Wealthy Relatives- Investors or Imposters?

20 Feb

Most Business books or Startup write ups I have read advise you to get capital from your savings, family, friends or pool of relatives and private investors.

So when I posed a question to a wealthy relative if they would invest and become an equity partner for a business venture there was instant resistance.

Before you get carried away to other predictable reasons for resistance, such as “I don’t like you or want you to succeed” this one shocked me, “I worked hard for my money so why should I just give it to you?” It was not like the hypothetical business plan called for $100 million but 10millionKES.

We proceed further with the conversation and I am told, no rich relative should risk his or her money and invest or partner with another relative, or for the immediate concern employ a family member who is facing difficult times and give them a head start. The person must fend for himself and get a loan from a bank.

Here in Kenya as we all know, Banks do not support start ups in initial capital investments and sure as there might be more angle investors than previously known don’t you think working with a relative makes a stronger foundation for loyalty, trust and reliability?

The juicy part of the conversation came to the most emotional question ever “what will I get in return?” In a business setting surely when the commitments are laid out in black and white and the profits and losses in even bigger print, I thought to myself am I not better off talking to that “bank”? Family riches and inheritances are built on spreading the wealth with the rest, most definitely spreading the chances of murder, sabotage, fraud and the negative list goes on. However one stark difference comes to mind, the Kenyan Sikh Community rarely if any hires family members in their businesses or for their businesses. I look around and see successful if not thriving Asian businesses run by the Shah, Patel or even the Ismalia community where they have hired their in-laws, cousins or sometimes extended family members. They may not get paid brilliantly but there is major security and assistance of progress in terms of medical provision and especially education for the children. Then why or which Sikh business attempts the same set up? Are we only able to result to Johnnie Walkers, Wedding Gossip, Race to Build the Biggest House, Marry the Rich and Fair, Do Charity in the Name of Conscious but Not Cause, the list is long.

Nobody got anything on the silver platter and those who succeeded with stupendous success had talent, will and hard work. Thus, my conclusion the wealthy relatives can continue to barbeque their dollars while circumstances and ideas will continue to inspire individuals to walk the talk, lean forward and make the change happen.

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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


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