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MSME

These 5 books will change your life

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I love books! but not just any book.
Books that inspire, books that when you read you know your IQ is getting better.
Books solve problems – something you are struggling with has been written about in a book by someone not knowledgeable than you.
It is not a secret that successful people read a lot. The most successful people I know(not just in monetary terms) are vast readers.
The key question is what sort of books should young and ambitious people who want to follow in their footsteps read.

The type of books that will expand your brain and help you make life changing decisions. There are a thousand of these types, but I list 5 of my favorites.
These are books that have made me smarter and have changed my life. I still go back to them when I’m confused on issues or going broke. Enjoy!

Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
If you would read only one book for the remainder of this year, read this book.
Victor Frankl survived the worst horrors and tortures as a prisoner of war from concentration camp to concentration camp (including Auschwitz) in the 1930s.In Man’s search for meaning, you will learn that there is meaning in suffering.

We as humans are desperate to live a stress free life believing that happiness comes when suffering is gone.
Victor looked at the fence that was guarding him, the fence that If he approached, he’d be shot and killed. He looked at that fence and pictured how happily he would be when on the other side of that fence he would see his wife again.
That is motivation. To live. To help people. To survive the worst kind of tortures and let people know that it’s possible. To deliver this special message from the deepest part of hell, almost from the grave, from the city of all lost hope.
This book will definitely change your mindset.

ZERO to One by Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel is a genius! I’ll bet on anything he bets on.
In 1998, Peter Thiel co-founded the pioneering e-commerce payments company Paypal, which was sold to eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion.
In 2004, he gave 20 year old Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard dropout who had never held a steady job $500,000 in exchange for 10.2% of the company then called Thefacebook.com. That investment has made him more than $1 billion in cash, while he remains a Director at Facebook.


In 2016, Peter gave $1.25 million to support the Trump campaign when it seemed like Trump was going to lose the elections. We all know how that turned out.
Other notable Thiel investments include; LinkedIn, Airbnb, SpaceX and spotify to name a few.
Now lets get to his book –
Reading his book, Zero to One, was very enlightening; so many concepts in this book will change your attitude about business and capitalism.
This book is just about 200 words and 14 chapters long. Peter Thiel outlines the features of a business that can create and sustain monopoly power, growth and Cashflow. Having a purpose, vision and long-run planning are paramount to building a successful company.
He also talked about Secrets in business – All great businesses have secrets. “A world without secrets is boring, stagnated and has no room to improve upon. Our world is full of injustice and inefficiency, so it cannot be one without secrets”.

 

From Third World to First World by Lee Kuan Yew
I want to visit Singapore. This country has been referred to as an economic miracle, because of what it achieved in a short time.
The per capita income for its 3.7m citizens exceeds that of many European countries, education and health care system can compete with anything in the West, government officials are largely free of corruption, 90% of the households own their own homes, taxes are relatively low, the quality of roads is amongst the best worldwide and unemployment rate is less than 3%.


All these have been made possible today, thanks to the vision of one man – Lee Kuan Yew.
Not all of us will attain Government positions in this country, but the lessons in this book are invaluable for everyone to building anything worthy of note from scratch.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Meditations, to me is one of the greatest books ever written. It was not originally intended to be published as it consists of notes written by one of the most powerful men in history – Roman Emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius to himself.


It covers a diverse range of topics which include; personal ethics, humility, discipline, self-actualization, strength, power and responsibility.
Rumors have it that Bill Clinton reads it every year.
Reading this book will definitely make you a better person and be able to manage the success you desire.

 

Elon Musk: Tesla, Space X, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

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Only a few people in history will match Elon Musk’s relentless drive and vision, the man behind Space X, Tesla Motors, Solar City and PayPal.


Why wouldn’t you want to read about a man who has built 3 billion dollar companies in completely different industries.
This book makes taking risks look easy and will convince you that nothing really is impossible.

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You want more?

Essays of Warren Buffett by Lawrence Cunningham:
A masterpiece if you are interested in investing.
The shortest 400 page long book you’ll read on strategies used by the greatest investor of our lifetime.
It’s really simple – Go for good businesses, but at good prices and keep them for a long term.

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham:
First published in 1949 and written by the father of value investing and a mentor to Warren Buffett. This book will teach you the differences between investing and speculating.

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Mastery by Robert Greene:
Robert Greene conducted many interviews with accomplished individuals and studied biographies of numerous influential figures in history and how they became the best at what they did.

The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Feriss:
Make more money by working less. This book will improve your productivity.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Mindset by Carol Dweck

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On Writing by Stephen King

Losing my Virginity by Richard Branson.

 

 

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Leigh Michael

    June 9, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    Do you have any outlet to get Marcus Aurelius Meditation?

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Columnists

How MSMEs can get easy access to finance

MSMEs must take the following steps for loan readiness.

