The solution Mindset, Not having enough.

in #busy3 years ago (edited)


Not having enough, does not mean we have nothing at all.

  • In Africa we don’t have enough of most things: We don’t have enough food. We don’t have enough electricity. We don’t have enough clean water. We don’t have enough schools. We don’t have enough foreign exchange. We don’t have enough houses, teachers, doctors, or nurses. We don’t have enough of almost anything you can think of!

Most people looking for solutions, including governments, donors and entrepreneurs (for profit and not-for-profit), are mostly focused on trying to get us more of what we don’t have, but there is something else we can "do," and always need to remember...

Not having enough, does not mean we have nothing at all.

  • One of the first questions I posed when I started blogging five years ago was this: “What do you have in your hand?”

I posed this question at the time also as a statement of my faith. God asked Moses: “What is in your hand?”

And when he answered that all he had was a shepherd’s rod, God essentially said to him: “That is enough for what I need to do”

And we all know that with the rod, Moses was empowered to even open the Red Sea!

Not having enough, does not mean we have nothing at all.

When we have little, we must not only try to do what we can, we must also never waste the little we have!

Extending the capacity of the little we have is RealEntrepreneurship.

  • Now the new pathway to entrepreneurial success lies in the “shared economy" business model. By now you have heard stories of young people from around the world who are busy launching amazing businesses with extraordinarily little to start with, compared to what was traditionally expected.

Not having enough, does not mean we have nothing at all.

You might live in a country where it is virtually impossible to get a loan to start a business, particularly if you are a woman. It might also be that you live in a place where the elite appear to have basically cornered every opportunity for themselves and their families. This is particularly the case when it comes to natural resources-related businesses.

Getting a job may also be almost impossible, simply because they are not there...

Do not despair again.

“What is that in your hand?” enough to get you and your friends going!

  • I know one thing that is in your hand: You now have a smartphone or access to the Internet, otherwise you and I would not be talking to each other on Facebook! A smartphone (even a cheap Android one) is enough to launch you into business. (Senior class, you know this).

"Now who can tell me what I mean by the “shared economy” business model? (Senior class, it is now your turn)."

Not having enough, does not mean we have nothing!

As we have discussed here before: Businesses like Uber, AirBnB and Tencent are all created and built around the concept of the “shared economy" business model.

The next millionaires and billionaires in Africa are those who master the business models of the “shared economy” and use them to leverage efficiencies in the use of our continent's meager resources.

Consider this: Over 40% of farm produce in Africa is lost long before ever getting to consumers. This is called “post-harvest losses.” If we eliminated just half this waste, the impact would be phenomenal, beyond imagination.

Imagine as an entrepreneur, if you study this problem (as some are doing right now) you can have amazing opportunities. Some of the most exciting African entrepreneurs today are working in this area: “Ways to reduce post-harvest waste.”

Consider this: In some countries, nearly 40% of the children are stunted due to poor nutrition. An egg a day will cut stunting by a whopping 47%!

Imagine if we could develop business models (as entrepreneurs) to get eggs, or the benefits of egg protein, into every school! In India they have programs to try and get a glass of milk and an egg to young children.

My friend recently visited a business in Rwanda which produces food for babies specifically to tackle this problem. I love this business! There are hundreds of amazing businesses emerging around the area of agriculture using the “shared economy" model.

During a meeting of an organization called the Giving Pledge a few years ago, he ran into a young man called Brian Chesky who co-founded a business called AirBnB. He is now worth more than $5bn. He was in his early 30’s when I met him, even though he looked much younger!

What an amazing business model!

  • But here is the thing: A smart young entrepreneur like you can use that same concept to solve other types of problems right here in Africa! And if you don’t do it, someone will come from America, India or China and do it right on your doorstep...

Our fastest growing and most exciting businesses are all based on the “shared economy" business model—they are disruptors of traditional business models.

  • How can you as an African entrepreneur take this principle, and use it to tackle some of our challenges?

I want us to focus our attention on businesses that use the “shared economy" business model. This is one of the most important new pathways to entrepreneurial success!

Say to yourself: “I’m on it!”

SolutionMindset. Now get rolling.