Why Social Entrepreneur Kuda Biza Defines 'Now' as 'No Opportunity Wasted'
Here's how he's fulfilling the purpose of entrepreneurship: to solve problems and improve lives.
In this series called Member Showcase, we publish interviews with members of The Oracles. This interview is with Kuda Biza, co-founder and CMO of Nunbelievable, co-founder of #ThisIsMyEra, and founder of the Amani Hope Foundation. It was condensed by The Oracles.
Who are you?
Kuda Biza: I build companies to solve the world’s biggest problems: education and hunger. My calling is to use business to impact lives.
My entrepreneurial journey began at 9 years old, cleaning my neighbors’ windows in Harare, Zimbabwe. In college, I launched a socially conscious clothing line with only $150, which has educated hundreds of African children. After college, I spent 10 years working for a Fortune 500 firm, bringing disruptive business opportunities to market and managing multimillion-dollar business lines. I also launched #ThisIsMyEra, a social enterprise focused on personal development.
Today, as co-founder and CMO of Nunbelievable, I’m working with our customers to end the hunger crisis in a delicious way. Nearly 40 million Americans don’t know where their next meal will come from. So, for every batch of cookies we sell, one of those Americans receives a meal.
Share an interesting fact about yourself that not many people would know.
Kuda Biza: I learned Arabic for a bracelet brand I launched in Saudi Arabia years ago. During a visit to Guatemala, I saw these beautiful handmade bracelets and wanted to bring them to the United States. But they already had a U.S. distributor, so I asked their CEO if I could open doors for them in Africa and the Middle East.
My intern was from Saudi Arabia, so I bought 400 bracelets, and he moved home to sell them. In less than 48 hours, we sold every last bracelet at a bazaar. That’s when we knew we were on to something big. A few months later, we opened a store in the largest mall in Jeddah.
What excites you the most about your business right now?
Kuda Biza: Our goal is to donate 1 million meals by 2022. After working in corporate roles with no clear social mission, nothing excites me more than combating hunger. Nunbelievable serves a higher purpose and is truly changing lives. I’m also thrilled to see more consumers become socially conscious and choose brands that have a heart.
What did you learn from your favorite mentor?
Kuda Biza: In 2016, I briefly met Strive Masiyiwa, a fellow Zimbabwean entrepreneur and chairman of Econet. Since then, I have garnered many life and business lessons simply by following his Facebook page.
He is an excellent example of how to use the power of business to impact society through philanthropic efforts. The most significant lesson he taught me is this: If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, identify a human need and reach out to solve it in a sustainable way. I have applied this to all my social ventures.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Kuda Biza: I would add to this quote from Mark Twain: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” There’s a third important day: every day that you act on that why. When you take substantial action early and often, you benefit from the compound effect of those actions, similar to compound interest. The more action you take, the more you benefit.
I would also tell my younger self to stop procrastinating. Lost opportunities will never return. Define “Now” as “No Opportunity Wasted.” So, to my younger self: Take massive action, and ensure that there is no opportunity wasted.
How do you define great leadership?
Kuda Biza: They lead by example. Great leaders are also excellent communicators who listen to understand, not to reply. They clearly convey their ideas and vision.
They also inspire, motivate, and empower others to do great things. The ultimate litmus test that sets great leaders apart is their ability to create other leaders.
How do you evaluate a good business deal?
Kuda Biza: In a good business deal, all parties win. Everyone must benefit. The terms also have to align with the value that each party brings to the table, negotiated in good faith.
I also look at the outcome. Will the deal positively transform lives? The primary role of business and entrepreneurship is to solve problems and improve lives.
What’s your daily routine for success?
Kuda Biza: Thanks to my boarding school days, I learned to be an early riser. I remember a teacher telling me, “Win the morning, win the day.” That’s now hard-wired in me. I wake up around 4 a.m. every day, even without an alarm.
My morning routine follows a version of Hal Elrod’s “savers” approach from his book, “The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM).” This includes silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing. I pray and study the Bible, go to the gym, plan my day, journal in my #ThisIsMyEra planner, and read my affirmations aloud. During my commute, I read a book or listen to a podcast. I’m an intermittent faster, so I usually only drink water and a protein shake before my first meal around noon.
In the evening, I close the day by reflecting in my planner. I go to bed by 9 p.m., so I get at least seven hours of sleep.
If you ever start a charity, what would it be called and what would it do?
Kuda Biza: Across the world, 61 million primary-aged children aren’t enrolled in school. In many developing countries like Zimbabwe, public school isn’t free, and most families live on less than $2 per day. I’ve witnessed children being denied access to education because their families couldn’t afford it.
This is unacceptable. So, I started the Amani Hope Foundation to empower underprivileged children across the world by providing scholarships, school supplies, and educational programs. “Amani” means peace in Swahili, and we aim to provide peace of mind and hope to those who need it most. So far, we have educated more than 100 children in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Ghana and have donated thousands of school supplies.
What do you want to be known for, or what do you want your legacy to be?
Kuda Biza: I want to be known as someone who mastered the science of achievement and the art of fulfillment. Although it’s important to achieve success in all areas of life — including family, career, health, relationships, finances, and impact — “success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure,” says Tony Robbins.
So, I want my legacy to be about not only success, but also experiences, joy, giving, and fulfillment. This way, I hope to impact and inspire millions of lives.
The words and opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewee alone. What worked for them may not work for everyone. Any claims in this article have not been independently verified.