There are so many investment instruments people put money into for returns. Others have established firms and startups to not only create jobs but to pass down wealth.
South African entrepreneur Ntuthuko Shezi has come up with an investment instrument that allows people to invest in cattle instead of the South African stock market. The platform, known as Livestock Wealth, has been described as Africa’s very first ‘crowd-farming’ platform.
Livestock Wealth has generated a lot of interest from the public and has widely been described as innovative, according to News24.
Shezi started his business in 2015 inspired by his interest in agriculture. The entrepreneur grew up in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal, which is known for its strong farming community. Therefore, setting up Livestock Wealth was not surprising.
“After realising that there was very little interest and participation in the agricultural sector, I saw a need to create a platform that would enable people who would love to own cattle but do not own land or have the skills to do so,” he told News24.
According to him, Livestock Wealth works just like a fixed bank deposit where people invest in a cow for a period of six to 12 months with an option to re-invest. Investors can earn between 10 to 14 per cent a year in returns.
“Livestock Wealth’s vision is to change the way the world invests. This is specifically relevant in Africa where livestock has traditionally been used as a store of value. However, until now, livestock has not been used as a store of value to compete with other existing investment models such as stock market or fixed deposits from banks,” he said.
According to Shezi, Livestock Wealth investors come from all walks of life. He broke down the profile of the investors as 65% being Blacks, 30% being white foreigners and the remaining being Indians and people of color. “We are also seeing good growth in investment from stokvels and companies,” he noted.
Despite the growth of Shezi’s business, he has had some challenges. One of the biggest challenges has been acquiring AAA grade cows — younger cows that produce juicy and tender meat — and leasing land for additional farms.
He is also well aware of the skepticism that continues to greet his business despite the success achieved so far. And to build investor confidence, one of the key business principles of Shezi is transparency.
“Transparency is very important to Livestock Wealth. Investors are kept up to date with their investment through a mobile application, which allows them to monitor their cows, and a monthly newsletter.”
He also said recently that what makes his platform exciting is that one can own the cows without worrying about purchasing an entire farm and running it. A serial entrepreneur, Shezi was in 2015 voted among the Top 20 Most Interesting Entrepreneurs to Watch at the global Web Summit in Ireland. He is a Clinton Democracy Fellow as well as a Mandela Washington Fellow for Young African Leaders.