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HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY.
We wish all mothers a wonderful day.
DECENT CORN NUT MIX
NOW IN FRESHLAND RUWA TM COMPLEX. Pass through and grab a snack.
DECENT FOODS FAMILY JOINS THE MACHESO FAMILY TO CELEBRATE MACHESO'S 52ND BIRTHDAY. WE WISH YOU MANY MORE.
#ReImagining cars and mobility…
__It’s the age of the electric car!
The entrepreneurial story behind the invention of the motor car is one of the best examples of Peter Drucker’s principle: “Innovation plus marketing make money”.
It was back in 1886 when Carl Benz registered the first “Patent Motor Car”. It actually started with only three wheels! At the same time, also in Germany, Gottlieb Daimler developed the first four-wheeled “motor coach”.
Although Benz is now recognized as the founding father of the Mercedes, for over two years after this remarkable innovation that would change the world… he was still not able to sell any of his cars!
Then one day his wife Bertha, whose family had financed his business venture, came up with an ingenious and brave marketing strategy, at a time when little was known about marketing.
As I wrote here a few years ago, at first, people were not very interested in buying “a coach without horses” and some critics told him this noisy “motor car” idea had “no future viability”!
However, Bertha’s marketing of her husband’s innovation led to the emergence of one of the most successful businesses in history: Mercedes Benz of Germany. (The company has now registered 80,000+ patents by the way… Innovation, innovation, innovation!)
While Daimler and Benz are considered amongst the founding fathers of the automobile industry, it is Benz’ wife, Bertha who is surely a founding mother!
Fast followers like Henry Ford in America added their own innovations which laid the foundation for the mass production of the internal combustion engine car, using oil products like petrol and diesel.
The motor car has been one of the greatest innovations in the history of mankind. Its benefits are too many to ever count. Today at least 1,4bn cars are on the road across the world, probably more, no one knows for sure. Last year alone, around 77m+ new cars were sold!
But fossil-fueled cars and trucks are an ever-growing threat to the environment and to our climate. These billion+ cars are choking the lungs of the planet, like a cigarette on a smoker.
A new generation of entrepreneurs led by men like Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, who was born in South Africa, have brought back an old idea, which never took off in the early years of the car…
__Engines can use electricity from batteries rather than petrol!
The number of electrical vehicles (EVs) on the roads is increasing rapidly. These are still early days in a growing industry but the size of the global market for EVs was already valued at $162bn+ last year and is projected to reach more than $800bn by 2027.
As most of you know, several countries which are worried about the climate change crisis have now passed laws that will ban the use of petrol cars by 2030.
#Innovators have responded quickly. Now almost every “fossil-fuel motor vehicle” manufacturer in the world is producing (or working to produce) electric versions of its popular brands!
What about Africa?
Do you think we will get electric cars? The simple answer is: decidedly yes!
How it happens, and when it happens, creates a lot of room for entrepreneurs like some of you.
Yesterday (Thursday 28 May) our company Vaya Africa launched Vaya Electric.
This is my own point of entry into this new game. We are all really excited to be offering great value and safety to our customers, while helping the earth, too. We have even developed solar-powered EV charging stations!
There are thousands of other entry points in the EV market, big and small.
What about you? What do YOU see?
Image credit: Vaya Electric. Here's an article to read a bit more: https://techcrunch.com/2020/05/27/vaya-africa-launches-electric-ride-hail-taxi-network/
Lets fight corona
#OneFightAgainst Corona (Part 8)
__Case study: The power of teamwork to tackle challenges.
There is an old African saying, if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together. In the past few months, I can say that it is possible to go BOTH fast and far… if you put together the right team. Today I want to share an update on something I've worked on only for the past few months, with some very good friends of mine, Sir Richard Branson and eBay founder Jeff Skoll, along with some visionary teams, African and global alike.
You all know by now that as an entrepreneur, it is important to keep your eyes open, and if at all possible, to reach out and meet a human need with the products and services you offer. Today I am going to share with you the actual press release that was just sent out to the media today (Wednesday) to tell them about this initiative. I haven't done this here before but I want you to study it as a real-time case study.
I am sure some of you entrepreneurs here on the platform are also in the process of inventing, innovating or putting together your own businesses, or teams, in your own communities to help tackle the impact of the deadly pandemic we’re fighting now, as well as preparing for the post-COVID days ahead. Let’s talk.
# African and global philanthropists team-up to manufacture COVID-19 medical equipment in Africa
African and global philanthropists have teamed up to help African nations secure urgently needed ventilators, breathing support devices and other medical equipment, in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Strive Masiyiwa, co-founder of Higherlife Foundation, who has recently been appointed as an African Union Special Envoy to mobilise the private sector response to COVID-19, is leading a private partnership to start local manufacturing of the equipment. Working with fellow philanthropists Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Skoll, the group have identified two solutions which will be manufactured in South Africa.
The initiative will start with the production of 1,000 bridge ventilators, a design that was provided to this partnership for free by Virgin Orbit and has recently received emergency use authorisation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is designed with a price significantly lower than a normal ventilator.
