Brian Yesigye Bravo, the man behind Stress Free Investment Club
Stress Free Investment Club was recently officially launched after 14 months in operation.
The Club’s Vision bearer, Brian Yesigye Bravo, rallied “Stress Free Group” members on Facebook to an investment Club.
This was during the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020.
“We started in the bedroom during the Covid-19 lockdown,” Yesigye recalls, adding: “And with this dream coming out, I watched something online and that was most especially in the USA where most people were being chased out of houses because they didn’t have rent. Most people suffered much as we may think that in Uganda we suffered but it was a lot in the USA where so many people were suffering because they didn’t have accommodation.”
So, he says, “I sat down and reflected on my journey that I have had on social media.”
Yesigye has a huge following on Facebook majorly on three grounds – a trouble maker, an entrepreneur and as someone who never gives up.
Birthing the idea, he posted on the Facebook group calling for risk takers.
“I asked members; how many people are risk takers? Why don’t we save very little money? Shs2,000 and this Shs2,000 is the money that is always lost in our car, always picked by people who are always washing our cars or anyone who is doing anything in our cars. Sometimes when we see 500 coins drop in our cars, we always think that is little money. It’s during Covid 19 that I realized that Shs 1,000, Shs500, Shs100 was making a lot of sense to everyone and I said, what if we save only 2, 000 in a day,” he says.
Stress Free Group had about 5, 000 members and Yesigye was eager to tap into the huge number.
“I was looking at having big numbers because Stress Free at that time had about 5, 000 members. And I said now, I need risk takers. I went ahead and created a WhatsApp link. Just one WhatsApp link, a WhatsApp group was full. We opened up the second one. The second one also got full. These were so many people who had never met,” he says.
But to some people, there was the issue of trust.
“So many people wanted to join but they didn’t trust Bravo who is on the other side. Somebody says the registration fee is just Shs5,000. Sending Shs5,000 on mobile is also costly. But I said, whoever is committed can pay Shs5,000 and we begin,” he recalls.
He adds: “Most people are risk averse. So others started asking so many questions and I believe that there are so many people that I exited because they came with a lot of negativity…I just told them, I am an entrepreneur who has been in business for a long time and if you don’t take risks, you will never shift. That’s where we brought in our tag line JUST BEGIN.”
Just Begin, he explains, “means don’t ask any questions, just begin. Because we are all in business.”
To avoid further negativity and u-turns, Bravo switched off the groups after asking for Shs5, 000 (then) as registration fee from willing individuals, only to switch on on July 1, 2020. By the morning of July 1, 2020, registration fees were flowing in from across the world.
“We (Bravo and wife) didn’t sleep for two nights, registering names and contacts of subscribers. We didn’t even have a bank account,” he says.
According to the head of Investment at Stress Free Investment Club and a former banker with DFCU, Ronald Sebunya, by the close of July 2020, the club had collected Shs38 million and was invested right away.
During the launch of the club last weekend, Sebunya revealed that the club has a target of Shs 56 billion in 5 years.
In an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the club launch, Yesigye said the over 400 committed members joined because of trust.
“Bringing friends together is the trust. I am a brand and Bravo shoes is also another brand. I have made a following as Brian Yesigye Bravo and Bravo shoes has made its own loyal friends,” he says.
It is through these, he says, “I have managed to get people together. Of course, for continuity purposes, I started this club last year in July. On 1/7/2023, I will be resigning as the head of this club. Of course, I am here but the structures are being put in place so that even if I breathe my last today or tomorrow, the club continues. So, for that matter we have very good administration. The professionals have taken over and we aren’t doing this as villagers. Our membership is composed of people from different walks of life; well educated, former bankers, human resource managers, legal professionals etc so we will be able to continue this game with ease.”
By the close of August 2021, Stress Free had Shs260 million in members saving. This is one year since its inception.