Every two to four business days, I come across very questionable advice on how to be “financially literate” on the interwebs. I almost want to ask the person giving the “advice” if they believe what they are saying or if it is just vibes.
See, not everyone is giving you advice is they have fact-checked, taken time to think through or practice. We have to learn how to filter what we hear about managing our hard-earned money, especially in a Panoramic.
So, in this piece, we’ll be discussing-
What it means to be a financially literate mogul.
How you can increase your financial literacy without any of the shenanigans online.
Here are some No-BS ways to become financially literate.
Books, Magazines, web articles, newsletters, Facebook posts, Tweets, IG posts- read as much as you can about finance from trustworthy sources.
Read sources that speak about finance in a way that is relatable to you.
While some sources are very helpful in the advice they offer, the context that they operate in might not provide you with the insight you need. With reading comes fact-checking so Google what you do not understand or need more information on.
Use Finance Tools And Apps-
As much as we want to learn, we may not be able to do so all by ourselves. This is where apps and tools come in handy. These days, thankfully, there are apps and tools for almost every aspect of finance- be it saving, budgeting, tracking expenses or investing.
Some finance apps even have learning centres and blogs to help you stay updated. Find one that incorporates the aspects of finance you want to improve on and commit to using it.
Take A Financial Literacy Course-
Sometimes, what we need is a course to help us step up our money game. If you are clueless about where to start on your finance journey or how to stay consistent, consider taking a financial literacy course.
Find a course that breaks down what you need to know and gives take-home assignments. This will help you practicalize your learning and stay accountable.
Ifeoma Okoli is an Audit Analyst with a degree in Economics and Statistics. She has a Diploma with the Association of Charted Accountants.
Ifeoma is also known to be a driven and enthusiastic Financial Analyst. In this article, she provides her tips on how women can effectively manage their money.
The finance world is typically a male-dominated industry. What led you on to the path?
I think the notion of the finance industry is typically a male-dominated industry was all in retrospect. Nowadays, especially in Nigeria, more women have begun to demand a seat at the table in this industry.
On what led me to this path, I think one of my first inspiration career-wise was my dad. He too worked in this industry and I loved number crunching.
However, one of the things that helped me was that my father insisted I do a lot of unpaid internships during my secondary school holidays. That gave me an early start to understanding the nitty-gritty of the industry.
How would you describe your day-to-day responsibilities as an Audit Analyst for your company?
I look at my role as more of control and compliance (Risk Mitigation), working constructively with finance and other departments to improve internal control across the organization.
How would you advise more women to become more financially literate?
First of all, to be financially literate does not mean you have to study finance in school.
In fact, studies have shown that most people whose job is to manage other peoples finance are actually very bad at managing their own personal finances.
With that being said, some of my advice to women is below:
You don’t need a glucose guardian to be rich. Get a job and work towards increasing your net worth.
There is dignity in labour and financial independence is one of the best gifts you as a woman can give yourself.
This may sound very cliche but create a budget tracker. This would help you to know how much you should spend, how much you have spent in a month, variances and mechanical ways to save up from bargains.
Whenever you are free, listen to financial podcasts. It will help improve your financial knowledge, plus if you have a side hustle, the podcast will teach you how to scale your business faster while learning from the mistakes of other entrepreneurs.
To check out some of my favorite podcasts, click this link .
How can the modern young working women budget and save effectively to cater to all her needs?
Most career women who are salary earners oftentimes earn way less than their male counterparts at the same level. Yet most times are the ones doing more of the smart work.
So as a young lady, be diligent and find out if you are long overdue for a salary increase. Arm yourself with facts and go forward to renegotiate your salary.
To be able to cater to all your needs means you have to increase your income and to increase income means you have to increase the money coming from your revenue-generating unit(s)
Like I said before, use a budget tracker it would save you a lot of headaches.
Have at least three bank accounts. One should be your expense account, one your revenue accounts and the last should be your savings account.
Do not spend directly from your revenue account. Separating your account would also help you track your inflow and outflows.
Try as much as possible to save up 40% of your monthly income especially if you are still single and have fewer responsibilities. Saving for rainy days cannot be overemphasized.
20% of your six months income should be able to take you on a holiday trip. If not, it simply means the trip is a way too much above your budget and you are balling above your budget. Find a cheaper option. Trust me, you can have an amazing holiday on a budget.
Apps like Piggy vest are there to help you cater to your personal savings and investment.
Finally, one which most of us ignore. Always negotiate for your pension and health insurance in all your places of employment. Your pension may seem minuscule right now but it compounds and would eventually help to reduce the financial burden when you are old and frail.
Are there useful tools or apps that can support women in dealing with their finances?
