Imagine you are fresh out of school, eager to take on the world. You are ambitious, driven, innovative and hard-working. You have ideas coming out of your wazoo of what you want to do with your life. You want to start a business. You have it all planned out; where you will work out of, who will help you, what you’re going to do, the whole nine yards.
But then… you see it. Everything you were planning comes crashing down on you and you are standing face-to-face with reality. Your dream has been sucked out of your head like the last bit of slushie at the bottom of the cup.
You realize you don’t have the one thing that controls it all. Money.
This is what happens to so many young people who have the knowledge, skills and attitudes to become successful entrepreneurs. Let’s be real, coming out of school, no one has money lying around to start a business. Most don’t have capital in any form at all. And that’s the kind of stuff you need to get a loan.
Here’s the thing…this barrier, although very real, is not the one that should shut down the dream. There are ways around it. They may not be easy to see, and there may be tough times, but money is NOT the thing that should prevent you from starting a business. As a very wise woman once told me, “Don’t worry… the money will come”.
Today I gave my first presentation at a staff meeting, focusing on what I have been working on so far and the next steps. When I was finished, I was asked a few questions that were extremely beneficial and opened up many doors to move forward in for the rest of the summer. One lecturer in particular, came and spoke with me afterwards and made me realize there is a blaring challenge that needs to be tackled in order for entrepreneurship to be most effective; access to information about finances.
He explained to me that credit has become a mindset for Ghanaians; it is a burden that everyone carries. In truth, finances are only one small aspect of starting a business and right now, there is a lack of access to financial information. If we can break that barrier, the students’ ambition and innovation will actually turn into something. If it is possible to teach students that capital should not be the limiting factor, there is potential to shift their mindset away from credit.
This is not an easy task, but it is definitely one I am eager to investigate. Money has and probably always will be a huge defining characteristic of people, institutions and, well everything. It is used to classify, measure, and limit access. Man, I hate money. I used to argue that the world would be a much better place if money didn’t exist. There would be little to no crime, and no poverty. I realize that’s pretty impossible, and even if there was no money, people would be measured by other forms of capital, I know… but a girl can dream.
I don’t know how to break the financial barrier right now; I’m not even sure where to begin looking. But I do know that the information exists, and the methods to be successful starting with nothing are out there too. Bring it.