The partners are also in discussions with Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company regarding the oxygen helmet prototype produced in partnership with NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California and the Aerospace Valley Task Force in California, pending a grant of emergency use authorization by the US FDA. Oxygen helmets help open up the alveoli in the lungs, and delay or prevent Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).
“We have found a major South African company called Invicta Holdings that can mass produce these bridge ventilators and oxygen helmets. Any country that wants them can buy them at cost from that company,” said Masiyiwa, founder and Group Chairman of Econet Global. “This is a not-for-profit venture for us as philanthropists”.
The philanthropists have come together to secure initial orders, ensuring that the devices can quickly reach healthcare professionals across the continent to save lives. This will be the first of many innovations that will be locally manufactured in Africa to serve the needs of over 1.2 billion people facing the onslaught of this pandemic.
Masiyiwa has also pulled together a team to build an online platform to manage global procurement of medical equipment, including PPE. To be launched in partnership with the Africa CDC before the end of May, it will play a critical role in supply management, with Invicta one of many manufacturers who has agreed to sell medical equipment through this platform.
Branson, whose companies developed the ventilator and oxygen helmets as part of their philanthropic efforts to support the global COVID-19 response, has a deep and long relationship with Africa.
“We’ve been honoured to work in partnership with Strive, Jeff and the team at Invicta to get much needed bridge ventilators and oxygen helmets to countries across Africa,” Branson said.
“I’m so proud of the teams at Virgin Orbit and Virgin Galactic who immediately pivoted their engineering expertise to create low-cost, innovative solutions to save lives. Our foundation, Virgin Unite, will continue to support this partnership and work with its other partners, like Last Mile Health who are mobilising thousands of community health workers, to do what we can to help flatten the curve in Africa.”
In 2014-16, the African Union in partnership with a range of global organisations, successfully led the response to Ebola in West Africa, stopping it from taking millions of lives and spreading to the rest of the world. Its expertise will be critical in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and in strengthening health systems across the continent.
Founded by Jeff Skoll, the California-based Skoll Foundation has committed to expanding its giving to $200m to fight COVID-19 and its impacts. Skoll’s first COVID-19 grants were directed to the African continent in early February to assist with pandemic preparedness and response. A full list of Skoll’s grants to date are available on their website.
Skoll said, “The global scope of this pandemic requires an urgent and coordinated response. This is a tangible example of how working together gets us farther, faster on behalf of those who deserve access to PPE and assistive breathing devices but have been boxed out of the global purchasing markets. We consider it an honour to work with Strive, Richard, and the Africa CDC on this effort.”
Gavin Pelser, Director of Invicta Holdings and CEO of Engineering Solutions Group shared, “Invicta Holdings Chairman, Dr Christo Wiese, has personally committed to various initiatives with the objective of minimising the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential devastating outcome on the people of Africa. Dr Wiese is proud to be part of this great initiative, working with Richard, Strive and Jeff to procure specialized equipment designed by the best engineers in the world from Virgin Orbit and Virgin Galactic. Invicta will deliver high quality manufacturing of this world-class product in Africa for the people of Africa.”
End of press release.
These are very unusual times. As an entrepreneur you can understand there is nothing “normal” about creating products that you hope and pray that no one will ever need to use… but the reality is that we need to be prepared to help our people survive if they contract the disease. I appreciate the involvement of everyone on this project so far.
I hope to hear what you are working on, too.
To be continued. . .
Image credit: Virgin Orbit. Here's link to press release: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/african-and-global-philanthropists-team-up-to-manufacture-covid-19-medical-equipment-in-africa-301065611.html
Here is wishing you a happy Africa day. United we stand. We can surely overcome covid.
__A time to plant and a time to plan.
There's an old story some of you have probably heard called "The Wolf You Feed". It goes something like this (I have adapted it a little). One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two 'wolves' inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, arrogance, self-pity, inferiority, corruption, intolerance, ego and lies. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, vision, kindness, innovation, empathy, truth, and faith."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked: "Grandfather, which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee replied quietly: "The one you feed."
These are very hard times. And they will get harder for most people in the months and even years ahead, depending on decisions being made each and every day. Including your own. Which wolf will you decide to feed, each day?
You may be one of the millions around the world feeling lonely, depressed, fearful, and even worthless if your job has disappeared, or your pay has been slashed. Maybe you have no idea now how you are going to feed your family or send your kids to school.
Then there are young people like some of you, about to graduate from school. You have worked so hard for this important day set for 2020, but not only is the traditional graduation ceremony cancelled, you really have no idea what the future will bring.
__You are not alone. Be strong and of good courage. We will get through this.
Yes, times are tough. Very tough. But if you want to be the Wolf that "wins" in this old Cherokee story, you must start now to #Re-imagine a post-pandemic future. You have no choice. We need your #SolutionMindset busy now. What do YOU see?
Not long ago I told you about things that keep ME up at night, and one of them is Food Security. Sufficient food is already a continental crisis, crying out urgently for serious and innovative entrepreneurs, and in particular, #Agripreneurs. Especially now.
