4 Ways To Become A Financially Literate Mogul In 2021

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.

Financially Literate Woman

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.

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So, what does it mean to be a financially literate mogul?

A financially literate mogul has a basic knowledge about managing personal finances and building wealth.

If this is you, it means you have an understanding of how to

Now that all this has been listed, reflect on what you understand through PRACTICE and what you need to get better at. 

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Here are some No-BS ways to become financially literate.

Read –

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.

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. Click To Tweet

Join A Community Of Money-Minded Moguls-

There is nothing as uplifting as being a part of a community of people with similar goals. When you belong to a group that shares your goals and has your best interest at heart, you remain motivated.

The added accountability and access to resources can also not be underestimated. Find a community or group of friends and become an active member. 

There is nothing as uplifting as being a part of a community of people with similar goals. When you belong to a group that shares your goals and has your best interest at heart, you remain motivated. Click To Tweet

Key Takeaway

Learning about finance takes constant practice. There is always room for improvement so do not beat yourself up about what you haven’t learnt.

Approach learning about finance with an open but cautious mind and you will be surprised by how much you will grow.

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3 Reasons why you are an impulsive spender and what to do about it: Lydia Chinery – Hesse

This September, we’re out here on these streets trynna secure the bag. If you’re an impulsive spender, this one is for you.

As a financial advisor working with Holborn Assets, Lydia Chinery-Hesse has helped clients put measures in place to control their spending while increasing their savings and growing their wealth.

She has been working with various nationalities to help them plan their financial future by giving them transparent, objective and honest advice. Lydia helps them visualize their personal (and business) goals and structure a plan towards achieving them.

Earlier this year, she created a Facebook group called Love Yourself Financially, a community of global women who are dedicated to being the boss of their finances.

Their goal is to be financially secure and free – which has a different meaning to each member.

The Scenario

You’ve just finished a successful meeting and decide to take a short walk through the mall, for some window shopping.

Before you know it, you’ve spent money shopping for more clothes you don’t need!

It’s 4:15 pm and you’re absolutely famished. While you could wait another hour to get home and eat some leftovers from last night’s home-cooked supper, you decide to order food that would cost the same amount as your groceries for the week.

Even if you haven’t found yourself in one of these situations before, you’ve definitely spent money impulsively in one way or another.

  • Why is this?
  • Why are we so impulsive? More importantly…
  • What can we do about it?

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Here are the three main reasons for being an impulsive spender, and a few ways you can improve your spending habits.

1. You’re using a credit card

Studies show that when we pay using our credit card, we’re more likely to spend money. With a credit card, your thinking will be more along the lines of “out of sight, out of mind”, as you don’t see the money ‘leaving’ your wallet.

Conversely, when we spend with cash, it hurts a little, and you tend to think twice before spending it.

What should you do about it?

• Until you get to a point where you have significantly improved your discipline in this area, ditch the credit card.

• Ditching the card means spending cash only.

• Withdraw your cash allocation for the week, and carry only what you need on a daily basis.

2. Because money should be spent

If you’re able to spend money impulsively, consider yourself fortunate to have the money to do so. That being said, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

As an impulsive spender, It’s likely you’re not tracking your expenses by writing them down or through an app.

If you did, you’d be less likely to spend mindlessly as you’d always be aware of what you’re spending on and how much you’re spending. 

What should you do about it?

• Before you’re about to buy something, you want, pause. Wait a day, a week, a month or longer to determine if you really need it. Chances are you don’t.

• Track your expenses, create a budget and live by it.

• Get an accountability buddy. When you’re itching to spend, call a friend you trust who will talk to you straight.

• Meal prep. Don’t give yourself an excuse to buy a meal. 

• Try no-spend days a few times per month.

In addition to all of these, it’s worth considering…what else could you be doing with that money? This brings me to my last point:

3. You are not thinking long-term

Image result for African woman thinking gifs

Living for today will most likely mean scrambling or struggling in the future.

Perhaps it would be wiser to live according to this African Proverb, “For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”. 

What should you do about it? 

• Set your savings goal and reward yourself for achieving them (without spending money – be creative!)

• Save towards future plans. Put some money aside monthly towards that goal, whether it’s a vacation, car purchase, etc.

• Be intentional about your long term goals. This begins by figuring out how much you’ll need to either live comfortably in retirement or to reach financial security (where passive income pays for your expenses).

