With conviction in the philosophy of ‘’Africapitalism’’ and the believe of founder, Tony O. Elumelu that “no one but African can develop them Africa”, Tanzanian entrepreneur and CEO of Jagrin, Riziki Jailos Messa has offered free finance consultancy services to the TEF 2017 entrepreneurs.
Riziki writes on his decision to help:
Apart from being an agri-business entrepreneur in the TEF 2017 Programme, professionally, I am a Certified Public Accountant in Public Practice (ACPA – PP), and a financial management consultant. Being passionate for Africapitalism, and a true Pan Africanist, I believed that I have the talent, skills and experience to support my fellow African entrepreneurs. I know that Africa needs extraordinary efforts to develop, and I therefore, played my part by maximising my potential through supporting the TEF 2017 entrepreneurs on re-working of their business plans. I eventually supported 40 entrepreneurs to secure their seed capital.
Initial support to Tanzanian entrepreneurs
I declared to my fellow Tanzanians during the 12 weeks training that apart from being a farmer, I am also a chartered accountant, and I was available to offer mentoring and coaching on area of financial management to my fellow entrepreneurs. When the results of the first review of business plan came out, I supported 6 Tanzanians entrepreneurs on the re-work of their business plans and they subsequently got accepted by Accenture after my support.
Extension of the support to the rest of Africa
It was evening of Friday, 13th October during the African dinner at Nigerian Law School when I saw one of the TEF 2017 Entrepreneur busy with his business plan excel sheets working on financials in the dining hall. I felt very sorry for him. As an experienced accountant and consultant, an Associate Certified Public Accountant in Public Practice (ACPA – PP), I committed myself on the same day that I must assist those still with problems with their business plans, especially financials part at the Forum. I therefore announced to the ‘’TEF 2017 Entrepreneurs WhatsApp group’’ in the morning of Saturday, the 14th October 2017 that I would offer a helping hand to all those struggling with financials soon after end of the forum in the afternoon.
The results of my announcement were amazing! I got 5 entrepreneurs to assist in the evening of 14th October 2017, all being Nigerians. As my flight back to Dar es salaam was on Monday of 16th October 2017, I continued with the exercise on Sunday, the 15th with other entrepreneurs. By 13th December, I had attended a total of 40 entrepreneurs from six African nations, as indicated in a table below
Help someone in need! As acceptance of business plans was a condition to get seed capital, these African entrepreneurs needed support at a difficult time to secure their seed capital, with TEF’s tight deadlines. Even the TEF founder and funder, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu himself is helping us for free! We should maximise our potential by offering free support to our fellow Africans where and whenever possible.
‘’Shared prosperity is better than one person owning everything’’
– Tony O. Elumelu, 15th December 2017.
The sacrifice this voluntary finance consultancy needed a lot of sacrifice in terms of time and energy. I had to sacrifice time for my other activities, day and night to rescue entrepreneurs to secure their seed capital. I worked up to the midnights for at least 8 days during the financials re-works rounds from October to December 2017.
I have helped to transform entrepreneurs on financial management knowledge through mentoring and coaching. Most of the assisted entrepreneurs appreciate that my coaching and mentorship transformed them, they now understand the basics of financials and they value the importance of them as CEOs to be knowledgeable and general understanding of their numbers in the financial statements (cash flow, P&L and the balance sheet)
Through this voluntary finance consultancy services, I have personally build a big network of friends and potential business partners in the future across Africa. This has indeed brought amazing results. I thank TEF for this opportunity.
I believe that while Tony Elumelu has used his talent, skills, experience, motivation, and financial resources (money) to establish the amazing TEF for support on building Africapitalism in African continent; other Africans can join hands by offering their best based on the potentials they have, being skills, financial resources and others. Being a believer of Africapitalism, and a real Pan Africanist, I thought that, while I do not have financial resources to support my fellow Africans like Tony, but I have something to offer as my personal contribution to the process of building Africapitalism.
Riziki J. Messa is a Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur and among the 36 Tanzanian entrepreneurs participated on the 2017 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, with a project in Agriculture (Agri-business, Farming).
He is the Founder and CEO of Jagrin Agriculture Company Limited, a multi-project agricultural limited liability company, dealing with production and sale of various agricultural produce from crops, apiculture, aquaculture, poultry and animal husbandry from its commercial farm estates and from smallholder farmers.