

Welcome to the final part of our Quick Maths series by FSDH Asset Management, where we’re giving you simple personal finance tips you can master, to achieve your financial goals.

In the last three series, we showed you how to generate income to start your business, how to diversify your income and how to get the best out of your net income and now we want to teach you how to save for the rainy day.

What do you have saved for the rainy day? Nothing?

We can plan for a lot of things in life, but sometimes, the unexpected just happens. These are the times you face bigger-than-expected bills, but having an emergency fund can make it easier.

An emergency fund is money kept aside in case there are emergencies or problems in the future. 

Now, listen! An emergency fund isn’t for your everyday needs or special wants, so leave your sinful indulgences out of it, and no! flash sales are not emergencies either.

We partnered with FSDH Asset Management Ltd to bring you this guide to help you understand why you need to have an emergency fund and how to start building up your emergency fund(s).

Having an emergency fund prepares you for the unexpected expenses yet to come - @fsdhcoralfunds Click To Tweet

Topics this guide will cover:

  • What is an emergency fund?
  • How much money should you have in an emergency fund?
  • The difference between emergency funds and investments
  • Ways to set aside emergency funds

After reading this guide, you would be one step closer to achieving your financial goals. If you want to keep slaying in your finances, be sure to read up on our previous quick maths series, you’ll be glad you did!
FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD  – FSDH AM is a wholly owned subsidiary of FSDH Merchant Bank Limited. They are one of Nigeria’s leading asset management and financial advisory firm.

FSDH AM is versatile in financial transactions and investment strategies that meet the need of investors in an emerging economy like Nigeria. They recognize that today’s investors need the services of dedicated and expert professionals to provide them with intelligent investment counsel.

Therefore, their strategies are dedicated to preserving investors’ wealth while maximizing the value that they receive.

Once you’re through with this guide, visit FSDH Asset Management Ltd to know more and get all your pressing questions answered.


Getting access to this guide is easy: just fill out the form below to join our community and get access to this guide. This is the final part of our series but you can get all three series here. By joining our community, you also get to enjoy our AWESOME weekly content as well.

Quick Maths (2): How to diversify your funds with FSDH Asset Management

Money is a tool…Use it wisely!

Welcome to the second part of our Quick Maths series. We’ll be sharing with you financial terms, tips, and tricks to get you ahead of your financial game.

In the first part, we discussed various ways for you to generate capital to start your business. In this downloadable guide, we highlighted high-level options you can explore to get capital. Catch up on part one by downloading it here.

Now, let’s talk about diversifying money. It’s important to keep tabs on your money, know where each penny is going, and how it will bring you more money because today’s economy is not smiling at all.

In this guide brought to you by SLA, in partnership with FSDH Asset Management Ltd, we’ll be showing you different ways to save, protect your savings, and why you shouldn’t have all your eggs in one basket.

If you’re wondering how to improve your finances, this guide will help you with some practical ways to get started.

Topics this guide will cover:
  • Diversification for low-income earners
  • How to diversify within an asset class

It doesn’t matter whether you are a salary earner or a business owner, as long as you have financial goals that you’re looking to achieve, diversifying can help you reach those goals.

Roll up your sleeves, tie your hair in a ponytail, grab your pen and journal and get down to work!

To keep getting your finances all the way to the top, make sure to follow up on the next guide.

 

FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD  – FSDH AM is a wholly owned subsidiary of FSDH Merchant Bank Limited. They are one of Nigeria’s leading asset management and financial advisory firm.

FSDH AM is versatile in financial transactions and investment strategies that meet the need of investors in an emerging economy like Nigeria. They recognize that today’s investors need the services of dedicated and expert professionals to provide them with intelligent investment counsel.

Therefore, their strategies are dedicated to preserving investors’ wealth while maximizing the value that they receive.

Once you’re through with this guide, visit FSDH Asset Management Ltd to know more and get all your pressing questions answered.


Getting access to this guide is easy: just fill out the form below to join our community and get access to this guide, remember this is only part 2, there’s more to come – so stay updated. By joining our community, you also get to enjoy our AWESOME weekly content as well.