Lisa Hurley Strikes a Pose, Speaks on International Women’s Day 2022 Theme: Break The Bias
Lisa Hurley shares her thoughts with Business Africa Online (BAO) on this year’s IWD 2022 theme: #BreakingTheBias.
“I was a feminist before I even fully knew what the word meant. I was always that child who challenged “the way things are,” asked difficult questions, and pushed back. So as a lifelong feminist, of course I support International Women’s Day and everything it stands for. It celebrates and amplifies women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements around the globe. The day is also meant to shine a light on gender inequality, and to magnify the focus on increasing gender parity.
This year’s theme is “Break The Bias.” Its goal is to help us “imagine a gender-equal world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.”
But as I scroll through the International Women’s Day coverage, I feel concerned. As a marketer, I appreciate the power of a compelling visual; of a movement to rally behind, so one part of me loves the #BreakTheBias photos that people are posting with their arms crossed in front of them.
However, the other part of me feels like I’ve seen this before, particularly as relates to socio-political movements of this kind. Women, Black people, and other marginalized communities are offered Black squares on #BlackoutTuesday, as well as:
- Pink merchandise instead of actual legislation.
- BLM murals instead of actual police reform.
- Rainbow capitalism instead of actual grassroots support.
It feels distressingly performative.
Don’t get me wrong, visual signals matter. Being seen and represented matters. Changing the literal and figurative landscape matters. But we must be vigilant about not becoming complacent, and being satisfied with implementing this (arguably) easier aspect of activism.
So, on this International Women’s Day, I invite you to absolutely strike a pose. But I remind us all that after that, we must actually do the work. We can pose, and we can post, but we must also make sure that women are safe, are seen, are paid equitably, and more. The work is the path forward to help us #BreakTheBias.
Lisa Hurley is a writer, speaker, and activist whose work focuses on anti-racism, texturism, and destigmatizing introversion. She is also a passionate advocate for inclusion, equity, and gender equality. Lisa is the Editor-At-Large of Linked Inclusion™, co-host of Real Talk on Racism, co-host of The Introvert Sisters podcast, and a member of the Black Speakers Collection. She has been quoted in Forbes, Essence, and Fast Company, is a contributing writer for No White Saviors, and was selected as one of pocstock’s The Future of Black America Top 50 Leaders for 2022. Lisa is always interested in sharing meaningful conversations! Feel free to connect with her on social media.
Marius Botha: Insurtech booms on back of fintech’s success story
Marius Botha, Group CEO of aYo Holdings
The past couple of years have been brutal for the African continent. We’ve been through Covid-19, and now we’re living through turbulent socio-economic times, with high inflation and rising prices causing untold consumer hardship in most countries. But despite this, the fintech industry is booming, thanks largely to exponential growth in mobile network coverage and smartphone use.
Indeed, Briter Bridges’ Africa Investment Report 2022 paints a picture of Africa as an increasingly viable investment destination, with growing numbers of major deals over the past 12 months alone. Needless to say, fintechs continue to dominate the market, grabbing up to 60% of all deals over the past half decade, including the highest value and highest profile deals.
As a result, African consumers are rapidly becoming more used to using digital financial products like Mobile Money (MoMo) and payments from the palm of their hand. And this is good for related industries like insurtech, which is surging as consumers transition to a world where financial services are easily accessible via mobile phone and transacted via apps and other channels.
What’s particularly encouraging is the growth in early-stage support networks, which involve angel networks, seed funds and accelerator cohorts. Many promising start-ups, especially those in less glamorous parts of the fintech market, fail in their early stages precisely because of a lack of funding, and a greater appetite by funders to take on these risks can only benefit the continent’s fintech sector.
One of the major success stories for us has been the appetite for microinsurance in Africa, which has traditionally been the world’s most uninsured, and underinsured, continent. As its name suggests, microinsurance is small, rapidly underwritten financial protection that offers consumers financial protection against specific risks – like hospital cover for accidents, for example – for tiny premiums. Typically, policyholders can buy cover and claim directly from their mobile phones.
