The 1 Temptation Every Founder Needs to Resist

By Kevin J. Ryan

The idea of growing your company’s product line can be very tempting. But sometimes, you need to tap the brakes.

That’s the advice offered by Carey Smith, the founder of Big Ass Solutions, at the Inc. Founders House on Monday. Smith founded his company–initially called Big Ass Fans–in 1999 as a manufacturer of ceiling fans for industrial spaces. The startup later expanded into other products such as lights and residential fans, and revenue climbed, reaching $240 million in 2016. The following year, Smith sold the company to private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg for $500 million.

Despite that success, Smith advised resisting the common urge to quickly roll out new offerings. “Everybody has it, because you’re afraid you’re going to miss something,” he said. “I hate to say ‘slow down’–but you need to step back and take a look” at the market.

Smith was joined on stage by Chris Anderson, founder of pool furniture maker Ledge Lounger, whom he will be advising as part of the Inc. Founders Project, which pairs early-stage entrepreneurs with established mentors. Since founding his startup in 2009, Anderson has expanded from underwater chairs to products like deck furniture and cabanas.

“You have to be very careful at this juncture,” Smith told him. “It’s easy to overdo it.”

Smith admitted Big Ass Solutions looked at some markets way outside of its natural sphere, ranging from robotics to yogurt. The company never strayed that far, but it did release several products that failed to catch on with consumers.

A good way to avoid that problem, Smith said, is to do your homework. While proper market research could take several weeks and thousands of dollars, that’s less costly than creating something that bombs. “It could take you a year to develop a product,” he said. “We developed products that didn’t go anywhere, because it turned out people just didn’t understand them.”

And if you need help coming up with ideas in the first place, remember you have a valuable resource available: your own customers. It’s wise to talk to them about what kinds of products they crave.

“Not because you need to make everything they want,” Smith said, “but to get into their brains.

This article was first published at Inc

The Good News About How Much Money You Need to Start Your Business

By Maria Aspan

So you want to start a business. You’ve got the idea, you’re ready to hustle, but how much money do you need to launch your startup?

The good news: Probably not as much as you think. Ten years ago, the average cost of starting a small business was $31,150, according to one study. But that seems laughably large today: While some businesses still require lots of money to get off the ground, at Inc., we regularly hear from founders of fast-growing companies who started their businesses for hundreds, not thousands, of dollars.

“Today a smart entrepreneur with a website can start making in six months what we were making after six years,” says Bert Jacobs, co-founder of the apparel company Life Is Good.

Technology’s rapid advance is bringing down many startup costs, as Jacobs points out. He and his brother John launched the first iteration of their company in 1989, with $200 borrowed from another brother, Allan. The early days were scrappy, to say the least, as Jacobs told Inc.’s Leigh Buchanan in 2015:

We would have used that technology if we’d had it. Instead, we spent years building a company with employees we met at pickup basketball games; customers we joked with in the streets while keeping one eye peeled for the beat cop; and advice from retailers up and down the East Coast whom we dropped in on. It may not have been the most effective process. Definitely it wasn’t the most efficient. But a lot of our company’s values came out of that early need to do things cheap and in person.

Life Is Good now sells $100 million worth of apparel every year. And there are parts of Jacobs’s experience, especially the grit and patience, that remain relevant today.

If you’re dreaming of starting a business that could someday rival his success, you don’t necessarily have to spend money in the same ways. Today’s large ecosystem of tech services — what we at Inc. call the “instant startup kit” — can help you get your startup off the ground cheaply and quickly, as I reported in 2016:

Websites, billing, payment processing, cloud computing, communications, funding–all have been made simpler by the likes of Squarespace, Slack, Kickstarter, Dropbox, Amazon’s ubiquitous Web services division, and PayPal. … In the past ten years, these building blocks have greatly reduced the time–and cost–involved to start a business, especially high-tech ones. Thanks to “the emergence of the internet, open-source software, cloud computing, and other trends,” some experts estimate tech-reliant ideas “that would have cost $5 million to set up a decade ago can be done for under $50,000 today,” according to a 2014 paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Good news: You probably don’t need $5 million to start your business. You might not need $50,000 or $30,000. In fact, you might not even need half of that: In 2018, 42 percent of Inc. 5000 CEOs responding to our annual survey said they used under $5,000 to launch their businesses. A combined 21 percent said they used between $5,000 and $25,000.

