Written by: Lessa Mayankho Sande also known as Onabanda is a business owner and a commercial farmer. She is a holder of a Business and Marketing Degree and a Banker by profession.

I don’t have the capital to start a business”​ is the excuse most people use to not start a business. I don't think this is right in any form or shape.

CAPITAL: Capital is money or wealth needed to produce products or render services. All businesses must have capital in order to purchase assets and maintain their operations. One aspect of capital is skills, which is what we are going to focus on today. When someone says they do not have money it means there is a chance for them to have skills to help them earn money, specifically through labour.

MINDSET CHANGE: How about we change our mindset? Instead of citing a definite statement that you can't start a business, rather put it in question form. “I do not have capital, but what can I do to earn it?”  or “What should I do to raise enough capital to start a business?” Definite statements close the possibility of thinking of solutions while questions open up a debate on how best to raise funds and start a business.

MONETIZING SKILLS: Make your skills produce money. Get busy thinking of solutions. There are so many ways to accumulate capital today apart from loans. If you are working you can save money from your salary. If you are not employed, you can be self-employed i.e. you personally doing labour to earn money and then saving it to start a business. Think of peace jobs (maganyu) such as doing laundry, gardening /farming (kulima) or braiding hair (kumanga tsitsi). The truth is money does not choose where to come from and it certainly does not have a mark on it stating where it was earned.

BE CIVILIZED: Do not be embarrassed to get your hands dirty as long as you get something worth saving. There are several success stories of people who did odd jobs. Mr Nachisaka used to go to people’s homes to braid hair, and today he owns three top-class saloons in town. A man popularly known as Petulo used to be a minibus tout and today he's got three minibuses and two lorries. Mwayi was a girl who moulded bricks to pay for her school fees. She would sell some and use the rest to build a small house for herself. As I type this, Mwayi now owns four semi-detached houses and has employed seven people to help her in her brick-moulding business.


Have you noticed that those three people were not employed, nor did they take loans, but they used the skills they had to make money? They mastered the art of saving and had financial discipline. They all knew that if change was to happen, they had to start saving money.


The concept of saving is not about buying everything you want and saving the little leftover change, no. Saving must be the first thing you do when you get any income. Give yourself a realistic target. 20% to 30% of your income can be saved every time.

Example 1: If your laundry peace job gives you MK3000 a day and you only do it for four days per month, that gives you a total of MK12,000. If you have to buy groceries from that income, then MK5000 is reasonable to save from that MK12,000.

Example 2: If your salary is MK100,000, supposing that your rent is MK25,000, you use MK15,000 for your transport and you use MK22,000 for food, then it is reasonable to save at least MK19,000 every month.


Always remember why you are saving,because that is what is going to motivate you to save and to stop spending on unnecessary things. For example, the idea of buying luxury items is ludicrous because realistically, they are often the least used items in your house. Stop misusing your money on unnecessary things; designer clothes, party regalia or even football jerseys. They are not a must-have’s and you can certainly do life without them.


It's not too late. You are not too young or too old to start saving money to reach your goals in life, be they business or personal dreams. You can do it once you put the self-discipline and financial control in motion. But you must start now, tomorrow never ends.