Yes, there are. Apps like Expensify, Fudget even Google sheet can help you with planning and managing your finance
What is one thing that you want more women to be aware of when it comes to managing money?
Wambui Gichobi is a visual media producer based in Nairobi, Kenya with Survival Media Agency. Over the last 8 years, she has produced short films on issues regarding adaptation and mitigation for environmental degradation and social justice issues.
While working with SMA, she is currently trying to travel to all the countries of the world with her project Adventure 197. She is currently on country number 49 and hopes to cover continental Africa by road.
Wambui is an Environmental Science graduate from Kenyatta University, Keny, and a keen environmentalist with a specific interest in climate change and media for climate change. For the entire time of her career, she has followed the yearly international climate negotiations creating media with SMA yearly for environmental awareness.
She has been at the forefront of environmental activities in Kenya, initially heading Sustainable Africa Youth Foundation (SAYF) in university, which promoted environmental awareness and tree planting, especially in schools.
She has also worked for the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and Kenya Wines Agencies Limited (KWAL) in the Quality, Safety, Health, and Environment sector.
Tell us about #Adventure197. What was your biggest motivation to start this journey to travel the 197 countries?
Prior to my decision to start Adventure197, I had traveled previously on work assignments.
In 2017, I read an article about Cassie De Pecol, who was the first documented woman to have traveled all the countries in the world.
Further research showed that they had been no black or brown person who had traveled all the nations in the world. Adventure 197 was born of the need to travel the world as a black person and show the world that it is possible for a black person to accomplish the same.
The visa processes are much more challenging while traveling with a Kenyan passport as compared to other travelers i.e. with American or European passports.
My biggest motivation is to prove that it is possible for a person, male or female, to travel the world.
How do you believe travel impacts you as an individual and a professional?
Travel has impacted me in very many ways.
As an individual, I have been able to build my confidence through meeting and interacting with new people and sharing our stories. Traveling solo teaches you to have fun by yourself and to bond with others.
It has also taught me time management. Prior to the start of Adventure197, I was always late to meetings and appointments. Being responsible for my own flight schedules, train rides among other details has taught me to be time conscious and manage my time effectively.
I have also learned to measure growth by the clarity of progress. Traveling to different countries is very quantitative and there is no grey area in the number of countries you have traveled.
This is a measure I have adopted in other areas of my life whether emotionally, financially, etc. It is important to be clear on the position you are at any particular point in life in order to measure your progress.
Having to fund my own travels have also taught me how to manage my own finances. I have to learn how to get the money I need and plan for all my expenditures and be financially stable while at it.
People and cultures differ from one place to the next and it is important to learn and take note of the important cultures of the place you are visiting. Additionally, I have also learned financial management in terms of what jobs to pick up as there is always a need to get more income for my travel.
How do you manage work and travel at the same time?
When I traveled my first 14 countries, I held two jobs where I worked an 8-5 and also worked with Survival Media. I would schedule my travel to coincide with weekends and or public holidays.
In other instances, if my job with Survival Media required me to travel, I would apply for leave days at my 8-5. Most of my travel at this period was work-related.
When I made a decision to start Adventure197, I had to quit my 8-5 job. I currently work with Survival Media. The job is purely on an online basis and I will, therefore, go where the job takes me.
This has created flexibility in my schedule as I can work and travel at the same time.
In the first leg of my journey, I worked while I was in the United States at St. James, Louisiana, and also covered the caravan moving from Honduras through Guatemala in Mexico to the United States border.
Some of the benefits of my job are that I can pick up jobs from clients whenever duty calls or when the need arises. Once the job is done, I can then pick up from my current location and continue with my travels.
As an environmentalist, you have purposed to offset your carbon footprint as you travel around the world, how do you intend to undertake this?
I am an environmentalist by profession and have been passionate about the environment from a very young age.
Through research, I discovered that most of my travels via air or trains would be very carbon intensive and I would have to offset as much of my carbon footprint as I possibly could.
I try to travel green as much as possible and in cases where this is not possible, I will try as much as possible to offset my carbon footprint. Cycling is one of the most effective ways of traveling green and this was very easy in the Eastern European countries where cycling is a huge part of their culture.
In addition, I have to be a mindful traveler which means traveling to countries close to each other thus reducing the distances covered by air or train and also avoiding plastic straws and Styrofoam packages.
This is quite challenging especially in countries that package their food in Styrofoam which means that I have to research and try to find restaurants that will serve their food in plates rather than Styrofoam.
In order to determine my carbon footprint, I keep track of all the miles I have traveled and then get an expert to calculate my carbon footprint. I have set to offset my carbon footprint through the planting of trees which I started before I started Adventure197.