According to the IMARC Group’s latest report on global microinsurance trends, the market will grow to more than US$111 billion worldwide by 2027. A sizeable chunk of this growth will take place in Africa, where we’re only just scratching the surface of the demand for financial services products that make people’s lives easier and bring them into the financial mainstream.
What’s important about the growth of microinsurance is its impact not only on individuals and communities, but on entire economies. The impact of being insured is transformative: it not only drives greater financial inclusion, but it shields people with lower incomes from the economic shocks that would otherwise keep them locked into an endless cycle of poverty.
The kicker is that in spite of massive growth in investment into the continent in the past few years, all of Africa’s venture capital still only makes up around 1% of the world’s VC money. We’re still in our baby shoes. The phenomenal growth we’ve seen in fintech and start-ups in Africa in the past decade is only the beginning. We are still just exploring the potential of fintech and microinsurance to transform the lives of our people.
Our continent is hungry for financial inclusion. We’re increasingly ready to take our place at the world’s top economic tables. In spite of the uncertain economic times we’re dealing with, the only way is up. It’s a great time to be in Africa.
By-lined by Marius Botha
Financial Realism in 2023
Financial Realism in 2023 by Nchimunya Muvwende
It is the beginning of a new year, a fresh start that allows people to make resolutions and plans that can improve their lives. Many people’s lives have been ruined by a lack of realistic financial planning, which makes plans appear to be mere wishes. In our day, living beyond means has increasingly become a major cause of financial burdens that has affected individuals, marriages, businesses and countries. As you make your plans for this year, what factors should you put into consideration?
Since we are all products of society, it stands to reason that the people we live with will have the biggest impact on how we choose to live. A lot of people have become indebted as a result of trying to appease society. Society will try to dictate what it views people should have or acquire but not provide the financial means for it. We find people hosting weddings beyond their financial means hence resorting to debt, people living in areas they can’t afford, buying cars which they can’t maintain, eating in expensive places and post on social media, all in a name of showing off that they too can afford.
In making 2023 plans, we should realize that living lives that aim to impress others but are beyond your financial means only serves to mess up your life. You should reflect how societal pressures has broken down marriages, depressed many and ruined the good plans that should have been implemented overtime. It is never a good idea to live above your means, get married on credit, rent a house that takes up practically all of your salary, or simply borrow for showoff. Remember that an expensive wedding is not a key to a successful marriage nor do expensive rentals guarantee good homes. The sad reality is that the lack of being real with ourselves has led people in a loop of debt that is increasing becoming impossible to escape and has in some unfortunate situations led to suicide cases.
Regardless of the pressure society exerts, if it is not supplying the resources, it should not promote notions that would only worsen people’s financial situations. As you plan your activities, realistically consider your financial situation, budget within your means and independently ensure that your future is not compromised by the desire to appease society. Do not buy things you do not need to impress people who may not even value you.
According to the adage that life is full of ups and downs, there will be periods when things go as planned and when they don’t. Accepting that things have changed and the need for adjustment to a different environment has become a challenge, hence causing financial burdens. People are resisting adapting to changes in their circumstances. A person continues to live in an expensive rented home, drives an expensive car, maintains their children in an expensive school, and otherwise continues to lead a lavish lifestyle even after losing their job or having their business fail. Failure to adjust to circumstances and living a borrowed life only serves to create a stressful life.
To sustain a lifestyle after a reduction in income, borrowing of money becomes an alternative. A lesson can be learnt from chameleons, creatures that change their color to suit their environment and this serves to protect them from certain dangers. You need to understand that downgrading your expenditure when your income changes serves to protect you from further worse financial repercussions arising from maintaining the status quo. Surely, why should you continue accumulating rental arrears when you can shift to a cheaper house, why incur higher fuel expense when you can move to a more fuel efficient vehicle and why should you keep faking your life to appease people who won’t help improve your financial situation? It is time that you realize that life has its own twists and turns that require us to adjust as you figure out a way to come out even stronger.
