Three simple non-conventional business lessons I learnt from Street Business School that could potentially change lives and improve the way you do business.

“Your value will be NOT what you KNOW; it will be what you SHARE.”

Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM

Since we are at the start of a new month, I feel it would be remiss not to acknowledge all the awesome people that have subscribed to my blog since November!!!! Thank you for taking the time to read my content, liking and sharing and of course choosing to subscribe! I love and appreciate you all so much and look forward to growing with you:)

That said, I have been absent from the blog for over a week and no, it’s not because I got lazy or lost interest but because I have been away at a life changing Street Business School immersion workshop in Kampala!

Street Business School is a six-month business training that transforms the lives of people living in poverty by igniting confidence and building entrepreneurial skills. As part of its quest to eradicate poverty, Street Business School equips and trains other organizations from all over the world as Catalyst Partners to take Street Business School principals back to the communities they serve. Specifically the immersion workshop involves the trainees from the different organizations presuming the role of a member representative of the communities they work in.

I had the opportunity to interact with amazing coaches from SBS and an awesome team of 13 other participants from 6 Non Profit Organizations from Uganda, Rwanda, Cameroon, Kenya and the UK. At the end of the 8 days, I did not just leave a certified lead SBS coach with proven business principals to equip young women with skills and tools to kiss poverty goodbye, I walked away with these three lessons I will use in my own businesses and also use to lift other young women up and give them hope for a future.

  1. You are your biggest and best resource. Money and assets are important, yes but it really starts with you. I was pleasantly surprised to discover how much I can do all on my own without money or assets. You probably already have a skill or a hobby, you definitely have a brain and there are things you can teach yourself or learn from someone else. If you really look, you will find that you already have what you need to get started, YOU. Just take a minute and visualize the “aha” moment a girl who thought she had absolutely nothing to get her life off the ground has when you tell her she is in herself a resource.
  2. Your voice matters, but so does everyone else’s. No matter how knowledgeable or skilled I maybe at something, I really don’t know it all. It is important for us to value what others have to say, really listen to what they are saying to us because we all have something to learn from each other. If you learn to live by this just think how great your customer care service would be and the inevitable increase in sales you would enjoy. Better yet think of the woman who has totally lost all confidence in herself slowly start to come out of her shell and be more assertive in pursuing her goals because you took the time to validate her, encourage her and listen to her.
  3. Seek to understand not patronize. It’s tempting to think we have it all figured out and therefore know what someone else needs. Talk to people and understand their context. Don’t talk at them, making them feel less than just because they may not know or have the same information you do.  Instead, approach people in a way that makes them feel included and understood. Remember we are not helping them really, what we are actually trying to do is sit together and come up with solutions as a team. They know what their problems are. Listen to them so that you can actually be of value to them. Think about how this can help you improve the way you deliver a service or how you can help someone else’s confidence grow by having an honest and kind conversation with them as opposed to telling them all the things they are doing wrong and how you can help them fix it.

At the end of the day I love how great these lessons are to apply in any business, but what I love even more than that is how they can be used to encourage, mentor and uplift other women who feel hopeless and see no light at the end of the tunnel, to start their own businesses.

Isn’t it incredible how doing the smallest, seemingly insignificant things slowly add up to end the cycle of poverty by just reminding someone that they matter, the future exists and so their hopes and goals can actually become a reality?

Naboisho! (Together, let’s end Poverty!)

If you are interested in learning more about Street Business School and how you can support their programs visit their website here.

Happy Women’s Day!

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