I have partnered with schools and individuals on tree planting projects. In my former primary school, I partnered with the school to plant mango and avocado trees on their land. I have also planted about 200 trees on our family land and over 1400 trees in a parcel of land that belongs to a friend.
I also plan to plant at least 1000 trees in Kirinyaga before I set out on the African leg of Adventure197.
What has been your biggest challenge meeting this target?
My biggest challenge has been getting land to plant trees. Most of my tree planting initiatives are centered on working with schools to plant fruit giving trees which are beneficial to the environment and to the school in terms of food provision.
I have come to realize that schools are very receptive to my goal of offsetting my carbon footprint and they will be willing to assist by holding tree planting initiatives.
49 countries down! What lessons have you learned and will carry forward to the next leg of your journey?
My biggest lesson so far has been “Don’t sweat the small stuff” and to always do my research. When I started Adventure197, I would worry about what to do and where to stay when I arrived at a new place. I have since learned to let go and enjoy my journey wherever I am at.
The second leg of my journey is to travel the African countries. I have traveled 10 so my goal is to travel the remaining forty-four.
What advice would you give to women looking to travel in terms of saving and planning for their travel?
It is important for people to travel solo. Solo travels will help you learn about yourself quicker, faster and much deeper due to lots of quiet time. You will get to learn about yourself and your character.
Additionally, it is important to save for your own dreams. Nothing in this world is given for free, you have to fund for what your dreams look like.
Here are my top tips for achieving this:
Be financially savvy.
Learn to manage your money and save whatever income you get whether you are earning at ten or fifty.
Have different accounts for different items and if you have plans for travel, have a specific account for this expenditure.
Invest and keep money aside. Whether for emergencies for your own dreams.
Any last words that you would like to share with our audience?
Of all the lessons that I want you to take home with you from my journey, the biggest one is to have a sense of confidence. You can achieve anything you put your mind to.
As an African traveler, there will be a judgment at every turn i.e. at the visa applications, airports but have the confidence to go after your own goals and dreams. I hope to inspire people whether male or female to travel.
In the words of Lupita Nyong’o “Your dreams are valid”
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Oluwatoyin Egedi is a Civil Engineer by training but an entrepreneur by decision. She currently sits as the CEO of Rullion Capacity Builders Foundation – a social enterprise that seeks to empower women with skills to start profitable businesses right from home.
The vision for her is to use the vehicle of skill acquisition to ameliorate women’s capacity and enhance their chances for economic enrichment.
Why did you start a women empowerment center?
I started Rullion Capacity in 2014 – a women empowerment center from a personal encounter and insight into the need for women to be skilled and have the capacity to generate income as stay at home moms.
This center was born at a time when I also needed to be empowered – I had just had my third baby and the few job interviews I attended didn’t expressly say, but once they learned I was married and had children, the odds tilted away from me.
Later, I realized that in an employers’ eyes, a married woman with children meant more off days, more sick leaves, the bottom line, fewer work hours. Without getting any offers, I decided that rather than just sit at home idle, I would learn a skill. I settled for small chops and cocktails.
The program was very affordable as it was subsidized by the church and I was amazed at the number of women who attended the skill empowerment. With the knowledge, I garnered from working in the advertising industry before being a stay at home mum, in no time I was selling my finger foods at events and was making some income even though I was working from home.
Soon, I discovered that a lot of the other women who attended that program with me were not grounded in basic business skills and were waiting to get funds to rent a space before they start a business. Instantly, I knew this was an error, and thought about how I could change this.
I gathered a group of friends and with further discussions, we saw there was a need to change the mindset of so many women who think being a stay at home moms meant being without avenues to generate income.
We launched a skill acquisition program laced with business skills in financial literacy, customer service, brand management, legal aspects of business, marketing and sales.
Our first program was a flop as we were still quite unknown but we persisted and created more awareness. Using social media as a very strong marketing tool, we had more attendees.
So far, we have trained over 400 women who have largely gone on to start their small businesses and some who do not have the financial capacity to start, are currently employed until they can.
There are quite a number of women empowerment organizations, what makes yours stand out?
In striving for excellence in a sector where there are so many mushroom operators, in 2016, we became an accredited vocational center for Trade Test 1, 2 and 3 and NABTEB (National Business and Technical Examinations Board) exams which further qualifies our trainees to work anywhere in the world.
Last year, we observed that a critical challenge our trainees had was having access to capital to purchase equipment. This led us to seek and partner with MISS – Micro Investment Support Services (an equipment leasing company led by Mrs. Elizabeth Ehigiamusoe).
With this, our trainees can purchase equipment on loan of up to N500,000 over a tenor of 12 months with a very affordable interest rate.