Once you have that figured out, work backward from there to determine how much you should be saving (and investing) in order to reach your target.

Practicing delayed gratification improves your discipline and you’ll also enjoy the financial rewards in the future – @lydialydzzz Click To Tweet

It takes some self-reflection and being honest to admit that there are areas in which we need to be more disciplined in order for the impulsiveness to end. 

How are you improving your spending habits this month? Click here to share your story with us.

8 Innovative Ways to Fund Your Startup

Dear Motherland Mogul, anyone who said starting a business is fun and easy told a fat lie and worst still, have never started a business.

One of the biggest hurdles an entrepreneur in Africa (or anywhere in the world) has to cross is the hurdle of financing their business. It’s the reason why many fabulous and potential million dollar ideas die every day or remain mere ideas.

Like it or not, money is everything in an entrepreneurs world. Without it, ideas are buried and passions are watered down while frustrations set in, making even the strongest of personalities call it quits and go back to their corporate jobs.

I’ve come up with 8 innovative ideas you can use to fund your startup without necessarily borrowing money. Depending on your situation and kind of business, you’ll find at least one or two you can apply immediately to get your business running.

1. Sell your valuables

Yes! You saw that right. If you’ve been struggling with acquiring funds to finance your startup and nothing seem to be working, maybe it’s time then to look inwards.

Search your house thoroughly for any valuable item that could fetch you a fortune when you sell…that gold wristwatch, expensive jewelry, MacBook, or iPod, whatever.

It’s time to let them go for the bigger stuff. If you aren’t ready to get rid of these precious items to make your ideas work, then it doesn’t matter what you say, you are not ready for business! Or better still, you are not convinced about your ideas.

Entrepreneurs are people that can give everything including their lives for something they believe in. That is one skill you need to survive in this overcrowded business space.

2. Dip into your savings

This is what your savings are meant for: to invest in opportunities and ideas that can transform your life and change your world. Your savings are not meant for spending, fixing urgent situations or paying debts.

You can have separate savings for that but primarily we save to invest. Just in case you don’t have any savings, you might want to take some time making some money at first. So try to get a job where you could work for some time and save before starting your business.

3. Your Rich Friends

What big money is to you is nothing to some of your rich friends. You know this is true. Instead of dying in silence and wondering if they will be willing to help you, swallow your ego, take the bold step and pitch your ideas to them.

You’ll never know if they’ll support you unless you ask. If one rich friend says no, walk up to another until all of them have said no and at that point, you know something else is wrong. Maybe something that has to do with your approach or the feasibility of your ideas.

Your friends should be willing to help you make your dreams come true especially when they can. After all, what are friends for?

4. Crowdfunding from family and close relatives

Crowdfunding is a good fundraising alternative for entrepreneurs. It involves raising a small amount of money from a large number of people. Crowdfunding can be done through online platforms.

The best people to start fundraising from are your family and relatives. You can start by listing down all those who can potentially fund you and write down how much you think they can conveniently donate.

Once you’ve located your potential donors, go reach out to them. Pitch your ideas so that they know what you’re capable of doing. For some other family members, you can ask to instead borrow money and then pay as your business yields profits.

5. Leverage on funding opportunities 

Governments, NGOs and other private and public bodies are providing support to entrepreneurs all over Africa. Since more people are participating in entrepreneurship, these bodies come up with initiatives and CSR projects to provide financial support to budding entrepreneurs. Be sure to leverage these opportunities when they show up.

Other funding opportunities include idea-pitching events. For example, the upcoming SLA Accelerator gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch their ideas. Then the top selected ideas get to win large sums of money, partnerships, and mentorship. 

Such events provide you an opportunity to not just fund your business when you win, but also learn from your mistakes if you lose. In the end, it’s a win-win situation where you get to build on your ideas either way. 

6. Partnerships

Regardless of the kind business you run, a partnership is a smart way of funding your startup. Strategic partnerships will not only afford you funds, but also help you leverage the experience, expertise, resources, and network of the other party.

Just make sure you go about it the right away and involve a legal personnel in all your dealings and agreements. 

7. Microloans and peer-to-peer lending

While I always discourage small businesses from starting up with loans, at times, that might appear to be the wisest step to take. Microloans are small business loans offered by microlenders to help small or relatively new businesses finance their business.

