#ChaseStories: Business Talk With @Centonomy.
Entrepreneurs need inspiration. The best kind of inspiration is to network and interact with other like-minded entrepreneurs to see what they are up to in their respective industries, the challenges they’re are facing, how they manage to sail through them and turn them into successes. We, as your SME bank through #ChaseStories, aim to give you that platform where you share your story & encourage you to #ChaseYourDream.
Today @ChaseBankKenya hosted @Centonomy. A lady passionate about management of personal finances. She says it had been a topic that people talk about as a challenge but no one had really taken it up or provided a solution for it. That’s where Centonomy came in. She holds personal finance management classes for people interested in acquiring that skill/art. A review by Francis Waithaka, Founder and CEO Digital4Africa, who has been one of the beneficiaries of the Centonomy classes: What I learnt about money from Centonomy.
She shares with us the story of her entrepreneurial journey as well as her lessons and thoughts on what drove her into the industry she’s in and how she’s faring. Here is our business talk in case you missed out on the Twitter Talk Show.
Q1. What kind of business do are you involved in?
I train people (individuals, corporates and investment groups) on personal financial management. The training is focused on financial knowledge to empower their everyday financial decisions and for long term wealth creation.
Q2. What ignited the spark in you to start your business and make significant changes in your industry?
While I was still employed, I noticed that I really enjoyed talking to people about financial issues and I realized that people needed this knowledge hence I decided to create a niche for myself in this area. My parents were entrepreneurial so that also contributed to my passion for building a business. Plus my own personal mistakes with money. People were always complaining about their finances but no one was offering any solution on personal money management.
Q3. How did you start off your business? Did you have enough finances to start the business?
My business is highly reliant on human resources and content creation and I leveraged this to start the business. I decided to start small with the little capital that I had and grow it steadily. I also handled my suppliers well by paying in time, to earn their trust and to sustain the supplier credit.
Q4. How would you define success in entrepreneurship? Do you feel like you have succeeded?
To be a successful entrepreneur, one should be passionate, there has to be a purpose/motive and it should not be money (there must be something deeper and stronger than money.) In my case, I had a passion for helping people manage their personal finances. I think that success in entrepreneurship is a journey, and my goal is to move forward every day.
Q5. What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as an entrepreneur?
One, building a network, reputation & profile when starting out. Two, the biggest challenge was trying to start big, that is putting in too many resources before the business picked up. I learnt to prioritize where I put resources so that they grow my business. The other big challenge is putting a great team together. If you don’t have a good team to help you build a business, then you will struggle. Look for people with the right skills and attitudes.
Q6. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
My most satisfying moment in Centonomy is during the graduation ceremonies for our Centonomy classes. The students are excited to make a change in their financial life and we have given them the tools to effect this change. I am happy to be part of that transformation.
Q7. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur? Do you ever regret getting into entrepreneurship?
My favorite aspect is that I get to build something that will hopefully grow beyond myself and touch millions of people. I do not regret anything. I appreciate both the ups and the downs.
Q8. What advice would you give an upcoming or aspiring entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship is a journey not a destination. Take your time to build your business. Don’t be afraid to start small.
Q9. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
I believe that every business is unique and it faces its own type of challenges and an entrepreneur has to be adaptable. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. But there are certain business principles that are important to learn such as how to manage business finances and how to structure your business.
Q10. How do you think running a business today is different from say 5 years ago? How do you foresee it 5 years to come?
New technologies and the internet have had a major impact on business today. One of the key areas that have been affected by this is marketing and customer relations. Our clients have far more reach and effect into the business because of the internet and especially social media. At the same time new opportunities have been created for entrepreneurs in the e-commerce sector.
In 5 years, businesses that are able to leverage on new technologies will be better placed to succeed. This also applies to businesses that realize that in the future the bar will not be set by the competitors; it will be set by the clients.
For more information about the Centonomy, visit www.centonomy.com or email [email protected]. To book Centonomy classes call 0700036433 or 0735096549. Thank you for keeping it #ChaseStories. If you’re interested in being featured, feel free to reach out to us on email – [email protected]