Furthermore, we observed that though our students now had the equipment and technical know-how for business and already had products, a bigger challenge was getting ready buyers. The answer to this was The Women’s Entrepreneurship Fair (WEF) with the vision to connect our women to customers, investors and the government.
We had 2 editions last year with women-focused brands such as Access Bank Women banking, Molfix Diapers, Guardian Life, Nobel Carpet and rugs (Lush Hair), Cake World, Orijin Zero, Bella Naija, Fero Mobile, De-united Foods Limited, Cadbury, United Capital Limited, LSETF, among others throwing their weight behind the massively successful event.
A lot of our women are still reaping the dividends of those shopping exhibitions and we are looking forward to having more in the near future
What Challenges have you encountered on this journey?
Remember I mentioned I was thrown into this journey not of my own will but because of circumstances around me at the time. So it has not been a smooth journey but I’ve been determined as I currently enjoy what I do. Below are some challenges I faced:
1. Wrong Structure: We are a registered social enterprise with the CAC but without any formal educational background in the team, we struggled with the structure a bit before we found our footing.
Working with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity’s trade test modules and syllabus likewise NABTEB’s has helped us put a proper structure in place
2. Getting skilled workers: This was difficult for the courses we offer at Rullion but we had to overcome. Courses such as Cosmetology ( hairdressing, nail fixing, makeup and gele tying, Fashion design and accessories, catering and hotel works, and so forth) but as trainers, we have embraced the importance of training and re-training.
Some people are of the opinion that if you train your staff, they’ll leave you and become competition. But what if you don’t train them and they stay? It comes back to hurt your brand and what you aim to achieve. Besides, collaboration is a new competition.
We can’t do all the work, so if our ex-staff leaves and sets up hers, that’s great as we then have a branch in that other location where we can refer willing trainees
3. InadequateFunding: We initially set out to offer our training programs at no fee at all but without a fund base, we couldn’t keep up with the standards we seek to deliver.
Therefore, we asked our trainees to pay a small fee which we use to cover the overheads of running our programs but even with that we still require help to bolster the training programs we deliver and further enrich our capacity as learning is quite dynamic.
We also offer small short-term loans to the women we train. We want to include an internship program to our curriculum which we believe will further help deepen the knowledge of our students. A deterrent for an internship is funding – employers are willing to take on interns but are not willing and/or ready to give them an allowance to cover even their transportation.
If we could access funds, we can do this and much more
4. Online access: We are based in Lagos, Nigeria. Though we’ve held training programs at Ogun State, Edo state and Rivers state, there is still a lot of work to do. With the explosion in the use of technology, it’s necessary and import to now migrate some of our training programs to online learning platforms and offer a Blended Learning curriculum.
If we can do this, we will have more reach. Funds have been the deterrent to properly execute this as we have inquiries from all over Nigeria which we cannot cover.
5. Partnerships: If only a lot of us embraced collaboration rather than competition, we can all do the work better and faster.
We have approached a number of organizations who are doing similar work in the women empowerment space to partner with us especially outside Lagos state so that more women are economically empowered and in the process, mitigate and eventually eradicate poverty but the response has not been so encouraging as financial gratification is a key factor for a lot of them.
Do you think Government involvement can help with the challenges?
Yes, of course. There is almost no business that does not depend on infrastructure from the government – power, water, roads, etc.
At the moment, there is no room for growth in the micro business space because the cost of setting up even such a business is so high. You consider things like accommodation (there’s no regulation – the landlords are the alpha and omega and decide whatever rent they want), power.
You have to purchase your own power generating plant because you can’t rely on government’s supply, transporting yourself from one location to the other to offer service to customers eventually becomes a chore with bad roads and many man-hours lost due to traffic gridlock!
If all the government can provide for us is an enabling work environment with a stable economy, I tell you, we aren’t a lazy bunch – we will really go far.
Do you think there’s room for more women empowerment centers?
Of course! It is not enough! Women are quite pivotal to the transformation of any nation’s economy- history has a lot to say about this. We at Rullion have carved a niche for ourselves by targeting women, who have a minimum education of O’Levels, are somewhat computer literate and can communicate in Basic English.
What about illiterate women who only speak pidgin or just their local dialect? How about younger girls in secondary school who need to embrace the culture of entrepreneurship even before they go on to higher institutions to study?
The jobs they target are all the top corporations like Dangote, Nestle, OandO which were all started by entrepreneurs.
We also have to think about those outside Lagos and in other states of the Federation. So, the answer is Yes! We need a lot more women empowerment centers.
The challenge I see however is how to ensure the quality of what is taught at these centers. Because we wanted a certain standard, we had to push ourselves to put in some structure and we keep updating that as we go along.
