After a hearty breakfast, the final day of the Switch weekend seminar commenced with Paul Smith, founder and CEO of Ignitor, a company accelerating and assisting entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. Ignitor does this by utilising the LEAN start-up programme, coaching and mentoring.
Paul introduced Switchers to methods to test business ideas quickly, the importance of product-market fit, how to make the first 100 people in your business happy and the importance of writing a simple pitch utilising credibility markers to convince funders.
Switchers were encouraged to become part of the Ignitor Accelerator programme but were discouraged that the programme was not offered in rural areas. “If you want to become part of the Accelerator programme, be proactive, come together and raise money to invite organisations like Ignitor to your areas. You as Switchers need to take the lead and be innovative about how you go about soliciting help,” said Switch Co-ordinator, Carrie Leaver. “We need you guys to succeed. If you look at what makes life successful, its entrepreneurship, especially in technology. Go out there and build a better world,” said Paul.
Second guest speaker, Frank Magwegwe, CEO of Momentum Market and certified financial planner representing the Financial Planning Institute of South Africa, gave a talk on Money 101 and spoke about essential financial management strategies for start-up businesses. “Money does three things for us: we either spend it, we save it or we share it. For people to better manage money, you need to change behaviour. We go through life and have many money decisions to make. We make about 4-6 money decisions a day, whether these money decisions fall within your means is another question,” said Frank.
After sharing an embarrassing story about buying a trolley of groceries but not having enough money to pay for it, Frank spoke about the importance of budgeting. “Budgeting is beautiful because budgeting is simply a spending plan, you direct the money instead of the money directing you.”
Quick rules for budgeting
- 50% of your money should go for essentials.
- 30% of your money should go to lifestyle choices.
- 20% of your money should go to savings.
Sobering money facts
- 77 out of 100 South Africans have no money left at the end of the month.
- 86 out of 100 South Africans use credit for day-to-day expenses.
- 94 out of 100 South Africans don’t have enough money for retirement.
- 8-9 % of clients say they don’t save because they don’t have money to save.
- Spinach is 10 times more expensive from Woolworths than at Shoprite.
Frank furthermore highlighted that saving doesn’t create wealth, only taking risks creates wealth. “You must take risks and that is where investing comes in. If you keep your money in your savings account, you’re probably getting a 3% growth, however u can grow your money by more than 9% if you invest in shares on the stock exchange for example,” he explained.
Carrie furthermore emphasised the importance of a having a group of like-minded people outside the Switch environment as grouping together is the best way to share ideas and resources after the seminar. “You are not alone. There are probably people all over the country who are looking for like-minded people. Social media platforms are not only a good source of motivation and inspiration but they also connect us all, use them,” lamented Carrie.
At the end of the final day of the seminar, Switchers felt encouraged and appropriately equipped with requisite skills to make their individual projects a success. “Success is never a straight line, there are unexpected turns and obstacles you will encounter. Switch can only take you so far, but the onus is on you to make your project a success. Failures are part of journey, embrace it and move forward. What makes us Switchers is we see opportunities and we see problems, but the problems excite us,” said Carrie.
Switcher, Lusanda Yose from the Eastern Cape was beaming with optimism and hopefulness at the idea of opening her own coffee shop at the end of the weekend seminar. “Switch helped me because I had a lot of ideas but no idea on how to implement them. Switch has helped me explore other avenues and because of that I’ve had a good year. I look forward to putting in the work to make my coffee dreams a reality,” she said.