The real estate sector continues to experience rise in non-performing loans (NPLs), according to Central Bank of Kenya reports. In fact it had the highest NPLs in

If I have a bachelor’s degree in business management and I want to become an investor or a venture capitalist what should I do or what steps should I take to accomplish my goal?

Before I answer and describe some of the ways people have become investors or venture capitalists, let me lay some groundwork.

  1. Be prepared for a long road. Gaining experience as an investor takes time no matter the path taken.
  2. Be prepared for constant learning. Markets, economies, societies, problems, and solutions are always changing. In order to be a successful investor, you are always learning and changing tack.
  3. Be aware of your tolerance and appetite for risk. Investing is inherently a risk-filled activity. Understand what your emotional response to risk is and be aware of where on the spectrum of risk tolerance/appetite you lie.
  4. Understand what motivates you as an investor. Why do you want to become an investor in the first place? Check out my blog post on that very topic (Why Do You Invest?  Thoughts on Motivations).

Here’s how some of the people I know have become investors in private ventures (either as angel investors or as venture capitalists):

  1. Make lots of money and start investing your own capital: Some investors made their money in their professional career or through  the successful trading in other asset classes (real estate, for  example). Some investors are entrepreneurs first, they create a successful business around a successful product or service, they have a successful exit, and start using their own capital from that exit to invest in other potentially successful entrepreneurs.
  2. Build a career in venture capital: The people that I know that joined private equity or VC firms entered via business school, corporate finance or M&A jobs, investment banking or one of the Big 4 accounting firms (from corporate finance departments). Get on the ladder as an analyst or associate, get exposed to doing deals and gain more experience making investment decisions.

Speaking from my experience, my first career was as a Chartered Accountant (equivalent to CPA in the US), followed by a career in corporate finance and investment banking. Throughout my career, I have always worked with entrepreneurs, private companies, and the alternative investment space. In 2009, I started to work more closely and directly with entrepreneurs, advising them on their business models and financin strategy. It was around the same time Lean Startup, Business Model Canvas and other lean methodologies were spreading. However, my background is more deeply rooted in finance, investing, and in particular making and influencing decisions dealing with money and uncertainty. I found myself gravitating more towards the investor side of the venture equation. All of my career choices have helped me build the foundation for starting a venture fund from scratch. I focus in particular on early-stage ventures and invest with an impact lens and gender lens. A bit more on my journey is here: One woman’s quest to create an investment company with purpose – Social Finance