Francescah Munyi is the founder and CEO of KOFAR Kenya Ltd, an agribusiness company that manufactures fortified compost and soil conditioners.
Biggest money mistake: Being very easy with handing out money ranks high in my money mistakes. Previously, I would do this especially to my relatives and friends. I have since realized that I shouldn’t have gone out of my way in handing out my money as easily as I did, especially when it wasn’t put into good use. Today, I’ll re-invest such cash in myself without feeling bad about it. At the end of the day, accumulating wealth for others and at your own expense is slavery! Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that I financially abandon my close ones altogether. I’ll only give out cash where necessary, but consistently show them how to make it so that they aren’t overly reliant on me.
What I’d do differently: If I could start all over again, I’d be careful to form business partnerships with persons who are like-minded. When I started, I did not progress as fast and as smoothly as I’d have wished. This was because of partnering with the wrong business people who didn’t want to invest their energy and resources into the business as equally as I did. They ended up draining me.
Saving method: I used to save through bank accounts. Today, I no longer do this. Saving in a bank is not an effective method for entrepreneurs. Due to low returns, it essentially keeps cash that you’d use as capital for numerous sprouting ventures idle. Money is not primarily for saving, but for utilizing through profitable ventures. Nonetheless, through experience, I have also learned that the method of pulling cash and resources together that is mandatory in women’s chamas is an effective way of instilling a workable saving culture.
Making it in business: To begin with, you must choose a path that is not common. Your product or service should be different and innovative. Be disciplined in resource management including time. Unfortunately, many women looking to start go for common enterprise shops that can be easily aped by others, further aggravating competition in an already competitive market. Personally, I have learned that to build wealth through business, I must know how to share and build companies together with other shareholders. The cliché that two can go further together is true. This means that as women, we must look beyond those around us, travel widely, and interact with other entrepreneurs in order to see things from different perspectives.
Biggest financial milestone: Setting up my company is my beacon of success. It took me three years to set it up and produce products that were tested and approved by the government.
Entrepreneurship versus employment: Entrepreneurship is way more effective in generating wealth than employment. However, being an entrepreneur does not guarantee that you will get rich unless you master the art of investing and multiplying cash. Additionally, unlike employment which provides a level of income insurance, entrepreneurship is risky and more prone to failure if not executed properly.
The side hustle: I believe women should be brave enough to start side hustles. Apart from providing an extra income stream, side hustles will always offer you a chance to really discover what you’re good at. They are also a viable step of transitioning from employment to business.