Develop Your Idea Into a Global Brand, Ignore the Butt-head Naysayers

First you need to come up with an idea, basically an easy-to-use solution to the current one, then develop that idea into a workable simple-to-use solution, then if needed, build and test the prototype, then setup a company to develop the idea/prototype, don’t worry about funding your idea, once you have developed your idea into a practical solution and put a bankable business plan together, money will flow from financiers to fund your business, then get the best team together to develop your idea into a marketable product/service, and then build your company into a brand name, globally.

Those who never had ideas, those whose brains are basically dead rotten, who can’t be innovative to come up with simple and easy-to-use solutions of their own, once they hear about your idea, because they are so dumb and stupid as they can’t see far ahead than the shadow of their own buttocks, they will laugh at you and call you names, saying all kind of bad stuff about you just because of their own stupidity because they fail to see the long-term effects of your idea. However, once they finally see your idea developed into a finished product/solution, then suddenly they become your biggest fans. But don’t hate them, take their money by selling them your products/solutions. You can even employ them, don’t hold any grudge against them.

So don’t sleep; go on and dream! dream Big, do Big, so you can live well for the rest of your life. And in the long run, you are empowering yourself, your family, your community, your country, and live better than those short sighted butt-head naysayers.

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MIT Provosts Stealing Our Groot Industrial Ecosystems Idea?

MIT provost Martin Schmidt and a group of MIT faculty members may be got hold of our documents through our Scientist, Robbie Jena, Co-founder and Chief Strategist of Groot Group, and now they are using our documents at MIT stating how America can rebuild and re-industrialize its economy for better employment creation and sustainability, but they are not giving us credit for it.

It was around June 2009, right after I graduated from The Ohio State University, I was invited by Liberia’s former finance minister, Mr. Braim, at his house in Columbus, Ohio to brainstorm with him on how to help develop and grow Liberia’s economy after many years of civil unrest.

After listening to him and his son, Samuel Braima, my then classmate at The Ohio State University, I informed the ex-finance minister that the better way to help rapidly develop Liberia’s economy, was to setup and develop an economic ecosystem on a certain island, off of the coast of Liberia.

We discussed further how we could go about doing it, and his next step was to go meet with Liberia’s President in order to get her blessing and start with the project, a rapid industrial ecosystem.

In August 2009, I met up with Robert Grier in Columbus, Ohio over a cup of coffee, and we brainstormed on the idea. At that time after we discussed about the idea, Robert informed me about his partner Robbie Jena, a former NASA Scientist, who’s specialized in industrial ecosystems development based on his past China’s success. Then one day Robert and I went to the ex-finance minister’s house in Columbus, Ohio for our continued talk on the idea.

After a month of waiting for the appointment with the Liberian Government Officials for us to brief them on the idea and get started with its planning, development and implementation, there was a silence of waiting, and for us as entrepreneurs, we couldn’t wait, hence we proceeded with our idea’s planning and development, and it has since become, the Groot Rapid Industrial Ecosystem, which is composed of our industrial projects development in Namibia which some that are online now are; Tses Glass, Groot Steel (Otavi Steel), and Sitentu Power Plant.

You can see our Groot Corporate Brochure about our Industrial Ecosystems, look at the date when it was uploaded on SlideShare, March 2011.

It’s an honor to have MIT engineers, scientists, economists and policy specialists, including one Nobel Prize recipient, as well as Policy Makers at the White House looking and modeling on our Industrial Ecosystems development in Namibia, but it would have been better if they (MIT and the White House) had acknowledged us and given us some credit, instead of just using our idea for their own perhaps personification.

The only issue is this; there’s a difference between someone copying or stealing someone’s else idea, and the actual person who actually came up with idea, because in this case, it’s us at Groot Group (Simon Kapenda, Robbie Jena, and Robert Grier), and the one who copies or steals the idea is never capable and delivering the real realization of the idea successfully and efficiently, than the one who actually came up with it, especially us that are already doing it in Namibia.

MIT provost Martin Schmidt, please contact me at simon@grootgroup.com, to get the real practical knowledge on how to implement an industrial ecosystem. See our Groot site at http://www.grootgroup.com/leasing regarding our Groot Industrial Ecosystem

Read more about the White House blog at http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/02/13/plan-revitalize-american-manufacturing and the MIT statement at http://www.boston.com/businessupdates/2013/02/22/nation-must-rebuild-industrial-ecosystem-spur-manufacturing-says-mit/6sKvKhCsSNwPilbrg5GdqO/story.html

How Can You Raise $1 Billion in Financing for Your Startup?

So you’ve started your business and now you’re urgently in need of $1 billion in financing for your business or project; then what do you do and where do you go to get it?

