Today I joined the African Business Magnate, Chris Kirubi, during his live chat on Twitter in collaboration with #CNNAfrica Business StartUp . Kirubi who was born into a poor peasant family is today one of Kenya’s richest men.
We do not have many African entrepreneurs who share their advice and we all need mentors from whom we can learn valuable lessons when building our own African business start-ups. This is why I am regularly sharing their business advice with you here. This afternoon I joined a busy live tweet session and tried my best to catch the questions for you.
Here are Kirubi’s tweet sized answers (some of them are made up of two or more tweets). Be ready to learn and take action accordingly !
What kind of person makes a successful entrepreneur? What skills/qualities do they need to have?
An entrepreneur is a man committed and focused in his business venture and knowledgeable too. Qualities – need to be informative, the need to know how to manage and interact with people for results. Vision, Resilience and Perseverance. More than anywhere else.. He/She must have the passion to do business and must have the willingness to take risks.
If you were to launch a startup in Africa today, what sector would you target?
I would go into property development. The need for housing in Africa is greater than what is available. [Further] The ICT sector coz technology is the future for Africa and agriculture.We need to feed our huge population
What is the best way to attract funding and expand your startup?
To get funding you must have a clear business plan, show that your project has value & is going to succeed. You should be very knowledgeable and have resources to implement the project. get banking financial support, angel investors where capital is necessary in order to grow much faster
Magatte Wade, also a successful African entrepreneur tweeted in response: Carefully crafted proof of concept. Per example, I first made my prototype products, started selling some of them, THEN seeked partners and funders
So, you’ve found funding, but how do you know if you’ve selected the right investors? What do you need to ask them?
This is where it differentiates a true entrepreneur & someone just wanting to [do] biz. The former has the skill, an entrepreneur knows what to look for, be well informed & will have done his research & know how [..]
What are the biggest challenges for African entrepreneurs today and how can they deal with them?
Penetrating markets, financial support by banks, lack of research, development and technology
How can entrepreneurs tackle these problems?
We can handle this problem by trying to understand our markets and investing more in research to produce quality
What are the key elements of a successful business plan?
The key is clearly stating, understanding and knowing how to implement the project. All the components; financial, human resource and market dynamics should be clearly stated and understood
Magatte Wade: a biz plan should make you credible: that you know what you are doing and have the people to do it.
My word, there are so many questions coming in… Apologies if we do not manage to answer all of them….
Here comes my own @africajumpstart tweet to Kirubi….
How can we attract the African Diaspora to play an active role in boosting Africa’s economy ?
We can attract diaspora by finding investors here in their areas of interest & informing them on where to invest.
How important is finding a mentor when it comes to growing your startup?
It is important to find one in the same line of business to give you the knowledge and guidance to move ahead. A mentor is important..it’s like a sheep with its shepherd. The sheep will not get lost because it will be directed on where to go.
What is your message to Africa’s aspiring entrepreneurs?
African entrepreneurs, you must be vigilant in what it is you want to do. Take heed of opportunities, have the passion to succeed.
And Kirubi also tweeted:
I got to where I am because of my passion and a vision of where I’m going. Find your own drive.
And his last words of wisdom for today’s audience were:
The truth is that, wealth is first and foremost created in your mind.
Remember, your financial wealth is defined by how and where you spend the little resources you have. And it all starts in the mind
Kirubi invites everyone to ask question when ever you need them using the hashtag #askKirubi
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