As a new business, you might not qualify for a bank loan because of the collateral requirements and others. But with microloans, you can get your business started without acquiring too many debts or paying high-interest charges.

Similarly, peer-to-peer lending is a new debt financing method that provides a platform where lenders are connected to borrowers. You don’t need a financial institution for a p2p lending. The interest rates are also at an all-time low and less risky and safer than other methods.

8. Angel and seed investors 

Angel/seed investors are wealthy and affluent individuals who provide a business startup with capital or funds usually for a convertible debt or ownership equity in return.

Most small business owners don’t buy into this idea of business funding. This is because it involves sharing their business ownership with another business even if it’s a small percentage. However, you will consider this option when you think of the bigger advantage, to you as an individual and to your business as an entity. 

 In conclusion

No amount of funds will cover up for your incompetence, ignorance or poor products and services. At the same time, nobody will be willing to invest their money in a business you’ve not invested adequate time and effort into.

Test your ideas. Hone your craft. Know your industry. Understand your target market. Study your competitors. Identify trends. Research. The goal isn’t 100% perfection but at least do so much background work that anybody will want to invest in your idea. Life is not a dress rehearsal, neither is running a business.

So before you go about looking for funds to finance your business. Ask yourself one very vital question? “Is your idea worth investing on?”

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How to Invest Collaboratively with Friends: Tomie Balogun

When you invest with others, you take advantage of the power of many - @tomie_balogun Click To Tweet

As a certified financial educator and Instructor, Tomie Balogun has a lot of experience in investing with friends. While pursuing her MBA, she and a few classmates started an investment club.

Their passion to achieve financial freedom and make an impact on society saw them successfully invest in various small businesses and assets. 

However, investing with friends hasn’t always been that easy. Like Tomie, many people have had bad experiences either loaning money to a friend or requesting for a loan. The conclusion: money and friends are a horrible mix!

However, the question many ask, is it still worth investing with friends or anybody else?. Tomie gives us tips on how to make this work. 

The Power of Many

Think about the way you ask more people to contribute money to a party, so everyone can have more food options. Investing with other people helps increase the number of resources you raise and strengthens your financial future.

Investing in Bigger Things

Co-investing in an investment club gives you the opportunity to invest in bigger opportunities, share risks and share higher returns as well. For instance, while real estate is a great asset class that always appreciates, not a lot of young people can invest in it.

However, if 5 or more people decide to come together and invest, they will have more cash. Over time, they can earn returns from their initial investment and continue to flip multiple real estate deals. That’s a better option than waiting till your 40’s to eventually own real estate.

Choosing the Right Team

You might be thinking, co-investing or starting an investment club is great but what about the emotional issues that come with investing with friends or colleagues at work? This can be tricky!

The first thing you need to do while selecting partners is to avoid sentiments. You need to make sure that you choose your partners with clarity and objectivity. When identifying people, choose partners who are disciplined with spending money and more importantly, have a strong sense of integrity.

Shared values are very important when co-investing.

Details, Details, Details!

First, you need a legal structure in place to protect everyone’s interest. When this happens, you limit liabilities in investment deals. You can register your club as a limited liability company or a limited partnership.

What’s important is to make sure you have the papers to support your words if things go wrong.

Secondly, they say the devil is in the details. In creating your legal documents and other admin paperwork, make sure you don’t skim through anything.

Practice good financial bookkeeping, assign roles to manage tasks and create a constitution! Remember all information can be important!

Make that Money Work

Once you sort your membership and legalities, you can then start contributing money. Don’t set unachievable contribution rates, but set goals that everyone can work towards. If everyone believes in the goal, they will eventually build it too.

At the end of the day, there are many options to invest. However, investment clubs are both great for collaborative investing and also fun! They are a smarter way to take advantage of the power of many to achieve your wealth goals sooner.

So as soon as you can, get your motherland moguls into formation and start co-investing together towards your financial freedom.

7 steps to Managing Your Finances while on campus

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

How did this happen?

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

1. Create a Budget

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Save, Save, Save!!!

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

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

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

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

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

3. Budget money for the fun things too

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

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

4. Take advantage of Student discounts

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

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

5. Get a Side Hustle

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

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

6. Flee Debt!

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

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

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

Whatever you do, run away from debt!