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How MSMEs Can Get Easy Access to Finance

MSMEs are considered the backbone of the Nigerian economy. In 2019, they made up 90% of all registered businesses, contributed more than 50% of the country’s nominal GDP, and employ 84% of its labour force. Despite this, MSMEs were the recipients of less than 5% of all credit granted by the banking industry.

One reason for this is self-selection by MSME owners. Many MSMEs refuse to apply for loans from banks due to a fear of rejection and a belief that banks charge exorbitant fees and request hefty collateral before giving loans to MSMEs. Now more than ever, in this era of cashflow-based lending and low-interest rates, this harmful myth is costing businesses access to finance that they need to scale.

Another reason is the MSMEs’ lack of loan readiness. Unlike large companies, small business owners do not prepare themselves before applying for loans. This causes them to make many mistakes that discourage banks from lending to them due to a fear of non-repayment.

In order to overcome this hurdle and join large businesses in taking advantage of the low-interest climate, MSMEs must take the following steps for loan readiness:

1. Maintain financial records – Research shows that 69% of MSMEs in Nigeria do not keep detailed financial records. As a business owner, you must ensure that funds pass through your business account. Your business’s financial records as reflected in your bank statement will help your bank determine your repayment capacity. This is important, whether you want a collateral-free or collateral-based loan.

2. Use narrations for transfer into personal accounts – Again, always use your business account for business funds. However, if funds must be paid into your personal account for any reason, then ensure that those payments have a narration that reflects the purpose of the payment. For example, Two shirts purchased. This helps isolate business funds from personal when computing your turnover in order to determine your loan amount and repayment capacity.

3. Know what you want – Always know exactly how much you want and what you want it for. If your account officer asks you how much you want and you say “any amount you can give me”, they automatically assume you have no plan for the money or a plan for repayment. Before approaching your bank, determine how much you need and how much you can repay per month, using your monthly income.

4. Have a repayment plan – Always have a plan for repayment. Know how much you can afford to part with per month. Note however that your repayment plan might not align with that of the bank. Banks prefer not to take more than 33% of your monthly income in loan repayments, so your loan repayment period will probably be dependent on how much you can pay per month. Regardless, a well-thought-out repayment plan will build confidence in your repayment ability.

5. Engage your account officer– It is important to have an engagement with your account officer before applying for the loan. Instead of just writing a loan application letter to the bank and waiting for a response. Armed with your financial statement and your knowledge of how much you need and for how long, visit your account officer and have them work with you in getting your loan.


Ese Atakpu is a writer and banker.

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Commodities

AFEX raises $50 million to Finance Agri-SMEs in Nigeria

The $50 million Agri-SMEs fund is expected to bridge the funding gap between lenders and borrowers in the agric sector.

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AFEX to partner with FMDQ and Dubai Commodities Exchange, 50,000 farmers to benefit from AFEX Commodities agric funding initiative

AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited (AFEX), a private commodities exchange company, has announced the first Warehouse Receipt Backed Commercial Paper in Africa. The paper has tech-enabled operations and a 24-hour fast cash turnaround for borrowers.

This was disclosed by AFEX in a statement issued and seen by Nairametrics on Thursday.

The $50 million Agri-SMEs fund is expected to bridge the funding gap between lenders and borrowers in the Nigerian agricultural sector with a commodity-backed instrument – for the first time.

READ: AFEX partners FMDQ, Dubai Commodities Exchange to deepen markets opportunities

Ayodeji Balogun, CEO, AFEX, stated, “The AFEX financing deal will help eradicate the high cost of procurement incurred by processors by deploying a discounted value of a warehouse receipt distributed among five leading players in the Food and Beverage, Trading Poultry and Animal Feed segments in Nigeria.

“The receiving companies are top 10 players in their respective segments. They have now been enabled access to a tool for managing price volatility, enabling up to 30% direct savings on prices.

“With our vision to reach a cumulative total of over $5 Billion in investment to the agriculture sector over the next five years, this financing deal is right on track to achieve this goal.’’

He added that as AFEX move towards building a derivatives market in Africa, “we want to be able to reduce exposure to price risk for stakeholders, by enabling them to hedge their positions and trade in commodity derivatives.”

READ: CBN to increase loans to agricultural sector to 10% of total bank credit

Why it matters

  • The warehouse receipts, which can then be transferred from commodities to a financial asset and listed under the borrower’s portfolio on the AFEX trading platform, will create a sustainable funding structure and address underfunding in the Nigerian agricultural sector.
  • With the warehouse receipt system linked to financiers, the system allows financiers value and marks the commodities’ price to market on a real-time basis.

What you should know

  • AFEX’s mission is to provide low-risk working capital facility for stakeholders in the Agro sector, in a way that is transparent and has a very high viable investment return.
  • As a licensed commodities exchange and warehouse receipt system operator, it deploys a warehouse receipt system and collateral management infrastructure to increase market confidence for both lenders and borrower.

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