Anna Phosa is one of Africa’s most successful business women. The pig farmer is often referred to as a ‘celebrity pig farmer. In a continent where doing business is very challenging, her business journey was not rosy and she struggled to raise capital to start and grow the business. In 2004, Anna started her first pig farm in Soweto with $100 which was from her personal savings and started with only 4 small pigs.
She struggled for four years after which she was contracted by Pick ‘n Pay, the South African supermarket chain, to supply its stores with 10 pigs per week. This was a first breakthrough and the request grew quickly to 20 pigs per week. By 2010, she signed a – five – year contract with Pick ‘n Pay to supply 100 pigs per week for just under R25 million – that’s nearly $1.9 million today.
With this contract, Anna was able to raise capital from ABSA Bank and USAID to buy a 350-hectare farm property. Currently, her farm houses over 4,000 pigs at a time and employs several staff.
Most entrepreneurs who want to start a business often turn to banks and end up disappointed. And that is because banks tend to focus on growth and mature businesses that have healthy cash flows and collateral that can be used to secure the loan. If you do not have any of these, you could be wasting your time chasing a bank loan. Many entrepreneurs do not know this but banks are just one out of several different options for raising capital.
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