As you plan for this year, live life according to your means, buy what you can afford and borrow only when necessary. Remember that life is not a race, it is thus important that you are realistic in your planning and execution of them. A borrowed life is both never good and is only a time bomb.
The money that we are able to generate limits the standard of life that we can comfortably afford. In this New Year, we all should evaluate how we have lived in the past, whether we are living a genuine life and what has caused financial constraints. We should prioritise our spending to areas that matter the most. Instead of borrowing for showoff, why don’t you use that car for business? Why not focus on reducing financial pressure in marriage by hosting a wedding that is within your means? Why not shift to a cheaper house, downgrade your car or phone and use that excess money for investment? Why should you continue holding on to debt, borrowing from whatever means you can and end up living a depressed life? In this New Year, let us all focus on what is important, postpone what can be done and prioritise what improves our welfare. Simple rule, if it’s not a necessity, don’t borrow to get it.
Since the New Year promises a fresh start, may this be the year that we are honest with ourselves by objectively assessing our financial condition and developing a budget-friendly strategy as we explore ways to increase our financial security. We should restructure our spending in 2023, only borrow when absolutely necessary, and instead save, invest, and generate wealth.
Onboarding Strategies Transforming Businesses in Africa
By Darlyn Okojie (Photo: shutterstock)
People are the most important aspect of any organisation. Whether they are your team members or your customers, they remain a critical component of your organisation. As a result, how you onboard; recruit, welcome, and manage has a significant impact on their performance.
Employee onboarding is the process of smoothing the transition from new hire to team member. A great onboarding system causes your team to be productive and engaged as quickly as possible because they feel welcome and connected to the culture.
It also helps your organisation to generate goodwill, increase retention, and ultimately create value in the form of employee productivity and loyalty.
Here are features of a great onboarding that is transforming businesses from zero to 100 in Africa;
Making a great first impression
Your first impression or how you welcome a new employee forms the foundation of their perception of your organisation. Take note of the peculiarities of the position vacant, and provide a welcoming system that suits this position. A tech startup should not present a new developer or programmer with voluminous physical paperwork to fill out; this type of onboarding demonstrates disconnection from this specific employee. Instead, new hires in this kind of field should be engaged via digital platforms and software.
New employees’ welfare
Also, welcoming new team members with welfare packages demonstrates how thoughtful you are and how much they are valued. Most religious organisations understand this concept of onboarding, they prepare a first-timer pack for newcomers. This pack typically includes snacks and information about the organisation.
Some organisations budget some funds for transportation or data support for new team members. This helps to get things started on a great note, especially for those who have been out of work for some time.
A welcome kit for new employees is always a good idea for onboarding. Memo.Africa provides this as one of its products and services. With a single click, you can have a welcome kit delivered to your newest hire to make their transition into your organisation as smooth and memorable as possible. Memo.Africa will have their package delivered to them whether they are physically or remotely working in other cities, countries, or even continents. This type of gesture instills in new hires a sense of commitment and the need to go above and beyond for the organisation.
Give team members tailored experience
Just as the onboarding process or experience should be an expression of your organization’s brand and culture, it should also be specific to the role your new employee will be taking on. Every irrelevant, extraneous question or process on a generic screen leaves a negative impression of your organisation’s brand. Every missing detail and wasted effort frustrate your new employee.
You need a solution that makes it easy to offer every employee a personalized experience that can be updated as needs arise. One of the ways of achieving this on a large scale, is to create a tailored experience for various departments in your organisation. Most people in the same department or unit share similar career demands and needs. Hence, it is easier to reach a larger number of people with tailored experience through this approach.
In conclusion, these are some of the strategies helping businesses get the most from new hires. Regardless of the size of your organisation, whether you are a solo entrepreneur, you need this knowledge to interact with customers, or you are a startup or an established business, you need this information to engage both your employees and customers. With just a click, Memo.Africa will take this burden off you. Regardless of where your customers or employees are in the world, Memo.Africa will reach them.