11 Commandments Of Entrepreneurship by Strive Masiyiwa

  • Secure a Patent for your invention

If you really believe that you have invented something that no one else in the world has done before. The first thing you must do is to secure a Patent for that invention. This you must do before you approach anyone, including companies and banks. Having no money to actually develop the idea does not mean you cannot enjoy the benefits of your invention. You will be entitled to claim a share of the profits from anyone who executes on your invention, as long as it is patented properly. You would do well to spend time doing real study on the processes involved in protecting intellectual property, before you rush off to talk to people.

  • Use the Stock Exchange

The main reason a Stock Exchange exists is to help entrepreneurs raise money to build big businesses. I used the Stock Exchange to raise money to build a business. The other reason a Stock Exchange exists is to help any member of the public buy an interest, and become a shareholder in a professionally-run business, built by experienced entrepreneurs. If you are too busy to start your own business, or you do not know how to do it, investing through the Stock Exchange is a real option for you.

  • Get Educated

If you are a young woman today and you have the opportunity to push yourself in education, do so, and go as far as you can. Even if you are now married but did not get a chance to go far in school, try your best to go back, even to Night School. Today, more than, ever being educated is important. Try hard to pursue your dream through education, and having a strong knowledge base of your field of interest.

  • Anticipate opposition and learn to mount it…

Every OPPORTUNITY that you will pursue, if it is good, will invariably draw OPPOSITION. Remember the eagle in a storm? It “mounts” the winds, like someone climbing a staircase: Anticipate opposition, and learn to mount it, to take you even higher, in the pursuit of your goals.

  • Do your business carefully

I once had shares in a very profitable company that had solid assets, and a great management. Then one day I read a story about the CEO’s messy divorce proceedings. In it, his wife talked about how he abused her. Once I established that there was some truth to the story, I told my broker to sell my shares. He was really surprised by my decision saying, “the market does not really care about the divorce proceedings, it is his personal matter. The share price has not been affected.”
My reply was simple: “I would sell even if the price had doubled. I don’t follow share price, I invest in people and their businesses. There is a serious problem of integrity and I don’t want to be a partner with a guy who abuses women, even if he is a genius.”

  • Don’t invest in a venture everything you have!

If you are planning to use your savings, as most people in the diaspora do, don’t over stretch yourself. By this I mean don’t put all your savings into the venture in one go. Start small, and go slowly. Even if you really know the business area, you are going into, don’t go into it with everything you have. If you are planning to borrow either where you are working or back home, be very careful, and always keep at the top of your mind that you have to pay it back.

  • Know the business you are getting into

It’s important to understand the business you are going into. Don’t just wake up and say, “so and so, made money, so I will also try this.” It must be something you fully understand better than anyone else.

  • Anticipate opposition and learn to mount it…

One of the greatest obstacles to the growth of any economy is corruption. There is a study I was reading, just a few days ago, that said the greatest obstacle to women accessing resources in an economy – as entrepreneurs – is corruption. We need to deal with that, and that is why throughout my career in business, I have always spoken out against corruption. I have seen corruption all over the world. Corruption has no colour. Corruption has no boundary. I have found corruption all over the world and wherever I have found it, I have spoken out against it.


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