The amount of money you need will vary depending on several factors, including what kind of business you want to start: What are you selling, and is it a product or a service?

Product-based businesses tend to be more expensive to launch. If you’re making T-shirts or baking cupcakes or designing mobile apps, you’ll need the raw materials to create your product, the equipment for the production, the people to perform the manufacturing or baking or coding, and the space to do the work.

Planning on doing it all yourself, at least at the start? Remember that you’ll also need to spend time actually selling your product and marketing it so you’ll have customers interested in buying it.

Service-based businesses are, in many ways, a lot easier and cheaper to launch, particularly if you already have industry expertise and contacts. If you’re a lawyer or an accountant or a digital marketing expert or have any other specialized business experience, you have the product (your expertise) and, potentially, the market.

You can start selling your services on your own to people and companies that may be familiar with you and your work. You don’t have to hire anyone else, at least at first. You don’t necessarily have to spend more money on office space, as long as you can work out of your home. And ideally, you don’t have to spend as much time marketing your services.

The downside: It may eventually be more expensive and complicated to scale your business, since your growth will depend on figuring out how to transfer your knowledge to other people.

Other factors that will determine how much money you’ll need to launch your business include how many people you need; where you’re starting your business, and how much space you need; how quickly you need to get your product or service to market; and finally, how long you can afford to live without a salary. Once you’ve answered these questions, you can take the next step and start to scrape together the money to get your business off the ground.

This article was first published at Inc

Clarisse Iribagiza is at the fore-front of Rwanda’s booming tech scene


Clarisse Iribagiza is another torch bearer for the new crop of trail blazing female tech entrepreneurs in Rwanda and Africa in general. She has also made it her agenda to inspire the next generation of techies. She has broken several barriers taking her company HeHe Limited to the very top of Rwanda’s information technology industry.

The mobile technology company has been successful enough to set Clarisse apart as a major voice in Rwanda’s fast emerging tech scene.

In 2015, African entrepreneurs making noticeable strides in the tech industry were invited to speak at the sixth annual Pakasa Forum organised by Vision Group. The event was organised as Vision Group’s effort to inspire Ugandan entrepreneurs by exposing them to stories of individuals with interesting success stories. The speakers’ stories would also provide actionable insights into mindset change, personal responsibility to success, and hard work, as it concerns entrepreneurial success. Attendees from within Uganda and East Africa were especially impressed and motivated by Clarisse Iribagiza’s story as she laid out her entrepreneurial journey.

Her early influences were her parents. Born to a teacher and an entrepreneur, she and her siblings were taught to pursue impactful and meaningful careers which prepared them largely for the future .

She started to develop the idea for her business during her days studying computer engineering at the University of Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology. The idea came after she participated in a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) incubation programme. She was able put puzzle pieces together, relating what she was learning in school with its application in the real world.

Clarisse Iribagiza eventually setup HeHe Labs in 2010. Since its inception she has been able to work creatively with young, enthusiastic individuals to build mobile information systems and research significant mobile technologies for Africa. HeHe Limited now provides top notch solutions for businesses and organisations alike. Using information systems, the company has been to help these businesses reach their audiences faster and more conveniently.

Iribagiza says the company’s greatest success is not just building systems that have enhanced operational efficiency for a number of organisations across Africa but the creation of a research arm that trains and inspires hundreds of Rwandan youths to be major players in Africa’s technology revolution.

The company has also gone on to create programmes for about 80 Small and medium enterprises to enable them interact with their customers in different locations at the same time, all through Additionally, Clarisse’ team built a platform where girls could send in questions about challenges they were facing and get almost instant responses.