A lot of these centers have just one facilitator teaching 100 people per time and then you wonder what exactly the people are learning because they don’t go further to carry out any practical sessions and the next thing is a graphic designer/printer issues them certificates.
There needs to be a body that ensures that centers comply with a certain minimum standard.
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We are human beings and living as such requires us to consume things, even those of us interested in living a minimalist life.
A minimalist is someone who operates a moderate or conservative approach when it comes to material things.
I am from a polygamous home and boy do we own a lot and still try to consume a lot but personally, I have worked hard to escape uncontrolled consumerism as it becomes excessive when it extends beyond what is really needed.
We tend to mix up our wants and needs and forget or overlook how much space, time, strength and money we lose on things that are not paramount in our lives. Once we start consuming more than what’s needed, the boundaries set are removed, instantly.
Our desires get reshaped and it happens so fast, we get used to consuming easily. A lot of people get overly trendy overnight, getting things that tickle our fancy, wanting to show up ‘right’ and live up ‘right’ and be in debt or be materialistically possessive.
Now don’t get me wrong. There’s absolutely nothing wrong in wanting to be trendy and leveling up, living up to standard, but are we going about it the right way? Because going about it the excessive way consumes our limited resources.
It’s about time we escape that cycle and embrace the minimal. Minimalism in this regard is living simply and subtly and the mantra is “less is more”.
Living with the utmost intentionality and not deprivation, as the misconception people tend to have. Living a minimalist life seeks only to buy and keep the essentials, remove the frivolous items and keep the significant ones and in doing so, values intentional endeavors.
Here are 5 practical benefits of escaping uncontrolled consumerism:
This had to come first as our finances are very important. Being in any kind of debt isn’t fun and that causes a load of stress in our lives.
It takes a toll on our health and mentally, we’re just not up for any vibe, whatsoever. But what if you could reduce your debts? What if plans to pay back your debts turn up positive? What if you could put your feet down and say no to debts?
Your life would be stress-free.
Resist the desire to live beyond your means
The internet is double-faced. Its good and can be not so good at times. As a woman, I see my mates riding a 2018 Mercedes Benz GLA, in a fancy color, say hot red and I start comparing myself to that and then start calculating the amount I’ve got in my bank account or try to save up for it so I can post it up too and live a digital age life.
The car is mouthwatering, yes. But that only invites lifestyle envy into our lives and the internet promoting the lifestyle of the rich as superior or enviable.
This is where the intentionality of living a minimalist life comes to play. Only with an intentional rejection can one silence this constant yelling of uncontrolled consumerism.
Have more contentment
Many people believe if they reach a level of contentment, their desire for excessive consumption will diminish. But the truth is the intentional rejection of excessive consumption paves way for contentment in our lives.
Pursuing minimalism realigns our lives around our greatest passions and results in a far better contentment with life than before.
Remember what matters to you in the world
Have we been too busy seeking happiness in the wrong places? Have we valued worldly things over family, relationships, religion?
It’s time to realize what means important to us and make a priority list because true life and true happiness is found in the invisible things of life.
Resist the need to keep up with evolving trends
Change is a constant thing and as regards fashion and lifestyle, trends evolve. We are in the modern world and we can’t keep wearing style from the 90’s but that doesn’t mean we need to always change our wardrobe as trends come up.
That’s our ‘want’ knocking our ‘need’ over. As a wise man once said, “Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but religiously follows the new”.
The wisdom imbibed in this sentence strikes me as it relates and applies to fashion, decoration, lifestyle or design. Why don’t we remove ourselves from the pursuit altogether?
Escaping uncontrolled consumerism isn’t as easy as ABC, it isn’t a walk in the park so is minimalism. But once you make up your mind and find that ‘intentional’ drive, you can do it.
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Munozovepi Gwata is an ambitious entrepreneur and an aspiring Chartered Financial Analysts and Hedge Fund manager. She is the founder of the Aworks, a conglomerate with subsidiaries Arete’ Tech, Kukura Capital NGO and Kukura Capital Investment Trust.
Her personal mission statement is to inspire people throughout the African continent and to create innovative solutions that will bring upon development, wealth, and success for the continent.
Munozovepi’s goal is to build Awork to the same status and standard of Berkshire Hathaway which she has no doubt that she will accomplish.
Why is financial literacy important and why start an organisation that educates people on the matter?
I believe financial literacy is extremely important just like learning Maths and English. It is the fundamental skill that equips people with the essential ability to effectively save and make money.
Unfortunately, nobody is really taught how to manage their personal finances. Not at one stage in our lives do we come across financial literacy education in the mainstream education system. I find this very alarming and I am a strong advocate that financial literacy should be included in the mainstream curriculum.