Remember: agrifood in Africa is still going to be a $1Tn industry in the years ahead. Whilst some businesses will definitely fail during and after this COVID-19 pandemic, all our people will always need food. They will ALWAYS need food. Good, healthy food!
Last year most of you know we launched the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize and two of you (Isaac Sesi and Bonolo Monthe) won $50k each to grow their agribusinesses.
The 2nd Annual GoGettaz competition kicked off last month and I would love to see some of you compete to win this year, to help us feed Africa’s people and the world. Don't say I didn't tell you about it! Here's the link to enter: https://vc4a.com/gogettaz/2020/
Most likely the GoGettaz Agripreneur Grand Finale pitch competition for the top-10 (that we held in Ghana in 2019) will be held online this year. That is fine! Everything is online these days. The show must go on. You have until 18 June to apply. The award ceremony will be held in September, along with the announcement of the prestigious Africa Food Prize.
__I have heard that a few thousand entrepreneurs have already applied, but only 25% are women so far. Please tell your sisters across Africa about this competition. I know there are some amazingly successful agripreneurial Lionesses of Africa out there. Our judges will choose one male and one female winner!
Help share this opportunity with others and be sure to check out the free webinars for entrepreneurs the GoGettaz Africa team has put together. Here's a link to the most recent one yesterday:
Whatever field you are in, now is the time to plant new seeds, and to plan, in ways you never ever have before.
We are in a new world.
See it as an entrepreneur. We will get through this.
#SolutionMindset #FeedTheGoodWolf #GrowEntrepreneurs #TransformFood #GoGettaz #AgripreneurPrize
Image caption: Social entrepreneur Lilian Nakigozi is co-founder and CEO of Uganda Women Smiles, a women- founded, women-led and women-focused social venture which teaches young women how to use vertical farming for food and livelihood in urban areas. She was one of our top finalists last year! https://www.f6s.com/womensmilesuganda
We continue to celebrate all mothers and grandmothers this month.
Covid 19 is real stay at home, if you must work, observe the rules.
#stay home, wash up, sanitize.
WE WISH YOU WELL IN 2020 DO YOUR BEST ALWAYS
Pause: From vision to action...
__#ReImaginingRural, starting at home!
I have a vision. I call them Rural Entrepreneurship Centers. Each one would be located at a business center in rural Africa, powered by a solar "mini-grid" providing enough electricity for any small business activity, plus Internet cafes, and eventually, clean water and sanitation. Last week we launched a new company to roll out these "mini-grids"! It is called Ugesi Energy. Here's the link: www.ugesienergy.com Let me know what you think!
My wife suggested and I agreed that we should start out in the Matabeleland provinces of Zimbabwe, where we will roll out the first 10 "mini-grids" over the next six months! Teams have already arrived in Bulawayo, the regional capital, and will start work within two weeks.
I want each Ugesi Energy-powered Rural Entrepreneurship Center (REC) to attract entrepreneurs and innovators of all kinds!
We know entrepreneurs need financial support to get started, so a couple of weeks ago we launched the $100m Masiyiwa Rural Challenge Fund in my home country of Zimbabwe. Through Steward Bank, loans of up to $10k will be disbursed at 5% interest, to entrepreneurs who show they can set up and scale their ventures in rural areas. The Masiyiwa Fund is an “impact investment” supported by our family foundation.
Anyone from Zimbabwe with an interesting business that can be based in or within a 5k radius of these RECs will be able to apply for a loan, without having to put up collateral. Applications will be processed using our AI platform called Kwenga.
At each REC, I want to see shared economy businesses like KariGo and HelloTractor offering contract ploughing services to local farmers. I want to see agritech and agrifood ventures. I want to see young people with their own visions launching amazing new #ReImagineRural businesses!
#AgripreneurAlert: What businesses might you set up in a REC, if you had access to electricity, Internet, and a loan of up to $10,000?
Already we have people planning to set up businesses such as poultry, cottage dairies, welding and sewing shops. Others are talking about food products such as tomatoes and fresh vegetables. Others have new innovations in mind...
What about the rest of Africa? If the Zimbabwe pilot is successful, I will encourage other African countries also to adopt this model. Already I have targeted Rwanda, Burundi, Lesotho and Botswana as potential countries for similar projects. Are you in?
Success for me is not just rural Zimbabwe. I want to scale this vision across Africa!
I have spoken to several global philanthropists about #ReImagineRural. The response has been remarkable, principally because I have “skin in the game” -- an African philanthropist putting his own money on the table.
But we cannot do it alone. I need you to succeed once an opportunity like this is opened. Don’t allow fraudsters and others to ruin it. Be vigilant even if you are not benefiting immediately. Help me to help you!
For instance, if people who get these loans from Steward Bank don't pay them back on time, it will hurt the community's ability to get future loans. When they do repay as promised, it will grow the fund for the community!
#SeniorClass, please share with others on the platform here about the Grameen Bank model and how it works.
Your generation must define the future. Who will take up my challenge?
What can you do #RightWhereYouAre?
I know times are very, very tough, in many places. Still like eagles in the storm, you must stay focused and keep your eyes open for opportunities. They are out there!
What is your own vision? What do you see?