Together with other budding young ICT entrepreneurs, she launched an initiative called iHills. The program provides mentoring as well finance to startups in and around Rwanda.

Italian think tank, LSDP (Lo Spazio Della Politica), named her among its top 100 global thinkers in 2014. She was nominated among Africa’s most promising young entrepreneurs under 30 by Forbes magazine in 2015. In 2013 she was also awarded the Celebrating Young Rwandan Achievers (CYRWA) award by the Imbuto Foundation. The initiative was founded by Rwanda’s First Lady, Jeanette Kagame, an initiative started to provide welfare and healthcare to vulnerable people in Rwanda.

Clarisse has expressed her desire to innovate and develop technologies that would impact Africa positively in the future. The focus of the research arm at HeHe for the future is to collaborate with young innovators across Africa to come up with inventions that fit perfectly into the African structure and can improve various parts of the spectrum.


Kenya Youths Benefits From Free Training On Entrepreneurship

By George Farrel Ogolla

Following the unemployment crisis in the country. Youth, Women and Disabled persons have continued to be disadvantaged. Some have since resorted to engaging in crimes, radicalization, consumption of illicit brews and drug abuse.

For 21year old Denis Makhandia Mulama, the thought of completing his college education was accompanied by a feeling of satisfaction, that he would soon have a high paying job. Little did he know that he was joining a population of a schooled yet jobless individuals.

The graduate of Environmental Conservation from South Eastern University of Kenya (SEKU) says the reality then dawned on him that this was not the case. He says together with a group of friends who had gone through the same predicament they decided to form a group and engage in an income generating activity.

“We came together and formed Brilliant Minds Self Help Group where we could come up with a business idea. Some of my group members had stayed out of school even more than me,” said Mulama.

The group engages a farm in Embakasi area in Eastlands, where it buys milk and fresh farm produce and delivers them to residents at the comfort of their sitting rooms.

Mulama say the training has come in handy in giving them the necessary skills on how to source for capital for their business.
“We also received training on tendering for government supplies and how to register company. And we are in the process of registering,” Denis added.

Sentiments that were shared by Emily Etang who says thanks to the training, she will now move with speed to secure capital to start a business.

“The training was very insightful, I look forward to starting my own business soon,” said Emily.

Miss Etang is optimistic that she no longer has to waste her time applying for countless government jobs that are not forthcoming. Now she is empowered to start her own venture and instead become an employer.

The seminar organized by the Ministry of Youth and facilitated by a Nairobi businessman John Chomba.

The mobilization is done by sub-county Youth officers.
Regional Co-coordinator Youth Affairs, Emily Maina reiterated the need for more youth to be empowered to take up business as an alternative to formal employment.

“More youths should enroll for such training for them to be able to get the 30 per cent share allocated to them by the government,” said Maina.
According to Mr Chomba, the programme was piloted between October, 2010 and April, 2011 in several constituencies in Nairobi and the results were very encouraging, inspiring and motivating.

“We saw a youths who were hungry and thirsty for information and very ready to apply it for a better future. The training is more practical than theoretical since we‘re using our real companies’ documents, experience for demonstrations and proving to the trainees that ours is a reality show ,” said Chomba

During the workshop Mr Chomba stated that he was there to train them and give them tips on how to start small businesses that would change their lives forever.

The legible candidates are form 4 graduates and above with basic understanding of English both written and spoken. Certificates of participation are awarded to all trainees at the end of the training.

Source Stardard Media

Why Time Is Your Most Important Business Resource

Time Management

By Chris Porteous

It’s no secret that proper time management is a crucial element of success regardless of who you are or what you do. Nonetheless, far too few business professionals appreciate time as one of the most important resources around, and precious little is being done in the average workplace to make better use of everyone’s most limited asset.