There are a few simple and easy steps on how to do it fast without breaking your back, which are;

  • “Personable” – use the social media to market yourself and by doing so, be sure to be real, be open, be smart.
  • “Brag branding” – use the social media to brag about your project but do so without spamming your audience.
  • “Value and excitement”- your project must offer value that can excite your potential investor’s appetite.
  • “Culture”- more and more people have money which they want to put it to work, but they will never fund you if they don’t know you, if they don’t trust you, and if they don’t have faith in you. This is where your personal characteristic comes in to play; which your past may define your present value but depends on how you present yourself, it may not hinder you realize future potential.

Simply by doing the above may help you attract potential financiers for your project; it’s always better when they come to you and offer to invest in your project, instead of you going to them.

We’re securing $1.7 billion for our 900 MW CCGT power plant as well as our other industrial projects within the Groot Group ecosystem and we have attracted some of the world’s largest and leading financial institutions and private super-net worth individuals.

Follow me on Facebook and explore my Timeline.

Namibia, Together We Can Do It; Rapid Industrial Development

We now have Danieli and SMS Siemag powering Otavi Steel, and GE, Mitsubishi, Marubeni, and Siemens to power Sitentu Power Plant.

Working with Namibian entrepreneurs and government agencies, we are bringing some of the world’s largest and best companies, technology, and investment to Namibia to develop Namibia’s economy. Yes, entrepreneurship and innovations are the engine growth for every economy in the world.

I’ve been trying to tell you that our Groot Group has the unique ability and capacity to make this happen; bringing and developing some of the largest projects in Namibia by some of the world’s largest companies and financial institutions, but some laughed at me saying it’s impossible, because they looked at my physical approach and denigrated me simply because may be I didn’t come to you walking on a cloud or simply because I turned out to be black (on the phone I may sound like a white man may be, but what if I was white?). Today, those “some” you are regretting for not working with us.

In Grootfontein, after they didn’t sign the MoU for us to do GTC there, we offered the Grootfontein Town Council for us to buy the land that we were signing the MoU for, we asked them how much they want for it, and the Grootfontein Town Council wrote to us, by snail mail, stating that they will not sell us the land. The CEO and their lawyer informed me on the phone that we go develop it elsewhere, and so we moved on and to a private land, for our GTC development. This could have brought a massive economic development to a dilapidated town of Grootfontein.

We have always been constantly linear on what we say that we can do and what we will do, it may not happen at the time we say will happen due to the scope outside our own control at times. However, now we have two different projects in Otavi (Otavi Steel) and Walvisbay (Sitentu Power Plant) with a combined development budget of more than N$37 billion (N$26 billion for Otavi Steel) and N$11 billion for Sitentu Power Plant).

These are some of the largest projects ever developed anywhere, and they are under way now, right here in Namibia. They are not impossible to develop them, because they have been developed elsewhere before.

These two projects have massive economic tentacles touching nearly every industry, every sector in Namibia, to offer economic development and good sustainable employment opportunities for the Namibian people.

We, as a country, Namibia, all of us, we can make this happen faster if we are working together regardless of our political, tribal, ethnic, and religious differences, we can make this happen for the greater good of Namibia; and our future generation.

It’s not about who or what, the focus should be about what each one of us are doing to help develop Namibia. Our Independence was not as a result from just one individual member but by the heroic efforts of all of us, the Namibians, united as SWAPO members and led by our Hero, Founding Father Nujoma, and we all together have overcome to defeat the mighty South African Apartheid government.

If we are united still, just as we were united then, then no one in Namibia will be going to bed hungry, no one will be with nothing; we can all live the Namibian dream, not just by the 3% Namibians, but all of us, everyone.

This can only happen once we start to believe in ourselves, in our capacity as humans, in our institutions, in our government, in our own people.

I am blessed to have lived my life around the world, but with the little that I have gained in terms of knowledge and experience, academic skills, business acumen, and my connection to the world’s largest companies, I am dedicated to sharing it with you for the greater good of Namibia. We as individuals at Groot Group and partners cannot do this alone, but with you, together, it is all possible.

And, instead of looking and focusing on my claimed past shortcomings, look at my present, because I too don’t look or judge at how you have lived your life, I look at what you can deliver. With me, it doesn’t matter if you only have Grade 5, if you can do something better, then I will work with you. It’s not about your  class, status, education, family background, color of skin, religious or whatever, it’s about what quality you can deliver as an individual.

We can do this together, or we can sit back and just watch life passes us by; always in great need, always in want, always in pain, always in distress, always begging for the world’s aid, just because we refuse to think outside the box and do things that other world’s economies are doing for their own well being.

Let Me Annoy and Offend You; My Time in Namibia!

This blog may annoy or offend some of you, but I am posting it any way.

Firstly, I’m a Christian and I’m happy that I am.