The consequence that we have now, is that people are not equipped to manage their personal finances and they do not know how to save or grow their money. Therefore, instead of having the opportunity to pass down wealth to the next generation, they are passing down poverty and debt.
I felt that I could no longer sit on the sideline and watch this continue to happen, this is when I decided to become a part of the solution and build an organization that addresses the problem.
In starting Kukura Capital, did you decide to go solo or have a business partner(s) and why did you decide to go solo/partner up?
In starting Kukura Capital, I decided to go solo. I do have a great team of friends and family that help me and soon we will be adding another 8 new team members to the Kukura Capital team.
When I started Kukura Capital it was only an idea. A lot of people, even though they shared and agreed with my vision, didn’t share my hard work ethic, and because of this, I did not manage to find a full-time business partner.
It still worked out great in the end. I was given a lot of good advice on how to develop the organization, leaned on some great books and to my surprise in such a short time we have managed to pick up and maintain a great momentum. We also have the support from other well established NGO’s and Institutions which is great.
When did you establish Kukura Capital and what has been the biggest lesson you have learnt thus far?
Kukura Capital was established last year in November and it was inspired by my own journey to learn more about the financial industry. In gathering information, I kept thinking to myself there has to be an easier way to learn about financial literacy, and from there Kukura Capital was born.
The biggest lesson I have learnt? I have to say I have learnt so many things, but the biggest lesson is that knowledge is truly power. As an organisation, one of our main goals is to make knowledge about financial literacy easily accessible and to break down the complex concepts of finance and make it simple and easy to understand and apply.
Doing such a simple task has proven to be powerful. When you tell an individual of any age, be it a high school student or a young adult, that if you save this amount of money every month and reinvest it either in the market, or in a business and you can get this x% in return, people’s eyes really light up, and they really do change their spending habits. The things people always say to me is: “Why didn’t anybody tell me earlier? I would have been a millionaire a long time ago.”
What gave you the courage to start your organization? What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of going into business?
Fortunately enough, my past experience in leadership positions and community involvement gave me a lot of confidence to start. Also, having a business and finance background also gave me the confidence to start Kukura Capital.
However, to be honest, I didn’t really think too much about it, I really believed what the organization stood for and went for it. That would be my advice to anyone starting a business. In addition to running Kukura Capital I also run a FinTech business and when I started I had plenty of doubts but I quickly moved away from any negative thoughts and just went for it.
In addition to that, I will advise anyone who wants to start a business to fully commit to their business and make sure that they love what they do, so even when it gets tough they are still driven to keep going and succeed.
You have recently finished a children’s book “The Rich Life of Thabo”, what brought about the decision to write a children’s book on financial literacy and in what format and where will the book be available?
I really love this book and wrote it with my talented friend Charisa Mujuru. I am really excited for this book because it is definitely going to inspire a lot of young kids to be like Thabo.
Thabo is the main character in the book and he lives in a township and one day he decides that he is tired of never having enough pocket money so him and his sister, under the guidance of their grandmother, decide to start a business. The book really discusses the ups and downs of business and also the importance of giving back.
The reason why it is a children’s book, in particular, is for two main reasons. Firstly we want to instill financial literacy skills into children from a very young age so that they can grow up with a broad perspective and understanding about money. The second reason is we also want to help instill a culture of reading in children from a young age.
We plan to have the book in the form of a hard copy and will be focusing on distributing the books to primary schools and through book drives throughout townships in South Africa. We will also have an e-book version available for download on the Kukura Capital website.
You are planning to have accredited online financial literacy, business and entrepreneurship courses. How will these courses be different from those that are already available to the online community? Through which institution(s) do you plan to have your courses accredited?
We are planning to have a financial literacy course available on the website in the near future. Also, we believe ours will be different in the sense that it will be categorized to fit the needs of the three main age groups that we have identified as our target market.
We plan to design an online course that mirrors a game for primary school students to be engaged while learning. For high school students, we will focus on designing a course that bridges between video content and written content. Finally, for our more mature audience, the course is going to cover more advanced and complex aspects of investing.
The objective of the higher level course will be, that once an individual has gone through the course, they will have a strong knowledge and know what are the best saving plans and investment vehicles to achieve their financial goals are.
I think what will make our course stand out the most is that it is written to cater to the South African market, of which most online courses are not. Most online courses recommend retirement packages and other products that are only available to Americans because the course is designed for an American audience.
Ours will be tailor-made for the South African community. We do plan to make sure our courses are accredited, that way people can participate confidently in the online courses and be assured they are getting quality information. We plan to do this through collaboration with established institutions. Right now what we have in mind are some brokers and teaching academies that are already established in South Africa.
What other exciting things can we expect from Kukura Capital?
