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Conflict In Family Business

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Tsitsi Mutendi, Family Business Expert

Conflict is a normal occurrence in everyday life. Although many assume that conflict is harmful, not all conflict is negative. Some conflict is healthy and ushers in necessary adjustments to process and operations. In a family and a family business, there are various types of conflicts. Being able to identify conflict and managing it appropriately is essential for the sustainability of the family and of the family business.

Here are some examples of conflict that may be found within the family and the family business:

Sibling Conflict: Siblings are natural friends and equally so, can become natural rivals. In most cases of sibling conflict, the conflict arises from sibling rivalry. Some Causes of sibling rivalry are:

  • Competing for parent’s attention and affection.
  • Seeking for parent approval.
  • Different priorities within the family or business context.
  • Competing against each other.

Sibling conflict, unless resolved, can cause problems in their ability to work together towards a common good. At times competitiveness can become toxic if it is against each other: a good example is within the family business if siblings have to work together but take their competitiveness against each other to work. Without clear boundaries, they may cause other employees to take sides or even give conflicting instructions or policies that then effectively ruin the everyday operations of the business.

To manage sibling conflicts, the nature of the conflict must be identified, and methods of resolving or managing the conflict put in place so that the relationship of the siblings is preserved and more so that the operations of the family business is not disturbed. One such method to assist with such conflicts is a family business constitution. It may not directly solve the conflict, but it will give guidelines as to the family values and applications of those values in the conflict and the business as a whole.

Operational conflict: This is conflict that occurs in the everyday operations of the business. Families are complex in nature, and they are made up of various individuals that have different thoughts and beliefs about the values of the family and the business. Without clear direction on what the values, vision, and mission of the business is, conflicts arise. Some members of the family may value the monetary gain the business offers, while others may appreciate the shared goals and unity of family that the business represents.

In such cases, the family must find a middle ground. A family constitution helps document and clarify the family values while ensuring every voice and need is addressed in a way that if an operational conflict arises, it can be resolved in a way that sees all parties’ voices being heard. Equally so, as values change and the family changes and evolves, so will the constitution.

Spousal Conflict. As families grow, so do their various networks. Each time there is a marriage or birth, the family grows bigger. And the complexities of the relationships deepen. One such complication is marriage. How do family businesses handle marriages and the in-law and in-laws that come with it?

How do families and family businesses handle divorces and the similar complexities that come with it. In some famous cases of family businesses, we find that the new in-law can be blamed as the source of new family conflicts. And this conflict has the potential of overflowing into the family business. Issues of do in-laws get jobs within the family business and what expectations or qualifications apply.

Similarly so, so in-laws her shareholding and when. Professional advisors can help families navigate the legal and moral complexities of the spousal conflict and help the family business formulate the appropriate solutions that apply to their needs.

Also Read: Building Sustainable and Profitable Enterprises: An Interview with David Owumi, Founder of VisionCTRL Africa

Assumed conflict is our final conflict on this list. Assumed conflict is the conflict that occurs when there is assumption and no clarity on issues or actions that are taken by a family member within the business or in a way that affects the business. The other family members and the public may also assume due to speculation that there is conflict when, in fact, there is not. If clarity in communication is not taken immediately, then the assumed conflict may quickly escalate to become an actual conflict that may have a negative impact.

It is necessary to note that this list of possible conflicts that may occur in a family and its business is by no ways, exhaustive. What is crucial to note is that all the conflicts may sound negative or may seem to have negative impacts on the family business and the family itself; however, this is not always the case. As stated at the beginning, some conflicts create the opportunity for resolution of long-standing issues and, in other instances, opportunities to review values or traditions that need refreshment.

Tradition holds us together, but innovation and development make us stronger and more capable in the face of different generations and the forward advancing world. For families and their businesses to last through many generations, there must be accommodation of the values of the new generations as much as the understanding of the need to grow differently if needs be.

How does your family deal with conflict and conflict resolution? Has it ever affected your family business, and how?

By Tsitsi Mutendi, Founder of African Family Firms and Africa is Rising Collective

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Zapper is disrupting card-based payments and loyalty

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Zapper is driving ambitious change in payments and loyalty currently dominated by card-based systems.

We have restructured our business to focus on building our platform, to scale our footprint and expand our strategic partner networks.