Despite the heavy focus on profitability or the strength of your human capital, managing your time properly is by far the most important element of success in today’s market. And yet you’re likely wasting it. Here are some tactics to make better use of your working hours.

You need a personalized approach.
Most people are familiar with the fact that time management is important, yet precious few understand that you need a personalized approach to seriously achieve any extra efficiency in your day. This is because everyone’s schedule is unique. No one else understands the importance of your time during particular periods of your schedule. But to appreciate that yourself it’s important you start with an audit of your daily habits to see where you’re wasting the most time.

A number of digital apps now exist to help show you where you’re wasting your time and how to make better use of it.

Installing a fancy app on your smartphone or computer will likely help you watch your minutes more closely, and it may even result in some extra productivity, but you need to understand that you’re the one in control of your time, not some machine. Successful time management is all about self-control and the ability to honestly assess your own situation to determine when you’re dithering versus when you’re making the right decisions.

Only after you’ve thoroughly and honestly reviewed your daily schedule to see where you’re wasting time can you begin to make meaningful life adjustments. Smart time management tips for small business owners often emphasize a consistent theme — brutal honesty when assessing something’s importance is a crucial part of time management.

It’s helpful to break down your daily tasks and responsibilities into categories that are ranked by matter of importance. You may discover that you’re wasting untold minutes on insignificant duties that can be dedicated elsewhere. Furthermore, categorizing your daily responsibilities in terms of their importance helps you focus on the most urgent and pressing of issues first.

Prioritizing is the key to success.
Most time management philosophies revolve around proper prioritization; after all, if you can’t arrive at an understanding of what needs to be done immediately versus that which can be delayed, you’ll always be misapplying your time. Consider having a company-wide list of your most pressing business decisions. Urgent matters that must be dealt with can be brushed under the rug when no one is keeping track of forthcoming deadlines.

A business-wide commitment to deadlines is vitally important; company executives who fail to meet important commitments cannot be let off the hook. Rank-and-file workers who see such behavior will quickly learn that they don’t have to deal with urgent matters themselves when the boss doesn’t.

Make sure your managers and leadership figures understand how to prioritize properly. Everyday employees who are struggling to climb the corporate ladder can be frustrated by managers who don’t know how to prioritize their work. So individual workers should read up on how to prioritize when their leaders don’t know to.

At all times, company leaders should be prepared to step in and help employees prioritize when they’re struggling with a huge workload. Managers can only be effective when the meddle for the better. But, make sure that you’re not over analyzing the schedules of each of your workers and micromanaging their every move.

Personalization is imperative to the success of time management. It’s important to understand that not everyone prioritizes work-related goals the same. Different workers may employ different time management philosophies. It’s crucial to understand what unique approach you need to embrace. Learn how to take a personal approach to keeping close track of your minutes and you’ll be achieving more in no time.

Don’t let time management become a stressor.
Despite how important it is to closely manage your time, it’s also true that time management can become a serious stressor if you’re not doing it properly. Far too many workers drive themselves to the brink of insanity by keeping a close track of each second as it passes, when in reality all you need to do is have an understandable schedule and a realistic list of priorities. Effective time management that reaches into your personal life shouldn’t try to dictate your free time too much, for instance. Closely choreographing your blissful moments of relaxation is just another way of overworking yourself outside the office.

The important takeaway here is that time management is a vital part of success in the modern business world yet can’t be trusted to entirely dictate your life. You always need to leave yourself an unscheduled block of free time that can be used to do whatever you want — maybe it’s catching up on work, a favorite TV show, or the list of household chores you’ve been ignoring for too long. Whatever it is, having some time to “take care of the little things” in your life and forget about the hectic world of your workplace is an important part of staying productive when you’re actually in the office. Time is the most important resource in business precisely because it determines everything else — if you’re not carefully balancing your vacation time with your work time, you’ll soon find both have been frivolously wasted.

