Kill the idea that you MUST raise money to start a business. The money you raise is NOT free.

Raise only when it is the only option to grow faster and capture more of an opportunity. Some of the greatest African entrepreneurs I know bootstraped and took debt only when needed.
A friend mentioned last week that ”Caesar” or the tax man is a 32% stakeholder in every business. When you realize that even if you own a business 100%, 32% is really owned by the government who take their taxes, you try to keep as much ownership as possible.
The remaining profit is what you MUST share with other stakeholders. Employees are not going to just take salary, in most cases they share profits too. One of the most successful businesses I know in Nigeria is a chain of Bukas where profit is shared to everyone daily.
These guys make profits in millions of dollars annually and every employee there is rich. Even the one who washes plates. They never raised any money from investors. Their customers are their investors. Government is supposed to be an investor in infrastructure too but...
...bukas and other businesses in busy areas in places like Nigeria end up paying taxes to area boys and Baales. You read the truth from @EditiEffiong’s thread yesterday. Those are real costs before the government. These are all stakeholders whether we like it or not.
There are taxes you must now keep paying to improve the environment around you as well as provide social benefits and these will be separate from what Caesar takes. This means most new business will have to include host communities as stakeholders or they won't survive.
So, if you must raise it is better you just raise money from those communities and ensure that you are all aligned. This is something that has always happened crudely in Africa that many didn't realize. We have always had ESG models.

That is why we are doing @NkaliFund.
We are impatient for profit but patient for growth. If a business is not profitable, but doesn't really serve all stakeholders.

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More from @asemota

23 Nov
This is not a continuation of my previous thread but could be linked. During morning Mass on November 1, 2007, we learned Rev Fr. Patrick Adegbite had been murdered the previous night by robbers. We expected to see him there but he was gone. I saw hope leave many people. Image
A saw a girl crying bitterly and I knew she was not coming back to the church anymore. A lot of us had been personally transformed by Father Adegbite as he was not a ”normal priest”. Very unorthodox and organized deliverance sessions as well as exorcisms.
Many people had probably started to see him as an object of worship rather than what he was trying to get them to see. I probably was one of those people. He made me do my first holy communion after 29 years of leaving cathechism. The blessed statement changed my life.
Read 9 tweets
23 Nov
Africans undervalue inspiration.

We may laugh at ”Aspire to perspire and acquire” people but inspiration is a powerful force that pulls people out of darkness into the light. Hope is a powerful force and it is why religion never went out of fashion.

There are many religions.
I once gave a TED talk on role models (yes I did) and each day I still see the script play out. From my kids with full American accents in Togo (largely from TV) and young people’s choices here on Twitter and beyond. People influence people ALL the time. Directly or indirectly.
This is not only restricted to younger people, it is probably even stronger in older people who really know it is largely ”vibes” but indulge anyway. I see the stuff my mother sends to me on WhatsApp daily from her church and I know she is more pragmatic but wants to inspire/help
Read 10 tweets
22 Nov
What is Esusu? It is savings. Many small businesses thrive on this. Cooperatives are set up to do this. Many of those who we think are the poorer people in society knew this before @PiggyBankNG and others started raising awareness.

I wrote this in 2015
The universal truth is that you can't spend your way out of poverty. Nations become rich from the reallocation of net savings into productive enterprise. Having an allocation problem now does not mean that savings is a bad idea. Still save but know where to save.
I mentioned yesterday that when everyone is shorting the Naira, those who have a long term view become winners. That long-term view is an aggregate view. We have a lot of money with pension funds that can be allocated create wealth. Without pensions collections they won't exist.
Read 4 tweets
22 Nov
That toilet paper example I gave in the thread in sachets yesterday is an example of how we misunderstand luxury. It is cheaper than we think because rich people didn't become or remain rich by being foolish. That is why they rarely use products they sell to make them rich.
A friend who was one of the early ”pure water” millionaires in Benin NEVER touches the stuff. He drinks Voss 🤣 I saw that he was importing it in large quantities to make the unit cost lower. Another makes money from Coca-Cola but doesn't touch it. Never did.
Betting companies are another example. How come the people who start them are some of the most organized and successful people you know? Because they study crowds and see how the other people behave. The money is in chaos. I can never forget the day my uncle told me that.
Read 6 tweets
21 Nov
Let's revisit this sachet thing. I didn't want what I wanted to say to be drowned in the noise of sentiment and vibes during the week.

”The Varian Rule” is what is at play with sachets.

”A simple way to forecast the future is to look at what rich people have today”
Attibuted to Google’s chief economist Hal Varian:

"A simple way to forecast the future is to look at what rich people have today; middle-income people will have something equivalent in 10 years, and poor people will have it in an additional decade."…
It is also a strategic move by FMCG companies who suddenly find that the middle class has disappeared. They extend their product's lifetime and usefulness by creating economically affordable units. It is also sometimes VERY profitable to do so if you are smart.
Read 11 tweets
21 Nov
If everyone is shorting the Naira, doesn't it make sense to be long Naira? Or rather, long Nigeria.

I repeat, this is the best time to acquire Nigerian assets. I don't mean real estate oh! Companies, long term ventures and institutions.
This is best as a macro view rather than micro. I was thinking of something someone said this week about climate change and dynamics of Nigerian democratic shift. We are not putting climate change effects in a lot of our economic calculations yet.

We are reacting not proactive.
For Nigeria to survive, the government MUST start giving concessions from the exclusive list to capitalists with deep pockets. This is the time to build Nigeria for cheap and gain the benefits in the future. We didn't go far enough 20 years ago, let's try again.
Read 5 tweets

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