In some business rooms–whether virtual or in-person–Robert Belle needs no introduction. He has received several accolades for his professional work over the years. He has a calm demeanor, and in fact, he sometimes refers to himself as Simplicity Rob.
Robert has been in business for himself for over five years, helping small businesses and NGO-type entities overcome the obstacles towards business growth through his consultancy firm, SMIP Consultancy.
While Robert had his eyes set on electrical engineering as a young boy, he found his calling in the world of numbers when he was first introduced to accounting in high school. Simplifying financial concepts to others was a bonus he soon realized he had. And so when the time came to pick a course at university, Robert chose accounting.
It was the right choice, as he would continue to complete his B.Sc. in Accounting and Finance, and became a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. He worked in several multinational businesses where his roles exposed him to different markets and businesses within the East Africa region.
Naturally attentive, he noticed a prevalent gap in small businesses. “One thing I consistently saw was the inadequacy in terms of business acumen of small to medium business owners. They would get contracts with multinational companies but could not maximize their positioning,” says Robert. They weren’t fully receiving the support that would help them grow. Essentially, these small businesses were facing the brunt of being start-ups in competitive industries.
“I knew of businesses that would only run for the first few years, then close because they weren’t making enough money.” These discoveries spurred Robert to set up SMIP. “I wanted to give back to these small businesses by helping them fix essential business problems, but make a business out of it.”
With a clear understanding of all sides of the business spectrum, Robert hit the ground running. SMIP’s focus areas are solid financial management systems, business process improvement, strategy and governance, and tax consultation. The famous book title Your Network Is Your Net Worth would best describe Robert’s first season as an entrepreneur. His confidence granted him access to new communities and his understanding of engineering a business opened doors into the world of coaching. From workshops to seminars and business forums, Robert found himself as a speaker, sharing key insights that proved relevant to business owners at different stages of business. “I never knew I had these skills which could be monetized, and that’s been part of my journey as an entrepreneur.”
When a Facebook ad popped up on his screen with a brief of the Sinapis Entrepreneur Academy Program, Robert found himself on our website looking through the programs we offered and our qualified staff. While there was a lot of content that piqued his interest, none topped the Kingdom Business Framework module highlighted. “I hadn’t come across anyone else who was offering this kind of course, and I was at a point where I wanted to dedicate my work towards God’s mission.” Upon inquiring, he discovered similarities to what his business offered. He was keen on joining the Academy as a refresher course and to be on the receiving end of business-related information.
This was yet another smart decision he made, and upon completing the program at the start of 2020, he felt reinvigorated. “Sinapis reinforced my mindset. It gave me deeper insights, such as the importance of writing things down and doing activities. I’m the sort of person who appreciates learning through practical assignments and that’s what I got from Sinapis.” Even the module on finance, while familiar, was a refresher for him because it was shared through interactive activities, which he appreciated.
Robert’s future in business continues to scale. He was recently nominated for the Forty Under 40 Africa for his stellar services under SMIP Consultancy. This Pan-African award strives to honor and celebrate the continent’s most influential and accomplished business leaders under the age of forty.
“I can positively say that the entrepreneurial journey has been the best experience of my life. I’m at the point where I want to see what to prioritize as part of my business and brand. Whether that’s moderating, speaking, writing, or teaching.”