A major part of refusing to let time management become a stressor in your life is learning to focus on those business task which are important rather than just those which are urgent. Meeting important forthcoming deadlines is important, and you should never deliberately ignore a timeline you’d put together in the past, but part of being an expert at time management is understanding that you need to retain a certain degree of flexibility to react to important issues as they arise.

Focusing on what’s important.
Perhaps the most vital lesson you can learn when it comes to managing your time wisely is that not everything which is urgent is important, and vice versa. Sometimes, you’ll need to take care of an issue immediately but will find it to be of trivial importance. Elsewhere, you’ll encounter decisions of chief importance to your company that can technically be put off for days, weeks, or even months. Learning to properly categorize your duties and incoming projects so as to better be aware of what’s importance versus what’s urgent is the final step of becoming a time management guru.

Read up on how to schedule important tasks versus urgent ones, and you’ll quickly see that the common elements of flexibility and prioritization turn up anywhere that time management is mentioned. Refuse to allow anxiety to take ahold of you and instead focus on the most pressing issues and you’ll soon discover time management to be much easier than you have imagined. The largest corporations and the smallest mom and pop shops alike have to make proper use of their time if they want to succeed, and you’re no different. Pay close attention to how you’re spending your precious time and take some extra steps to more cautiously chart out your days, and your business will soon be thriving.

Source Entrepreneur

How MTN impacts lives of Nigerian youths


In November 2016, Bloomberg reported that Nigeria had reached roughly over 182 million, “with more than half its people under 30 years of age, putting a severe strain on a nation suffering from a slowing economy and declining revenue to provide enough schools and health facilities.” Director General of the National Population Commission, Ghaji Bello, said this estimate was based on the population of 140 million recorded in the last census over a decade ago. The country has boomed from its over 45 million population in 1960, and so have the various problems that have plagued the giant of Africa.

However, the vibrancy of the young Nigerian has appeared to inflate as opposed to Nigeria’s political or economical growth. Amidst the cries for political stability and credible economic and financial infrastructure, the enduring spirit of our youth seeks to fight for survival using various avenues – entrepreneurship, entertainment, tech startups, etc. Areas with youth-focused ‘capital’ have begun thriving in spite of numerous calls for strike action, prolonged strike, increasing rate of unemployment. A report in the has shown that the number of unemployed Nigerians rose by 3.3 million to 20.9 million in the third quarter of 2018, only.

The entrepreneurial spirit in the Nigerian youth has served as a fuel and thankfully, others within the shores have taken notice. MTN Nigeria kick started the maiden edition of its Pulse Invasion series in July 2018 at the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly known as the University of Ife) where hundreds of young students were held spell bound for the five-day duration of the event. One of the biggest draws for the event was the Pulse Talk Series that had famed beauty entrepreneur, Bimpe Onakoya, and life and business strategist, Steve Harris. Students gathered in droves to listen to two people who had once been in their shoes and made it ‘out’.

Onakoya built a thriving beauty empire from scratch and pure determination. Harris was a two-time college dropout who now coaches CEOS and tycoons. They were the perfect people to get the attention of the young ones to listen and learn. An extensive Google training followed, that covered using the internet to expand the entrepreneurial footprints of the students.

By October 1st, the second edition of the year had begun in earnest at the University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River. Excitement coloured the air as impactful entrepreneurial skills was expertly served with the right doses of fun and excitement. Over the course of two months, tertiary institutions in Ogun, Delta and Kwara states received the Pulse Invasion treatment.

One of the most impressive aspects of the series has been the vastness of the fields of those who anchored the motivational sessions – Pulse Talk Series. Tech entrepreneur and co-founder at Jobberman (an online career portal from Nigeria), Opeyemi Awoyemi; Actor, film producer and director, Kunle Afolayan; Beauty entrepreneur and owner of the Tara beauty line of cosmetics, Tara Fela-Durotoye; Nkechi Founder of Aso Ebi Bella (Nigerian online wedding magazine), Nkechi ‘Ink’ Eze; Bisola Dakolo (professional photographer), and many others.

