Some Lessons From The Early Days: Raising Money From The Bank (Part 1)

Strive Masiyiwa takes us on another life transforming moment; this is the beginning of a chain of little stories that built the man and shaped his world. ENJOY.

 Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and chairman, of global telecommunications group, Econet Wireless. He currently serves on a number of international boards including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Advisory Board of the Counsel on Foreign Relations, the Africa Progress Panel, AGRA, the UN Sec General’s Advisory Boards for Sustainable Energy, and for Education. He is a juror of the Hilton Foundation’s Humanitarian Prize. He is also one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson of the global think tank, known as the Carbon War Room.

In 2012, when President Obama, hosted the G-8 Summit at Camp David, he invited him, to address the G-8 leaders on how to increase food production, and end hunger in parts of Africa.

Some Lessons From The Early Days: Raising Money From The Bank (Part 1)

Being a young professional bachelor, my little sports car was my pride and joy. I had tweaked up its engines, and it had its own unique colours, and when I drove it everyone in my hometown knew it was me!

One morning, I parked the car outside a small branch of a bank, and went in to see the bank manager. As I sat down, the bank manager remarked, “I like your car. Where did you get it? ”
We chatted for a while then we got down to business. I needed an overdraft for my small but growing business. I showed the manager the records of my deposits at the bank. I now had a big project, and I urgently needed an overdraft. “Do you have security?”, she asked. I had nothing.

After a while I exclaimed “What about my car?” “We cannot take a car for security, because you can smash it up tomorrow.” Then she said to me, “if you are really serious about going into business, sell your car. But you are not going to get a loan, from any bank.”

That was a Friday morning in 1986 and I am told not much has changed since. I left the bank, drove around in my car for the weekend and by Monday I had sold it! I sold the car and just about anything I could sell, and bought myself, a second hand “mini van”. I was not to buy a brand new car, for myself, for another 20 years.

… To be continued.

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