The end of August will be 12 months since I arrived back in Namibia in nearly 20 years. And for that, it has not been easy for me to fully adjust. Firstly, I had to get used to a lot of things again, even crossing a street for me has been hard as I always have to look at the wrong side of the traffic as I cross the streets, just to find cars coming fast towards me from the other side.

My body has to get used to the weather here and my stomach has to also get used to the food. I had to get it in my system again to get used to seeing more and more people walking by foot, walking long distances coming and going to work. The first day I arrived here, when my brother and friend picked me up from the airport, when we got to Katutura, tears just started rolling down my eyes, just by seeing how some people are living; some with no running water, no electricity, no toilets, and mostly, just too much alcohol.

I had to get used to seeing people loaded in the back of trucks like animals, being transported from and to work. I have to get used to seeing people working doing hard manual labors, such as fixing roads but digging with handpickers, etc., instead of using machinery to do the work.

As time goes by, I eventually got used to how some things are; but the most difficult thing for me, is to work on this Groot project. It has been like hell. Firstly, most people just didn’t and still don’t understand how and what it is; I always have to explain everything; word for word. It’s as though we are inventing a new system whereas, we are just copying what is happening in other countries. Even the airport, Heathrow, in England, it’s nearly developed similar to what we are doing here in Namibia, but because it’s never been done here before, it’s such a mystery to most people. But then the question is; what will it take to bring down the unemployment rate from the current rate of more than 54% to about 4%?

All the days that I’ve been in Namibia now, everyday of each week, I have to explain how things work. I sit down with government officials on regular basis, news reporters, etc. Initially, news reporters used to write garbage and junk about me and our project, but after I have spent a lot of time educating them on how this economic and rapid industrial ecosystem development stuff work; now you rarely read anything about me in their newspapers. Because now they somehow understand how things work, not like they used to do; go through our Facebook page and my Facebook profile and just copying what we write and then try to put in their so ‘well-uniformed’ commentary.

And then I have to face some politicians and those politician-wanna bes; who question me and continue to question me behind my back about what “my real motive” for working with the Americans to develop this project in Namibia. “Why the Americans, what do the Americans really want”, all these stuff. Like now, with the Groot O League in the North, more and more ‘politician-wanna-bes’ in the North are questioning ‘my real motive’ for us to host the Groot O League Tournament. My question is; when will Namibia be able to beat South Africa’s Bafana Bafana or even Angola? How can we develop Namibia’s sports from the grassroot level?

Why can’t one just do something good and unique for his or her country, Namibia, without being judged or questioned about his or her motive? I thought Namibia is a market-driven, capitalistic system, and free enterprise market economy where anyone can start and operate a business, any business? What if the investors or contractors are Europeans or Chinese? “No man’s an Island”. If you want to develop your town, region or country’s economy and you have no outside linkage but only rely on your local investments, then think again, because it will never work. Example; why is Africa and even anywhere else in the world; coastal cities and towns are more developed than the interior of the continents? Answer that for yourself.

And by the way; our contractors and investors are diversified; made up of the Africans, Americans, Europeans, and Asians. There’s no sinister here when coming to our Groot development, it’s just pure business and to help our government, our people, and our country. “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”.

It has been very difficult for me adjusting myself to being here again, even driving in Namibia, especially that I don’t know how to drive a manual car, has been a lot of pain, and driving on the right-hand side is even more painful for me.

So, for me; everyday since I’ve been here for the past 11 months, has been a miracle. God has been awesome to me; and if I have to testify how God has been gracious and merciful to me, it’s amazing. He has always provided and cared for me; and He continues to open doors for me, He’s making things more easier for me. He’s given me a spirit of patience, humbleness, understanding, and obedience.

I’m very thankful to my Aunty, my friends (you know who you are, all of you and I will never forget all that you have done for me), and my family (I’m so thankful for my family). More and more, I’m more than grateful because, Jesus is awesome, everyday is a miracle, it’s a testament for his Goodness. For me, it’s like I’m one of the people of Israel, brought out into the desert and each day, God has provided for me, just as He provided for the Israelites in the desert.

I’m a living testimony of the goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ. He has blessed me and has given me so much, I can never ask for more. I sometimes wonder, why me? Such as this pending deal, it’s one of the biggest deals in my life. I’m grateful, because God, the Maker of all things, has bestowed me and abundantly blessed me.

Yes, He has loved me first, even before I was born and love myself. He has fulfilled every desire of my heart and much more. And for that, I thank Him and I will forever Praise His Holy Name.

If there’s anything that I can ask from the Namibian people, it’s for them to just take a day off and pray. Just to pray and ask God to help speed up the process and make ways for issuance of all the permits and licenses needed for the development of the Groot Town Center ecosystem. Because, in reality, as you have read throughout my blog postings and our Facebook page, our Namibia’s ecosystem development is the ultimate and only solution to help with the rapid reduction of the high rate of unemployment in Namibia now; boost the well-being of all the Namibian people, and help fast track the realization of Namibia’s Vision 2030 in about 5 years instead of 19 years from now.