Source The Nation Online

5 Steps to Master Networking Skills and Perfect Your Personal Branding

By Dmitry Dragilev

The phrases “personal branding” and “networking skills” make a lot of people cringe. It’s often associated with being sleazy and ingenuine, with the main goal being wriggling your way into the “inner circle” for your own selfish reasons.

Leaving aside the nasty reputation, networking—if it’s based on building genuine relationships—is one of the most powerful tools for personal brands.

First of all, hanging out with the crowd in your industry is important for being able to learn from the best—knowledge sharing is one of the most powerful ways for everyone to succeed.

Networking is also a great way to get yourself associated and on the radar with other professionals—not just because, but for establishing useful partnerships and cooperation.

There is definitely a subtle art behind successful and authentic networking. Besides the work that goes into figuring out your motives, finding your approach, and creating compelling conversations, a lot of hard effort needs to go into maintaining the relationships you form too.

Today, we’re going to share five tips for polishing your public relationships skills, and maintaining your connections.

1. Figure Out Your “Why?”

Like we said in the intro, the word “networking” tends to have a bad reputation, so you need to make sure that your motives for wanting to network don’t align with that nasty label.

Before you start taking any other steps, you need to understand what networking really means—especially for you personally.

What’s your ultimate goal with trying to make connections with other people in your industry or area? Why are you doing it?

Are you mainly trying to initiate knowledge sharing and learning from others? Are you looking to maybe start cooperating or working with these people? Are you looking for business partners or investors?

You need to have a very clear understanding of why you want to start getting into networking, rather “just because” or “it’d be fun”. This will help you pick your strategies and make sure you have the right approach.

Even though, like we said, networking needs to be based on genuinely, there are still different initial “pitches” you need to make—even just to start a conversation. You don’t have to sell yourself by any means, but knowing what you’re after will help you set the right tone from the get go.

Just trying to make a light connection with someone whose work you admire is very different from starting a conversation with someone you hope will invest in your business.

So, before you jump into any action, figure out your “why” and think about how that would set the tone for your communication.

2. Do Your Research

Once you’ve figured out what your end goal or main interests are for getting into the networking world, it’s time to really do your homework about the people or companies you’d like to get in touch with.

You might think that you know a lot about them already, but there’s most likely things you haven’t discovered yet.

Take your time and make sure you’re really familiar with everything they’ve done. Go into detail too—the more specifics you know about them and their work, the easier it will be for you to connect.

You might even find things that you have in common that you didn’t know about. For example, check out their social media profiles. Maybe they tweet about cats as much as you do!

Even if there really isn’t a single thing you’ve missed in your previous knowledge about them, you can still refresh your memory. Read their content again, listen to their podcast, look at their designs—whatever area they’re in.

If you’ve been keeping an eye on them for a longer time, you’ll be looking at their work with a fresh set of eyes, and might even have a different attitude towards it.

Having intimate knowledge about the people who you’re going to attempt to connect with will give you a lot of topics to discuss, ask about, and connect over.

3. Be Human

There’s a good chance that the people you want to network with already have a crowd circling around them, trying to do the same.

This might not be the case, but even then, make sure to keep your human-ness in any contact.

Don’t put on a mask, or try to come across as something or someone you’re not. Even if you’re not dealing with people who have thousands of others trying to connect with them, most “regular” people can still tell when you’re being fake.

Try to not treat anyone like a business contact from the get go. It usually comes across as cold, impersonal, and rigid. Even worse, it sends an immediate signal that you’re up to no good and in it only for your own causes.

Networking shouldn’t be about using people, it should be about helping each other and sharing experiences and knowledge.

Rather than just handing off a business card, a much better way to go is to make a light, friend-like connection, literally. When you’re making your contact, think about how you would approach a potential friend!

Don’t start any of your conversations with “so how about that giant funding your company got yesterday?”, start with “I saw on your LinkedIn profile that you’re big on surfing—mind giving me some tips?”—you get the gist.

