Opinion: Resignation Letter From Stanbic Bank Acceler8 Advisory Board


For concerned parties:

I have resigned with immediate effect from being involved as an advisory council member of the Stanbic Bank Acceler8.

The WHY- i will detail two (2) reasons and i could make them twenty but i will restrict myself to only 10 if not more.

1. Firstly let me put it in public awareness that these views are mine, they represent me, they are my experiences and my recommendations. They do not represent my companies, my partners but they in my view affect those who i will speak of- and unfortunately i doing this to help them act in the best way in the future when they consider engaging on projects that concerns us (entrepreneurs), (startup support organisations) and this country (i speak as a Motswana- it is my right).

2. My relationship with Stanbic Bank is not new- i have partnered with Stanbic Bank for years and they have invested in our companies through their corporate social responsibility arm- i would say confidently more than $50k (P500,000) if correct has been transacted between ourselves and them! This was based on innovative and new projects which have become a public face in this country i.e I launched the first Schools Entrepreneurship Bootcamp in Botswana- they invested P100,000. I launched the other small initiatives in the city of Francistown that being the first startup acceleration program for northern Botswana (I even opened partnership doors with the World Bank for you) you invested 10K, P60K and etc etc and ultimately launched the first Botswana startup acceleration program for their incubator-workspace-and accelerator (they invested 200K). 

Now whereas all these where my ideas and that IP of my company - YOURS- was to measure impact on the success and create METRICS of how this impact is measured- its not my job- I am an entrepreneur. i.e what most dont know is that i started the first countrywide impactful coding initiative across Botswana- this was a results of 'some' of the support they had done but of course i had other investors from France/Germany- who joined to advance 150K, 200k etc and this would later lead me to being recognised and facilitated to meet the President of Botswana. I will not speak about this for this message! But again I happen to be invited to the Townhall hosted by the President where he hosted Billionaire Strive Masiyiwa. 

I would later than day in a closed room roundtable where the President had facilitated i join- meet the then ex-CEO of Stanbic Bank who would later appoint me to his advisory council and for his new vision of an innovative hub in Botswana that would support young startups, young people etc. As part of his legacy he would appoint my company on the 3x3x3 Scale Up Residency- where i handpicked Botswana's top innovators and provided them the tools, resources, networks and access to smart capital. On the promise of this partnership- PR from the Bank recommended this project as a flagship model. With the new excitement of a board membership, i would later learn in the boardroom of the bank that someone who runs the hub is not interested in this project- i would ask why- he would answer me not YOU! I would walk away and ten months later i have had many people come to me, bank board members, senior bank executives, and even partners of that hub ask what is happening with that hub.

I boldly approached the new Motswana CEO of the bank- excited to hear his vision and how aims to support this project vision- only to learn the guy doesnt even care- he affords me a meeting which his secretary cancels more than 5 times on the premise that he is busy! I would later agree to that meeting- after months- and in that meeting i ask him one simple question- before i engage you- let me give you feedback and then i will present what i see as a future for both of us. He immediately says to be who are you- who are you wena to ask for our strategy! I respond to him with reason that he should be cautious because i know what i am asking and i am within reason. 

We spend a whole 58 minutes back and fourth where he ends up in principle putting the position that he is with his team- and its clear that was a caucus! I then say listen chief- I am Mooketsi Tekere and im resigning with immediate effect. You will deal with what i say because clearly you created this space to push agendas unknown to us and the public and i warned him- next not to stand next to the President of Botswana and claim that his organisation cares about the youth, entrepreneurs and the future if he cannot listen.

So i wish to challenge them publicly and i will state my points why such institutions needs to stop what they are doing in the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Botswana- this is worse than what we saw with the failure of the Botswana Innovation Hub (at least thats government money), but for a private institution( with shareholders) i wonder what they think of this.

I am challenging them on the following facts;

a. What is your space? Is it an innovation hub, a working space, a coffee shop, or a accelerator?

b. Why did you round us (ME) and those i represent when you create this space-and yet you do not respect the advisory council you have appointed? I am not a spokesperson for startups but hey i care deeply about entrepreneurs and i will not allow this type of games with entrepreneurs.

c. What have you been working on since you where launched ? exclude what i have done for you and its impact? Just give examples that link to the KPIs of what you set the space for? I might be correct to say you are using this space to personal benefits! - I need to look at my dictionary for what we call that?

d. Who leads your space- who are they- they seem to be very political and powerful? I challenge them to explain who they are - what they have done- what are their failures and experiences? I have challenged you- here- show your results!

e. How many entrepreneurs have you graduated? Share the numbers?

f. Why are you spending 60% of your budget on property, media and useless things instead of supporting entrepreneurs? With a budget of 4 million + pula per year you dont even have a cohort graduated or a entrepreneur program?

g. Why do you not HAVE any social media pages or even a simple FREE WEBSITE? Why dont you have the basics in place- if your true intention is to support entrepreneurs ?

h. Why do you assume that because you are a bank everyone coming do you is begging for money? Are you experts in building companies? You asked me what capacity i speak on- you appointed me- i didnt ask for it!

i. Why in 3 years of being setup you have never set foot in others areas of your operation- i.e how much has your hub invested in startups and entrepreneurs in Lethakane, Kasane, Maun, Francistown? Who have you worked with in the startup ecosystem in those places? Why hasn't your hub lead ever set foot outside Gaborone?

j. ....to be continued! I quit and i quit because of your lack of vision, your lack of wisdom, humility and your arrogance as bank. I will do everything to ensure that everyone knows this because in the past we have seen such examples and kept quiet.

Finally i am not pitching anything to you and i do not pitch my ideas to people who lack vision and are decisive!

I am not captured! These are my views. I am not captured and i will bring this up at group level to ensure you account! This type of attitude from the private sector is disgusting!

I am done and i took months to think about this because ive seen the impact of your actions- and it is not you who suffer. Its the young people who beg you for money and you refuse but you go around claiming gore le support the future etc!

Again- I am not shaming you- this is FEEDBACK. You refused it at boardroom level- so i will share it publicly!

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