First Discount House founder Dr Thomson Mpinganjira spoke at the Seventh Day Adventist Women Leadership Convention in Blantyre in June 2019, urging women to venture into entrepreneurship.
Delivering his The Bolts and Nuts of Entrepreneurship 30-minute presentation, Thomson Mpinganjira challenged the 1,000 female delegates to follow their ambitions, explaining that anyone can be successful in business as long as they follow a set of principles and put God first.
Dr Mpinganjira reminded the audience that when they are succeeding, they should keep in mind that God is looking to them to manage his opportunities and wealth, and he does seek a spiritual return on his investment. He underlined the importance of having a vision and pursuing dreams, telling the audience that a goal should be big enough that, in attaining just a small part of it, an individual can still consider themselves successful.
Thomson Mpinganjira explained that it is vital to put a plan in place and to be persistent in order to realise that dream. He told the delegates that the journey to success may not be as easy as they had anticipated; pointing out that they may face setbacks and hardships along the way but imparting the importance of never giving up or allowing anyone to look down on them.
Emily Egolet, Women Ministries Director for the Seventh Day Adventists, underlined the importance of conventions like this one in moulding women to become not worriers, but warriors, equipping them with the spirit of entrepreneurship and leadership skills that they need to succeed.
Ms Egolet thanked Dr Mpinganjira for his practical insights, extending her gratitude to United Nations Women and FDH Bank for providing technical and financial support for the event. As part of its corporate social responsibility drive FDH Cares, FDH Bank provided MK5 million in funding for the convention.
About Dr Thomson Mpinganjira
Dr Mpinganjira set up First Discount House in 2002, presiding over the company until 2007, when he established FDH Bank. He credits part of his success to early exposure to business imparted by his father, an Accountant and Chartered Secretary who owned his own import and trading company, travelling all over Malawi and Zambia with his work. Speaking at the Seventh Day Adventist event, Dr Mpinganjira explained that he joined his father on many of these trips prior to 1972, when his father was imprisoned at Mikuyu Detention Centre. Dr Mpinganjira’s father was held there between 1972 and 1975 for being a Jehovah’s Witness Church member.
Thomson Mpinganjira told the audience of delegates that the Bible is the best success manual in the world. He said that all wealth comes from God, explaining that God bestows the power and means to create upon us, but he does expect a spiritual return on this investment.
In his The Bolts and Nuts of Entrepreneurship talk he underlined the need to learn from others, highlighting the importance of working within one’s chosen field before trying to establish a business in it. He said it was important to find a mentor in the sector and build a trusted team with the attitude and skills needed to support the business.
Finally, Dr Mpinganjira told the audience that passion is key to business success, underlining the importance of perseverance. He told the female entrepreneurs they should never give up, explaining that entrepreneurs do not procrastinate, they work 24/7 to ensure the success of their business.