The Business Coach met up with Abraham Mbuthia, the founder of Uza Point, immediately after the business was crowned the second runner-up in the Total Startupper challenge. Abraham bagged a cool Sh1 million.
And while you might think this was just one more feather in the cap of an entrepreneur who’s enjoyed progressive growth, you’d be thinking wrong.
Abraham’s entrepreneurial journey has seen him experience both highs and lows at different stages. He’s won numerous awards and attracted investment, but he’s also had his whole team desert him.
Through it all, however, he’s remained committed to his vision. Uza Point seeks to revolutionise the retail space through a point-of-sale solution aimed at helping retailers track and monitor their business performance using tech, rather than relying on management via kitabu.
While the solution has made in-roads in the market, it’s been a struggle scaling it. The Business Coach got Abraham in touch with Hilda Moraa, the founder of Pezesha, for insights on how to go about this.
Hilda exited from her previous company, Weza Tela, by selling it for an estimated Sh100 million, and has managed to scale Pezesha. Here are some of the tips she shared.
1. Join an entrepreneurial community
Incubation hubs provide you with the network you need to grow and scale a business. Through an incubation hub, you’ll not only meet a team you can hire for your business, but you’ll also have access to investors and mentors who can prove pivotal to your business.
2. Develop your sales skills
Business development is the heartbeat of a company. It’s vital that an entrepreneur sharpens their sales skills as it will enable them to grow their business. The more sales you register in the business, the higher the probability of growing it to scale.
3. Bootstrap your business through its early stages
Bootstrapping calls for one to minimise costs and only spend on the essentials of the business. Through bootstrapping, particularly in the early stages of the business, you’re better able to maximise on profits, which comes in handy at the point of scaling.
4. Hire a team smarter than you are
A business will perform at the level of the team it has. As an entrepreneur, strive to build a team that’s smarter than you are so you can get insights that you otherwise wouldn’t have access to. This leaves you with the time to work on the business, concentrating on how to achieve its vision and leaving the team to execute the day-to-day tasks, and keep operations efficient and effective.
[The Business Coach airs on KTN Home on Mondays at 7.30pm.]
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.