The BARAZA is a Swahili word meaning to convene or to bring together a conference of great social importance aligned to the governance and well-being of the society of the village, there are Small and Big Barazas.
The Big Baraza is an annual, solution-oriented, SME-focused, 2-day conference for SMEs by SMEs that was created to address the challenges of SMEs by putting them squarely at the center of the conversation.
The conference aims to unearth and take stock of the latest business developments on sustainable finance, innovation, policy, trade opportunities, and current affairs that may translate into cost savings, revenue growth, risk management, and competitive differentiation.
What are some of the lessons from the Big Baraza?
1. Don’t get the wrong people at the wrong time. They get frustrated when you and your business are not ready for change and growth.
2. Watch out for a mismatch in funding. Don’t use short-term funds for long-term investments.
3. Have aligned motives, goals, and aspirations. Meet several times before you commit to working together.
4. Ensure you and your investors are on the same page about your business model.
5. Different cultures deal with failure in different ways. In Japan failure is suicidal, in Africa it’s embarrassing, in America it’s learning.
6. Women pay loans better than men.
7. Keep rolling with the punches. The business model you start with might not be the one that succeeds in the market. Innovate, Implement, Iterate, Failfast, and focus on the customer.