The Diary Of A Young Entrepreneur – *Take the loan, Take the risk, Take the fear and Make your money.*
There is a lot of misconceptions about using loan to start business in Africa. Many of these misconceptions are planted into many minds by some of our pastors and imams who claims many times through their preachings that if you are using loan for anything that it doesn’t have the blessing of the Lord in it. To be sincere, I had been under such preaching several times.
Such preaching is not only erroneous but it is also harmful and had killed a lot of business ideas. Capital is one the most important tools for the success of any business and it is not an exaggeration if I say it is difficult to get in this part of the world.
Banks rarely give loans to young entrepreneurs in Africa. They scare entrepreneurs away with high interest rate or by requesting for collateral they know they won’t be able to provide and this is one of the reasons entrepreneurship has not been thriving so well in Africa compared to other continents where entrepreneurs and start up companies are making great impacts.
Our banks prefer to give politicians loans to run for election rather than supporting youth entrepreneurs with start up capital. They know the politicians once in power have access to the state treasury and can use it anyway they like which include paying the loans they took from banks to do campaign from the government purse.
In fact the reason why many banks are presently having problem with capital base is because many of our banks have been using money stolen by government officials which are kept in their banks to cover up their inefficiency and inability to manage the fund of their customers in a way that it will bring in returns.
Thank God for the recent anti-corruption war, we are beginning to see the deception and fraud that had plague our banking sectors for years. We cannot be more corrupt as a nation. Our banking sector is as corrupt as the government itself.
Now to my story. I am an entrepreneur and I always look for opportunities around me. I love to solve problems in a way that it will bring money into my pocket.
I was to launch a product last year. I did my market survey and I saw a huge market for the product. I was ready to launch into the market and make a huge profit. But between me and that dream was a capital of #1,000,000(One Million Naira).
I didn’t waste my time going to the bank. I don’t know any bank manager that can give me such loan without requesting for collateral. I know the only solution was to think outside the box.
I already saw the opportunity so I knew giving up was not an option. I began to call friends, families, mentors and even enemies. After a lot of hard work and persuasions, I was able to raise #700,000 with different interest rate ranging from 10% to 20% which were payable within 6 months.
Without any delay, I invested all the money with the little I had in my account into the product. I am a die hard entrepreneur, I don’t give failure a chance. I got the product out and launched into the market and this involved travelling to 7 states within a week. Taking the product to people that needed it.
The people I took the product to were happy to see it. The schools authorities were ready to place copies in the hands of their students and I already started celebrating the expected profit until the unexpected happened.
A policy from Federal Government destabilised the market. The schools who already promised to use the product for their students had no other option than to drop it.
I was downcast. I was thinking of how to pay the loan back. The products were already on ground. I had ran to the producer for production with a great deal of optimism since I already got positive response from those I took the product to earlier.
The optimism was gone after the bad news. *Sorry Mr. Vincent we won’t be able to use your book for our students again.* was the popular reply from the schools after I had already produced in large quantities.
At that point, nothing matters to me than how to pay the *#700,000* loan, a lot people who gave me the loan gave me out of trust, I never wanted the trust to be betrayed.
I just have to look for way out. So I started looking for another market. Independent market this time around. I can’t afford not to pay back the loan. I developed different marketing strategies many which required investing further which I was not ready for.
Things became really tough but I was not ready to give up. I started going to schools to give free talks and encourage students to buy the book after my talks. I will go so emotional with my story most times not because I wanted to but because I read from books that people make decisions easily when their emotion is triggered.
I did that for some months and it later worked out. Within a year, I paid the loans with the interest and invested the profit back into the business and also came up with another idea which I saw another market for and I invested into it too.
If I was to follow the belief that loan is not good, I will be poorer than I was last year but the story is the other way round. I took the risk and I am richer than I thought I would be last year.
Dear entrepreneur, don’t be afraid to take the risk. Don’t be afraid take the loan. Many of the big companies we have around today started with loans. Don’t allow the erroneous belief about loan to kill your idea and your ability to provide value oriented solution to problems.
Because of the success of the business, I already started an online school where I will be training people on entrepreneurship and leadership. Feel free to connect with me through my contact *(08169126032)*.
I am a risk taker, an entrepreneur and an impatient optimist. I am sure you will like to be like me but this is the way to follow: *take the risk, take the loan, take the fear and make your money.