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A year under review as an entrepreneur

A year under review as an entrepreneur

By Ilke Platt
Founder Poiyah Media.

As we approach the end of the year, it is pretty accurate to say that each entrepreneur can’t wait to go on holiday. But this can be quite tricky, if you’re still in the first two years starting up.

Mark Di Somma (2016) stresses the struggle to articulate how the new venture will fundamentally challenge the way things are done. This is said in the light of disrupting; however, this can also be interpreted in the way you are now operating as an entrepreneur.

We often take the end of the year as a time to reflect and do things differently in 2020. So, what are the key things learnt as an entrepreneur? These key learnings are fundamental in re-directing next year and being smarter with the operations.

Firstly, it is of utmost importance to fast track your vision of where you see your company. Reanalyze time and effort going into the return on investment (meaning the payment you receive from your client). Reanalyze your strategy, how it operates and whether your business can run without you.

“The first step in advancing from an entrepreneurship to that of a professionally run business is to recognize that the business has reached a new stage in its business lifecycle,” Terry H Hill 2010. This mind set should be embedded to remind you that your entrepreneurship will gradually transform into a well run business.

Secondly, not compromising your worth and professionalism. Stick to your talent and skill. Do not spread yourself too thin doing everything in a small manner. This will prevent you from excelling in that one niche area that you would like to specialize in. Your audiences or customers will not know you for anything but doing a little bit of everything at a small scale. Push, teach yourself to be the best in your industry which will position you as that sought-after entrepreneur.

Thirdly, getting rid of the start-up mentality and making your brand bigger than what it is. Running a business for three years, is not cut for everyone and that in itself is an ability and skill to respect. As much as it is encouraged to think big let us not become too confident in mastering the art of running our business.

As Bill Gates observed, “success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” Instead, find a way to strike the balance by acknowledging your successes and catapult that into a smoother journey into entrepreneurship.

Lastly, 2019 has proven to be draining, tiring, exhausting and thus the importance to self reward. Entrepreneurship is hard and requires a lot of extra time. This can result to neglecting your family and friends. Ultimately this leads to burnout. Manage your time wisely and allow yourself to take breaks, go on a mini treat (once you plan and save accordingly). Making time for family allows you to clear your mind and this can allow a fresh perspective on your business.

In conclusion 2020 should be a year of small wins. These small wins will allow you to stay energized throughout the year. Try not to feel discouraged with the set-backs, celebrate the fact that you have managed to run a business for over two years and reflect on the small hurdles you’ve managed to overcome to still be in business.

Your mental state is most important to place under review not only towards the end of the year but rather on a regular basis.


Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.