If you’ve not already done so; accepting Jesus Christ as your Personal Savior could be the best thing that has ever happened in your life. For me, it’s more than awesome!

Writing and Presenting a Business Plan That Doesn’t Suck!

What makes or breaks a startup anywhere is partially by having a good business plan.

Such as most entrepreneurs in Namibia that I meet daily don’t have good and winning business plans. A conservative business plan for the Namibia market (financial institutions) should be simply, made up of; Executive Summary (written after the business plan), Company Summary, Organizational Plan, Marketing Plan, Financial Plan, and Supporting Documents sections.

I just finished writing a business plan as a consultant, and it looks awesome. But I don’t wanna do this no more. It’s too much time consuming.

But if you expect to get a business loan from any financial institution, you’ve got to have a winning business plan, outlining everything in great details, but remember, business analysts who review your business plan for funding consideration don’t really read everything in your business plan. They read your executive summary first, and if it makes sense, then they jump to your financial projections.

And if it interests them, then they look at your management summary under your Organizational Plan, but everything else in your business plan is just an added value.

I’ve seen people walking around with business profiles, (yes, a business plan should be no more than 32 pages long), but these entrepreneurs usually have on average documents that they call, “a business plan”, but with only 4 pages long, not in the right format, no financial projections, no break-even analysis, and then they complain to everyone that they can’t get a loan from the bank, because they are not well-connected, and that the banks are run by racist white people.

But they forget about their own presentation as outlined in their business plans.

And the mistakes most of them make is that, they pay someone to write their business plans, but because they were not fully involved in writing it, then when coming to the bank asking them to do a presentation and defend their business plan, then they have no clue on what to say, let alone explain what’s written in the business plan.

They have no clue on how to explain where they got the figures in their financial projections. But again, they complain why Namibian banks don’t fund black owned businesses.

The Namibia Ministry of Trade and Industry has a division; Project Planning Unit, whose staff are paid to solely help Namibian SMEs with their business plans development, but I am not sure how many Namibians know about this service.

I wish I had the time to help do workshops and seminars on how to write a winning business plan in Namibia. Because if I can say one thing that I’ve learned from the development of our Groot ecosystem, it’s writing a business plan; with the latest business plan for our Groot development that, our team and I wrote, and from that we are raising more than N$6 billion (US$800 million) for Groot Town Center and separately US$900 million for our 900 MWe Gas Power Plant in Namibia. These are just 2 projects which are part of our 60+ different projects for our Namibia ecosystem development. Also, we are preparing to write our business plan for our Swaziland Ecosystem Development whose development budget is currently set at US$10.7 billion.

From this experience, I have learned a great deal on how to write and present a business plan to the financial lending institutions and venture capitalists.

For the US market, I’ve written many business plans, but the language that’s used in business plans for the US VCs, especially for tech start-ups is different from the Namibian market. One simple word in US could mean something completely different from what it may mean in Namibia.

For example, for the US market, I can write; “a killer app…”, or “a disruptive technology”. Using such as these phrases for the Namibian market (due to political correctness), they may be viewed and construed differently, in a very very very very bad way.

Look, if you want to get a business loan from any bank or VCs, you’ve gotta have a good business plan, but also you must be able to present and defend what’s stated in your business plan. If you had paid a consultant to write your business plan, try to understand how that consultant came up with the dollar value in your financial plan and what those graphs mean.

A good business plan should be more quantitative than qualitative, and use more graphs to explain your market and financial details. So, go out there and write a killer business plan for your disruptive innovative solution.

My Nonsense Solution Approach for Your Business, Government and Organization

I provide free Meetups on entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership development, as well as effective workshops and seminars on how to realize your dream and become your best.

However, if you need a solid and winning business plan or paper work done professionally; I can help you but I no longer do this for free as my time is now crunched.

I’m a neuroeconomist and entrepreneur with more than 15 years of real-life practical skills gained from my business activities in the USA. I also offer consulting services for companies and governments to improve efficiency and productivity in order to realize and attain their short and long-term goals.

I’m part of the leading company and team that’s implementing a powerful rapid economic ecosystem development for Namibia.

Same as in Swaziland, I’m part of the world’s best team that’s crafting an effective plan and solution to help improve the working relationship between the Office of the King and the Parliament of Swaziland in order to implement the development of a powerful industrial ecosystem in the Kingdom of Swaziland.

My practical experience ranges in start-ups, business and product development, predictive (political, financial and business) analytics, mentorship, branding, and web app development.

Thus if your government ministry or agency, organization or business is in need of improving its operations for a greater efficiency and productivity, then contact me today.

Take a look at our solution offerings at http://www.duartesantiago.com/ecosystem

I’m basically part of the group that you’d need and invite in to improve your bottom-line.