As your conversations go further, you’ll find the time to talk about work. Everything at its own, appropriate time!

And who knows, you might actually end up being best buddies.

4. Know Your Boundaries

This should go without saying, but know your limits.

Sometimes, connections just don’t happen, no matter how much you’ve worked on your skills or thought it’ll be the most amazing networking experience you’ll ever have.

If it’s not happening, it’s not happening, and you need to let it go. Nobody likes pushy people. If you find out your interests aren’t aligned, the conversation isn’t flowing, or the connection just isn’t there, don’t pursue it. Walk away. Don’t be rude about it, but just walk away.

Think of it kind of like dating, some dates just don’t work out. Not that anyone did anything wrong, but the alignment just isn’t there, and trying to push it isn’t beneficial to either side.

To avoid wasting your time as well as other people’s, it’s best to exit conversations that aren’t a good match sooner rather than later. This will give you the opportunity to go and connect with someone you’re a great fit with.

5. Keep In Touch

We all know how hard it is to keep in touch with people who aren’t immediate family or very close friends.

Time goes by, we’re all busy, past contact is forgotten; it happens.

The key to keeping relationships alive is keeping the conversation going. You’ve connected with people that you admire and want to learn from, right?

So, keep an eye on what they do, what they say, and what they’re up to. Start a conversation when they do something awesome—write a good post, launch a product, whatever it is that you’re excited about on their behalf.

Remind yourself every now and then. Reply to their tweet, leave a comment on their content, send them a postcard—whatever. Don’t be worried about being annoying.

Here’s what Alex Turnbull, CEO of Groove, has to say about following up in his article about how networking can help you succeed in life and business:[1]

“A lot of people are hesitant to follow up because they think they’re being annoying. But consider this: what if you’re not being annoying? What if you’re actually being helpful?”

So make sure you include your experiences as well, something that could help them. Work on making your relationships meaningful ones, with a lot of mutual learning involved.

Did they just announce they’re writing a book? Send an email telling them about the awesome editing tool you just found.

If you know you tend to be forgetful when it comes to keeping relationships, make a physical note to do so. Have a weekly planner? Jot down “shoot John an email” or “recommend this app to Susan.”

Mastering Personal Branding Is an Art and a Science

Even though it has the unfortunate reputation, building public relationships doesn’t have to be evil or ingenuine.

As long as you understand that successful networking is built on creating real, genuine, mutual relationships, it can be an incredible tool for learning, connecting, knowledge sharing, and business opportunities if you want them.

Take your time, figure out your end goal of why you want to start getting around more, make sure you’re connecting on the right foundations, and keep the conversation going—even if you have to teach yourself to do it.

Even if you don’t 100% get to your end goal, deliberate networking is still a surefire way to create great relationships that can be helpful when you least expect it!

More Resources About Networking & Work Communication

Featured photo credit: Antenna via

[1] ^ Groove: How to Use Networking to Succeed in Business and Life

This article was first published at Lifehack

Ethiopia: Employment sought for Sri Lankan youth in African continent

Employment has been sought for Sri Lankan youth in the African continent.

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Ethiopia celebrated the 71st Anniversary of National Day of Sri Lanka with the Addis Ababa based Diplomats, senior officials of the Ethiopian Government and the African Union Commission, Ethiopian entrepreneurs and members of the Sri Lankan community, at the Sri Lanka House.

The official ceremony commenced with the hoisting of the national flag by Ambassador Sumith Dassanayake followed by singing of national anthems of Sri Lanka and Ethiopia, observing two minutes of silence in remembrance of national heroes and lighting of traditional oil lamp by the invited guests, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Ethiopia said.

The National Day messages of the President, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs were read out in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages.

Addressing the gathering, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union Commission Sumith Dassanayake outlined the significant achievements of Sri Lanka since independence and requested the Diplomatic Corps and other foreign guests to make use of the opportunities available in Sri Lanka in the fields of trade, tourism and foreign investment etc.

