31 Jul Triift Africa is One
About a year and a month ago, my friend Charles Isidi and I started a social enterprise which enables small businesses get easier access to low-interest loans, understand business finance, build wealth and scale.
As a team, our successes over the past one year include:
1. Providing over 320 business owners with training on business finance. This training includes how to raise money for their idea, basics on book keeping, how to cut down unnecessary costs and boost profit.
2. Providing free resources to aid proper business management to over 709 business owners.
3. We have worked directly with over 29 business owners, providing coaching and advisory that has enabled them to take their business from idea to profitability.
4. Enabling access to over 8.5 million Naira low interest loan.
It has not been easy working a full time job, organising community projects and managing Triift Africa but the journey and long nights have truly been worth it.
I started this business with about 15,000 Naira of my own money, but look at us. We have helped micro businesses most of which are in the informal sector with over 8.3 million Naira.
5 lessons I have learnt:
- Trust is a currency. Sometimes, what you have in your hands is not just what you have in your account. it is relationships that you can tap into, and sometimes trust is how to get people to invest their time and money in you. How do you build trust? by being consistent, having integrity and sharing your own story.
- You get clarity by taking the first step. Just use what you have in your hands, be diligent with it and watch it become an even wider vision.
- When you start a business whether big or small, the first thing you will need is someone to help you with your numbers, then a lawyer and all other professionals as you grow. Which is why we are very proud of the role we play in helping businesses build sustainably.
- We recently created other services including our business finance class when we saw from our engagement with clients how easily it is for someone to mess up their business because of something as basic as poor understanding about the difference between revenue and profit. No matter how big or small your business is, it is important that you know your numbers because the more you know your numbers the better you understand your business. So now, we teach business how to keep records, set the right price, cut down on cost, easily identify other mediums to make money and be more sustainable.
- Do not be in a hurry to expand beyond what you have the capacity for. There is a prize in staying in the process, and social media popularity is not always equal to profitability. We have interacted with businesses that have wanted to expand quickly when their foundation is not yet right. Your business can contribute tangibly to the growth of the economy, so you do not want to focus on likes and retweets more than the problem you are here to solve.
So many more things I can share, but not today.
One brick upon another, that’s how we have chosen to build. We have decided that while going fast is great, what do the many mistakes teach? Where does the lessons point and how are we building for the spontaneous opportunities we find.
As amazing as we think they are, we know there is a lot more to do. We decided to prioritise learning the small business ecosystem rather than throwing our energies around and this has paid off in ways we didn’t imagine.
We can’t say thank you enough to friends that shared a dozen ideas with us, Somehow, it made us even strengthen our resolve that there is definitely something here. We could name names of friends that emptied their wallets to support this and those who have given their time to build with us. We are thankful to the businesses and individuals who have trusted us enough to stake massively on our success.
Is that all? Nope, we are looking to proliferate more small business education, doing more to make it even easier for businesses to receive financial support from us. In addition, we are driven by providing infrastructure, training as well as influence policy that will make it easier for growing business owners to navigate Africa’s entrepreneurship landscape.
You can connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, twitter and medium.
Need low interest loan or just someone to assess whether you have the right accounting system, setting the right price and building a profitable business? Reach out to us firstname.lastname@example.org You can also sign up for our next business finance class HERE