We have a suite of low cost, deeply integrated QR payment and loyalty solutions for any industry, including restaurants and hospitality, fuel and convenience, parking and retail, e-commerce and more.

Our aim is to drive the adoption of lower-cost, simpler and more integrated mobile solutions, with in-depth customer insights, to ultimately replace traditional outdated card-based payment and loyalty systems, irrespective of device, operating system or financial institution.

We also offer a robust suite of developer APIs for partners to white-label Zapper services and integrate them into their branded apps and systems.

Also Read: Gareth Grobler, Founder and CEO of iCE3X on the role of Digital Asset Exchanges in Africa

Popular technologies such as ‘tap-and-go’ are convenient; however, they only address the payment component of the consumer journey, the equivalent of anonymous cash or card payments. The merchant remains blind to who their customers are and in order for consumers to earn loyalty points or qualify for discounts, they are required to present some form of identity – in most cases one of a myriad of plastic store cards – in addition to their payment method. This is an unnecessarily ‘clunky’ and sub-optimal customer experience.

Zapper provides a truly convenient mobile experience. Just scan and pay. Loyalty points are accrued and discounts deducted, in real-time. Simple.

Credit: Brett White

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Mangwee: Our Story

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Mangwee is a mobile money transfer platform aimed at increasing the rate of financial inclusion especially in rural areas and propelling Zambia and Africa to cash-light economies this is done through the provision of an easy secure and affordable payment platform. The Mangwee platform is not just a mobile money transfer platform but an ecosystem of applications aimed at making people’s lives easy. We have an assortment of innovative applications targeted at improving the lives of the Women, Farmers, Youths and people who are excluded from accessing financial products and services.

Launched in May 2018 after being issued with a designation license by the Central Bank of Zambia, Mangwee provides a range of services including online payment gateways, bill payments, and mobile money services. Mangwee Chief Executive Officer and Cofounder Inonge Imasiku Kampamba started Mangwee with two other Cofounders with a vision for the unbanked to provide them with a quality payment system that is secure and affordable.

Mangwee promotes the use of user-to-user transfers, which it hopes will increase the adoption of mobile money in Zambia. To date Mangwee has registered over 2000 users and has recruited 36 agents who are operating around Zambia. Mangwee charges a fee for every transaction processed on the platform and agents earn a commission for every transaction they successfully process on the platform.

Also Read: Building Sustainable and Profitable Enterprises: An Interview with David Owumi, Founder of VisionCTRL Africa

Over two years Mangwee has been in operation, Mangwee payments has gained local and global recognition as a disruptor of electronic payments. The Zambian startup was selected to represent the country at the Women In Africa (WIA) 54 Project Third Annual Summit Edition, which took place in Marrakech on 27th and 28th June 2019 led by the Startup CEO Inonge Imasiku Kampamba. 

Currently Mangwee has a women empowerment programme dedicated to empowering women especially in rural communities giving them access to finance and tools to help them set up their businesses. In November 2019 Mangwee signed a partnership with an NGO based in France and Benin called Hirondelle de l’Avenir to pilot a Women Empowerment Program in Zambia which will also be implemented in Benin. The project is justified by the fact that the majority of women are excluded financially because they lack collateral and stable sources of income.

In January 2020, Mangwee was among five Zambian startups that were selected to take part in the FinTech4U Accelerator Programme, which offers prototype funding and access to mentors and business support.

The progarmme was launched via a partnership between the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and Lusaka-based incubator BongoHive. The six-month programme, is broken up into three months of dedicated programme and three more of business support and prototype funding.

Mangwee currently has a team of five employees who are professionally qualified in Finance, accounting, information technology, business development and marketing.

Mangwee team

Visit: Mangwee

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2020: Paxful, A Global Crypto Giant Sets Top 3 Priorities For Africa

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Paxful Co-Founders, Artur Schabak & Ray Youssef (Source: Paxful)

By almost every metric, Africa has been central to the Paxful story; company shares about their top 3 priorities for Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa- Global peer-to-peer (P2P) Bitcoin marketplace, Paxful, believes that the world has much to learn from Africa about the future of the crypto-economy and that 2020 will be a landmark year for the African crypto and blockchain industry. 