Always live within your means Click To Tweet

7. Already up to your neck in debts?

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

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

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

Impact investing is on the rise, what do you know about it?

Impact investing fills a vital funding gap at a time when so many people are struggling Click To Tweet

First things first, what is impact investing?

Impact investing refers to investments in entities and funds with the purpose of generating a determinate, positive social or environmental impact, along with a financial return. Another term for impact investing is “socially responsible investing.” Impact investments can target a range of returns from below-market to market rate, depending upon the circumstances, in both emerging and developed markets.

With impact investing on the rise globally, the market provides capital to address the most pressing challenges in sectors such as housing, education, sustainable agriculture, green technology, and healthcare. As such, impact investing counters conventional views that social and environmental issues can only be addressed by philanthropic donations.

Impact investing reduces the burden on philanthropists and other not-for-profit entities by stepping in to fill a vital funding gap at a time when so many people are struggling, and the programs meant to support them are more strained than ever. Indeed, the world truly needs impact investments.

Impact investing looks at impact, social and investment return. Here, you target an entire system when you look at the social return and convert it into an economic return, education, create jobs, improve health, and take the burden off the government. This kind of investment can save the government more money so that can in turn, be invested into developing other critical infrastructure in the continent.

Opportunities abound

John Pierpont “J. P.” Morgan was an American Financier and banker who dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation in late 19th and early 20th Century United States. He, in 2014, along with Monitor Deloitte and the Calvert Foundation, predicted investments to increase from US$60 billion to between US$400 billion and US$1 trillion worldwide in the next five years.

Additionally, of this number, 22 percent of global impact enterprises are located in Sub-Saharan Africa, and much of the opportunity lies throughout the continent.

No matter where you are in the world, chances are that impact investing is happening all around you. You may not realize it, but a road under construction could have been made possible by impact investments – or a new school, a new water filtration system, a wind farm. The possibilities are endless. But one common thread remains the same: impact investing, at its core, is about the investor’s intention to facilitate a beneficial social or environmental impact that goes beyond the individual. It is not a practice solely for personal gain but rather for the greater good. After all, what again is the definition of an investment in its truest sense? “A devoting, using, or giving of time, talent, emotional energy, as for a purpose or to achieve something.”

Chances are that impact investing is happening all around you, here's how to get into it Click To Tweet

Ready to get started in impact investment? Some next steps

Marina Leytes is an Impact Consultant. Most recently, she worked with the World Economic Forum’s blended finance and Impact Investing Initiatives; among others. As outlined by Marina, there are at least seven steps that any individual who desires to pursue Impact Investing, should consider.

  1. Explore: Discover and build an initial understanding of the principles and practices of impact investing.
  2. Reflect: Identify your motivations—why you wish to make impact investments, and how those investments might fit within your broader “portfolio” of impact (philanthropy, work, advocacy, etc).
  3. Assess: Determine the specific needs and constraints that govern your asset owning entities and consider how those needs and constraints shape your investment strategies.
  4. Strategize: Develop an actionable impact investing strategy, guided by an understanding of your personal motivations and objectives, and the needs and constraints.
  5. Invest: Make impact investments! You can make these investments across asset classes, sectors, geographies, impact strategies and return profiles.
  6. Measure: Gather and assesses performance and impact data from the existing investments to determine whether the investments are achieving their objectives and meet the requirements of your impact investment strategy.
  7. Optimize: Use the data you have gathered and the experiences you have gained through the process of making and monitoring investments to revise and/or expand your impact investment strategy, in order to continually pursue better outcomes with your investments.

Finally, these are some Impact Investing Institutions and the areas they operate:

  • Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN): operating in Kenya, Ghana, India, France and the Netherlands.
  • Rockefeller Foundation: operating in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal.
  • Acumen : Accra, USA, Kenya, Pakistan and India.

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

young african women

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

Stage 3: The Young African Woman

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

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

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


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

Key things to consider at this stage include:

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

Stage 4: The African Woman

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

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

Key things to consider at this stage include:

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

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

Stage 5: The Older African Woman

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

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

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

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

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

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

Action Steps:

∙         Track spending

∙         Create a budget

∙         Pay-off all outstanding debts

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

∙         Reduce spending on aso-ebi

∙         Set up direct debit with bank

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

Young African women should start investing through equity crowdfunding

In 2015, investments in African startups grew by over 100 percent. Approximately half a billion dollars was invested, notably through large funding rounds for technology companies like Jumia, Konga and Takealot.  Konga raised a $3.5 million seed round in 2015. The startup reportedly grew its 2014 revenue 450% from 2013. In 2014, Konga finalized a $40 million Series C round at a $200 million valuation.