The Ambassador also acknowledged the positive contributions made by the Sri Lankan expatriate community in Ethiopia and Africa for economic development in Sri Lanka. He also requested them to contribute further and find more employment opportunities for Sri Lankan youths in the African continent.

At the end, a short video featuring Sri Lanka’s tourist and cultural attractions was screened to the audience.

Source MenaFM

Prof. Kim Urges Youth To Patronise GET Programme To Develop Entrepreneurship Abilities

By Modern Ghana

The Director of the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Handong Global University, Professor George Kim, has urged Ghana to nurture an environment that would generate more entrepreneurs to solve the unemployment problem and create wealth for its citizens.

He, therefore, encouraged Ghanaians to patronise the Global Entrepreneurship Training (GET), which teaches the mechanisms for starting new businesses for accelerating economic growth.

Prof. Kim, who was addressing the eighth GET session, organised jointly with Methodist University College of Ghana (MUCG) explained that the sessions also offered the platform for sharing life changing experiences that helped to transform young people into creative entrepreneurs.

When young people developed entrepreneurial mindsets, he said, their nations benefited a great deal as was evidenced by the situation in most developed countries, which had been able to sustain their frontal positions on the global economic ladder.

So far eight GET sessions have been held in 12 countries on four of the continents since the inception of the Programme. It has produced more than 300 graduates who are making significant contributions to the development of their countries.

In Africa, regional centres for Global Entrepreneurship have been established in Ghana and Kenya, with the MUCG hosting Ghana’s facility.

The Coordinator for the Ghana GET Programme, the Reverend Francis Aboagye -Nuamah, said it was important to help young children to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset so that they would grow with the principles and apply them at the ripe time.

‘We have a session for our Senior High School where our volunteers explain the programme to them comprehensively and help them to develop the critical mindset for identifying problems,’ he explained.

Rev Aboagye-Nuamah said that the Programme would not only focus on solving entrepreneurial problems but also aid people to excel in their fields.

The President of the Students Representative Council, Mr. Charles Iheke, on his part, said the GET initiative at the MUCG was being implemented with UNESCO and Handong Global University, towards solving the myriad of problems related to unemployment.

‘This is targeted at people in Africa, because we believe that by 2050, Africa will be home to over four billion people,’ he said

He explained that the Junior Entrepreneur Session that was held for the senior high schools would prepare them for university, thus going in with a renewed mind like that of modern day entrepreneurs.

Source Modern Ghana

Nigeria plans entrepreneur bank

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said the country plans to establish an Entrepreneur Bank to provide flexibility in provision of facilities to businesses.

Osinbajo disclosed this while fielding questions from a cross-section of women who ply their trade in various fields at a programme tagged `Next Level Conversation’ on Monday in Abuja.

The women, who were mostly entrepreneurs, were drawn from the education, environment, agriculture, real estate, hospitality among other sectors.

The vice president said that the issue of giving cheap loans to small businesses had featured prominently in the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

Nigeria, he said, has been able to deal to some extent with small and micro businesses; we have TraderMoni, MarketMoni, FarmerMoni; which are basically very small credit schemes.

“We are also looking at an Enterprise Bank or an Entrepreneur Bank which is one of the types of establishment we are looking at.

“We think there is a need for a bank that will be a bit more nimble about entrepreneurship; a bank that has a bit more flexibility.

“That is why we are talking about Entrepreneur Bank; of course, we will need a bill in the National Assembly; in the meantime, we think we can start with a bond to put a lot around it without necessarily building another big bureaucracy,’’ he said.

Osinbajo said there was need to properly fund education as efforts were been made to get the Tertiary Education Trust Fund(TETFund) to also fund the private sector.

He reiterated that the issue of funding education lied with the Federal, State and Local Governments.

More so, the vice president said that the Federal Government would synergise with state and local governments to curb multiple taxation which had adverse effect on businesses.

The ministers of Women Affairs and Finance participated in the interaction.

Source NTA