With millions of users globally and Africa being the fastest-growing region, Paxful reported that the company processed almost $1.6 billion (R23 billion) in trade volume globally in 2019; the result of a steady increase of 25%+ trade volume growth year-on-year on the platform since the business’ inception in 2015. Paxful currently hosts over three million wallets, 45% of which are from Africa.

Deepen our relationship with our African users

While the peer-to-peer marketplace has enjoyed tremendous success on the continent, the company is not complacent. Paxful leadership intends to spend a lot more time in Africa over the next few years. The aim is to continue to learn from its customers and provide them with the best possible peer-to-peer finance marketplace. 

With Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya already among the leading markets, the company also expects to extend its customer base in many more markets where it is seeing a steady increase in trading volumes on the continent like Zambia and Uganda. African trading volume on the Paxful platform grew by over 57% in 2019 and the company hopes to accelerate trading volumes further this year.

Reflecting on the rapid growth of the blockchain and bitcoin sector, research from the professional networking platform Linkedin shows that blockchain tops the list of most in-demand hard skills for 2020. For this reason, another important consideration for Paxful is engaging talent in Africa. The company believes that Africa can become a leader in bitcoin skills development. Paxful hopes to expand African participation in the company’s Global Peer Programme – an initiative to encourage bitcoin users around the world to educate each other about the opportunities offered by the crypto-economy.

“We are very, very bullish on Africa and believe it is critical to the future of the crypto-economy overall. While many parts of the developed world are fixated on speculative activity in the crypto economy, people in Africa are teaching us about the true use cases of bitcoin and the opportunity it presents for greater financial inclusion of the under-banked. As a company, we want to do what we can to ensure that our platform continues to be a bridge to the global economy for our customers” Says Artur Schaback, Co-Founder and COO of Paxful.

Expanding partnerships

In December 2019, Paxful and Binance, the leading global cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume and users, announced its strategic partnership in which Paxful serves as a fiat-to-cryptocurrency on-ramp for Binance, providing numerous payment methods for purchasing Bitcoin to Binance’s global user base.

Paxful has also partnered with many other strategic players in the crypto economy – including the likes of BitMart, BSpin, AirTM, and CoinLogiq – who offer a variety of complementary services to make it as possible for its users to take advantage of the power of P2P finance. Paxful hopes to work with African partners as well.

“Africa has tremendous potential and partnerships are essential in this pivotal time within the cryptocurrency industry. We are actively looking to join forces with African-born crypto players who share our passion and vision for the global crypto-economy and to join our efforts in bringing bitcoin to the unbanked masses across the continent to fundamentally help alleviate poverty, boost economies and create jobs,” says Ray Youssef, CEO and co-founder of Paxful.

Making education and social good a priority

“With bitcoin’s original mission of financial inclusion in mind, Paxful is committed to reaching as many people as possible to help them better understand the opportunities presented by the crypto-economy. With this in mind, education and social development will always be a priority for Paxful,” adds Youssef.

Also Read: Building Sustainable and Profitable Enterprises: An Interview with David Owumi, Founder of VisionCTRL Africa

Last year, Paxful undertook an education drive focused on Universities. Beginning with Universities in East and Southern Africa, the initiative has reached over 1000 youths. The education workshops provided key, practical insights to the true use cases of Bitcoin, how to avoid falling prey to bad actors in the crypto-space and served to counter the over-emphasis on Bitcoin speculation. This type of education will continue to reach the youth.

In the same year, the company also launched the aforementioned Paxful Peer Program, a platform encouraging users to educate and support each other as they navigate the bitcoin-economy. The Peer Program was trialed in South Africa and has been extended to include many other markets on the continent and Asia.  

To support grassroots education, Paxful will continue to invest in its #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative which has demonstrated how the cryptocurrency community can contribute to social good. Established in 2017, the initiative had raised over R3 million for charities across Africa and the Middle East by 2019.

In January 2020, the company announced that they will be building a third school in its 100-school initiative to bring quality education centers to emerging countries throughout Africa. The third school, which will come fully equipped with a state-of-the-art water well system, will be built in Machakos County, Kenya for children ages 3-6 years old and will kick off with over R400,000 donation from Paxful. The first 2 schools were built in Rwanda.

Paxful

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