We have a lot of things in store, as Kukura means “to make grow” as an organization it is our mission to keep growing. For the second half of the year, we are planning to launch a new exciting range of video tutorials covering the different aspects of financial literacy.
In addition to that, we have 5 workshops planned where we will be discussing, Website Design & Creation; Trading and Investing; Entrepreneurship: How To Start and Passive Income; and the final workshop will be about Saving, Budgeting and how to achieve financial success.
Last but not least we have big plans to launch the Kukura Capital App before December with high hopes that it will be able to help people curve the high holiday spending and start smart rewarding investing.
Black Panther or Ghost in a Shell?
I had to Google this question, but I think I will go with Black Panther.
If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.
The ultimate goal of a business is to make money for the entrepreneur. On the way to attaining this goal, there are many things that you must do in your business which includes, producing the service or product, selling, managing your customers and keeping financial records.
Record keeping sometimes referred to as bookkeeping is an integral part of a business and these records are the mirror that you look into to know how your business is performing.
Once you have your records in place, the next important step is to use them to improve your business. This entails pouring through the numbers to understand the patterns and trends that the records reveal.
For you as an entrepreneur, there are two reasons why you want to go over your business accounts;
To check that they are accurate; reviewing your accounts allows you to make sure they give a fair reflection of the state of your business, which will help to highlight any weaknesses and areas for improvement, for example, you will be able to note the missing records, vouch estimates used and even assess how stock is being managed.
To compare performance; when accounts are compared with previous years or with your competitors, they can show unique trends and help you learn from other businesses in a similar position to yours.
Business accounts should be reviewed at least every quarter.
There are some important things to look out for when reviewing accounts.
On the income statement check whether the business has made a profit in the year and whether revenue or costs has gone up or down compared with the previous year?
The balance sheet will tell stories about how much money is in the bank. Remember, from the Cash is King article, we discussed why money should be available. The balance sheet will also gauge whether cash levels are moving in line with profit?
On the balance sheet, you will be able to note if the stock level is reasonable and also whether there are any big payments due soon in terms of loan repayment or large invoices. When analysing business accounts, ensure there is nothing that is obviously missing and use ratios to help you to compare and contrast the performances of businesses.
Comparisons can be made internally with past performance or budgeted results or externally with competitors or industry averages. It is good practice for the accounts to be independently reviewed and you can one or more of the following people to do this on your behalf:
Any person other than yourself
An accountant or
In our ‘Reviewing Financial Accounts’ guide, you’ll find a section on key ratios for analysing business performance. It will provide you more information on how to go about reviewing your accounts. Download our guide on reviewing financial accounts here.
One thing that you quickly learn when you start your business is that you’ll have to handle every aspect of it; from marketing your products, hiring your employees and most importantly getting a handle of your accounts.
It is therefore important that you get a good understanding of the basic set of accounts for any business, how they relate to each other and how the different actions you take are represented in your books. The more your business grows the more complex it becomes and at that point, you might want to consider getting yourself some professional help.
In this Forbes article, the writer talks about what you need to know about the 10% of start-ups that succeed.
One of the things he talks about is making sure you understand the ‘’boring’’ stuff about your business. It is so easy to get carried away by the more interesting aspects of your business and forget to handle the less interesting but many times the most important aspects of your business. One of these is the accounting.
What we are going to do here is to give you a basic introduction to the business accounting concepts that you need to understand as you run your business. Don’t be worried about whether or not you have an accounting degree, these are things you can do with your eyes closed.
Double entry: All business transactions have a double effect on the accounts
Every business transaction is an exchange of one thing for another. This is the basis of accounting, the idea here is to get an all rounded picture of where your money is going and keep yourself from small mistakes.
As a boutique owner, you sell an outfit (inventory) in exchange for cash. This simple transaction has a double effect of increasing the amount of cash in your business while reducing the count of inventory. Very simply put that is double entry affecting your cash account and your inventory account.
The accounts are interrelated
At this point, we are basically building up on the double entry concept by creating an account for every element of your business. If for example, you did not sell the outfit for cash but for credit, then you’ll want to keep an account of the person to whom you sold the outfit to until you get the money in cash and then close off that account while increasing the amount of actual cash that you have.
Every time you use your cash for something new then create an account for whatever aspect of your business is affected by that transaction. If it is an account that you already opened then you just keep building on that account.
Balance the accounts
You’ve probably heard this phrase before, what it simply means is that after some time you’ll want to know how your accounts look. Say every month or every week when you want to know where your business stands you’ll make sure that for every account you opened both sides have an equal amount.
For example, your inventory account had a balance of $1000 when you started off, every time you sold something that balance reduced. Let us assume that at the end of the month your inventory reduced to $250, you’ll continue selling it off at the beginning of the next month so to balance your account the $250 will simply be considered as inventory carried forward.