While there’s no doubt that African startups are growing tremendously, we are also at risk of leaving an important sector of the society behind.  Amid this impressive growth in technology startups, equity investments in companies founded or run by women are infinitesimal.

Imagine if you, yes you, lady, had invested in Konga in 2012 after founder Sim Shagaya accepted his first seed round, your portfolio would have done better than the Nigerian, Kenya and South African Stock exchange combined.

Impressive statistics right? Well, here are some not so great ones:

  • 90 percent of women will have sole responsibility for their finances within their lifetime, yet 79 percent have not planned for this.
  • 3 out of 4 elderly living in poverty are women (80 percent were not poor when their husbands were alive).
  • 50 percent of marriages end in divorce (and women usually end up with the kids).
  • After divorce, a woman’s standard of living drops an average of 73 percent.
  •  As of the year 2000, women are expected to live an average of 7 to 10 years longer than men.
  •  Only 29 percent of women know where to invest in today’s market.

Of the world’s 1,826 known billionaires, only 197 are women. Studies show that the majority of women believe they don’t have the money, background or risk appetite to make angel investments. However new technologies and inventions have pushed the frontier for people from various financial abilities and backgrounds independent of gender.

Building an investment portfolios can help a woman take control of her financial growth and security and avoid dependency.  Taking control in a world where the markets don’t care whether you are male or female can really build self esteem.

The richest women in the world hold their wealth in equity holdings in companies (whether inherited, worked for, or acquired- worryingly only 29 of the word’s 197 female billionaires are self made, the rest are inherited from husbands or fathers). Christy Walton, inherited a stake in retailer Wal-Mart, and retains the title of world’s richest woman.  In China, investments are the second highest source of income for its wealthiest women. Our African sisters are not left out. Folurnsho Alakija’s $6.44 billion net worth comes from a 60 percent stake in one of Nigeria’s most prolific oil blocs.

The controversial Dos Santos’ portfolio includes a 25 percent stake in UNITEL, 7 percent in Portugal’s Galp Energia, 19 percent in Banco BIC, an initial $200M investment in Efacec power co, and a controlling stake in Portuguese Telco Nos SGPS, to name but a few.

Self-made women billionaires have even more intriguing stories. Doris Fisher cofounded gap with a raise of $63,000 to open their first store, today the company is worth $16 billion, of which Fisher remains a large shareholder.

With technology disrupting the hotel and transport industries with Uber and Airbnb , it is now also playing a disruptive role in the finance sector. No longer do you need millions to be an angel investor. The emergence of the equity crowdfunding sector now allows businesses sell shares to users for as little as $10! Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 6.11.12 PM

The idea of raising finance from a group of people is not new, however the Internet has made it easier by reducing transaction costs and increasing the pool of financiers. With Africa’s rising GDP, our continent’s hosting of six of the world’s fastest growing economies, and our immense population- we have an environment that can play host to start ups with the potential to be the world’s next blue chips.

Equity crowdfunding is like donation crowdfunding, except as opposed to just donating money, you get the opportunity to buy shares in early growth businesses. European and North American equity crowdfunding platforms have raised over a billion dollars for local startups in the last few years and created millions of jobs in the process.

Equity crowdfunding is poised to do the same for Africa with the launch of Malaik. Malaik is Africa’s first impacted focused crowdfunding platform. Malaik gives  investors access to the continent’s opportunities, and mediates its risk with a four step due diligence process. The combination is a fresh application of technology that can unlock massive potential in the world’s most promising markets.


Malaik’s unique lead investor format allows the crowd to piggy back on deals by notable investors who act as leads, conducting their own due diligence and investing their own money, opening large scale investments previously reserved for experienced investors to the crowd. Malaik makes it possible for everyone to diversify their investment portfolios.

So now, with the click of a button, women can take control of their financial futures.


Sign up today and invest in your future and perhaps your portfolio will be highlighted on The Forbes List one day.