These are the basic accounting ideas that you need to understand. Bookkeeping, of course, grows more technical as your business grows and there are many applications that people employ these days to do this, however, the idea remains the same.
In the next article in this series, we’ll help you understand the important accounts when doing bookkeeping for your business. We’ll talk about differentiating between cash and profit, understanding the incoming statement as well as the balance sheet.
Here at SLA, budgeting is not a new concept. I am sure by now we know why we need to set up a personal budget and how to go about it. However, how many of you #MotherlandMoguls spend time budgeting for your businesses? Did you know that there is a difference between the budget and other financial accounts?
During Standard Chartered Bank’s Financial Education workshops we have had small business owners give several ideas about budgeting, most of them are misconceptions that we need to debunk. Have you found yourself making one of these statements about your business budget?
“As long as I have prepared the financial accounts I don’t need a budget.”
“Only big businesses need to do them.”
“They always turn out differently.”
Read through as we debunk each of these common misconceptions
1. “As long as I have prepared the financial accounts I don’t need a budget.”
Here we need to understand that the financial accounts for your business are very different from the budget. Whereas the financial accounts look backward, the budget looks forward. The two do not play the same role for your business.
The budget is a financial plan for the forthcoming period while the accounts are a report for a period that has passed. In our view, the budget is more important as it is a predictor or a guiding light for your business.
2. “Only big businesses need to do them.”
It might look like only big businesses need to draw up a budget because they handle such huge amounts of money or because they have much more to lose BUT the reason why you need to draw up a personal budget is the same reason why your business needs a budget.
It is actually much more important for a start-up to begin the habit of budgeting so that as the business grows the process becomes easier. Start-ups and small businesses are more likely to go bankrupt in the early years and a budget is one of the important tools that can save your business.
3. “They always turn out differently.”
Surprise! Surprise! Budgeting for your start-up is a tricky business; things do not always turn out the way you write them down. Your sales estimates are not always right; your expenses hit the roof sometimes. We have some good news for you though, this is absolutely normal!
Your business’ budget does not have to be 100% accurate. You should review your budget ever so often to adjust and check on the variances as you get more information. Yes, budgets always turn out differently because they look to the future and we are never 100% sure what will happen in that future; and it acts as a blueprint to ensure your businesses is not groping around in the darkness.
As important as it is, a budget works hand in hand with the accounts to help you measure the performance of your business, period after period. It is great to have both documents, and if you need the help of an accountant, by all means, go for it.
“I was always running out of money, constantly struggling and missing my orders was the order of the day. Having my lights turned off, sometimes in the middle of a client presentation was not surprising anymore; all this because I had either forgotten to pay the bills or I had no money to pay, the devil is a liar”. Rosanne told us.
In small businesses, these kinds of confessions abound, and most of the time, they are blamed on external forces or things beyond our control. Have you ever stopped to wonder how a big organisation, with thousands of branches across the world, hundreds of suppliers and millions of customers can control their financial calendars, knowing exactly whom, why and when to pay?
The answer is; they meticulously prepare and monitor budgets, which helps them figure out these details. Since budgets have served big organisations well, we have misconstrued them to be a tool for big organisations. Yet, by the very nature of small businesses, the scarcity of funds, the reliance on the founder, and the advantages of a budget means that these small organisations need them most. Yet we find that most micro businesses don’t maintain budgets and struggle through financial management like dream walkers.
If you have experienced any of the symptoms below, either in your personal or business life, then you are suffering from a disease called lack of a budget and you should immediately take the steps provided below to return you’re to good health.
Symptoms of lack of a budget
Run out of money unexpectedly
Unable to pay for emergencies such as medical
Unsure whether you can afford good business opportunities
Have too much money lying around
Losing suppliers due to your inability to pay them
Unsure whether things are going well in your business, you have no idea where you stand
Receiving reminders and chasers for payment from tax authorities, suppliers etc.
Unable to identify business decisions such as when to increase your prices or hire more staff.
Not knowing when to talk to your bankers about loans, investments or deposits.
To remedy these symptoms, you need to start preparing budgets, it is as simple as ABC. In upcoming articles, we will be teaching you in length.
The phases or stages that you should go through while working on the budget for your business.
How a budget influences important business decisions.
Debunk the myths around budgeting in the article and guide you towards changing the mindset on why we must budget.
Simply put, a budget is a plan on how to earn and spend money. Maintaining a budget, updating and monitoring it often will help you avoid all of the above financial pitfalls that can harm your business.
Stick around and reading all articles in the series -as well as any other on budgets- to enable you to master the budgeting process. Remember, failing to plan, is planning to fail.