The needs of Start-ups, MSMEs and SMEs in Africa today revolve around a balanced combination of financing and operational support
PARIS, France, July 24, 2019 – The Senegalese General Delegation for the Acceleration of Entrepreneurship for Women and Young People (DER), under the auspices of the Presidency of the Republic of Senegal, signed a partnership agreement with GreenTec Capital Partners, the premier German investor into African Start-ups. The purpose of the agreement is the foundation of the first regional Venture Building Center in Africa to tackle investment challenges by providing investment tickets between € 10,000 and € 500,000 for entrepreneurs at the cusp of their growth stages.
The needs of Start-ups, MSMEs and SMEs in Africa today revolve around a balanced combination of financing and operational support.
The entrepreneurial boom and the entrepreneurial spirit on the African continent are primarily supported by the growth of new ecosystem stakeholders such as incubators, hubs, and accelerators. This momentum is nevertheless hindered by the systemic operational deficiencies that still exist within the ecosystem today. Additionally, the Start-ups are most often not well prepared to use conventional financing vehicles such as venture capital.
The agreement was signed by the Minister Delegate for Entrepreneurship, Papa Amadou Sarr, and the CEO and co-founder of the German investment company, GreenTec Capital Partners, Erick Yong, joining the mutual ambitions of the two entities to the benefit of young Senegalese entrepreneurs by:
- Providing financing of the digital sector
- Strengthening the operational capacities of Start-ups,
- Setting up a common infrastructure to enable startups to develop sustainably.
A new and better structured ecosystem is needed to enable entrepreneurs to move efficiently from the proof-of-concept stage with low revenues (post-accelerator) to a stage of sustainable growth, thereby overcoming the “valley of death.” The relevance of this partnership is rooted in the alignment and the sharing of resources between different actors, ranging from the public and private sectors and including development banks and civil society organizations. The joint initiative will further enable entrepreneurs with high potential to get better access the support they need to grow. Accessing support in the form of personalized operational assistance will create value for entrepreneurs who have matured past the phase in which incubators and accelerators have added value. This will help to further improve the quality of Start-ups and improve their chances of success.
The guiding principle of this initiative is that Africa must not be a passive observer of its own development, but an active player that invests resources and co-designs the agenda of development. Following this thought, it is in line with the political will of Senegalese President, H.E. Macky Sall, that the Republic of Senegal has decided to integrate the venture building model developed by GreenTec Capital with the coordination of DER. The DER, created in 2017 and operational since March 2018, has been provided with a budget of $ 5 million per year, until 2023 to achieve these goals.
DER, the Senegalese General Delegation for the Acceleration of Entrepreneurship for Women and Young People is an initiative of the President of the Republic of Senegal, H.E. Macky Sall. Its priority is to support and finance Senegalese entrepreneurs in the Senegalese National Development Plan’s priority sectors, which are agriculture, the digital economy, tourism, crafts, services, and several others.
The collaboration between The Republic of Senegal and GreenTec Capital Partners coincides with the ambitions of the French initiative Digital Africa led by Karim Sy. Mr. Sy has guaranteed to lend the full support of the French initiative to this new ecosystem building centre, which is based on the sharing of resources and the catalyzing of actors in the African entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Through its innovation fund the DER has already invested in 44 Senegalese startups in 2018, with ticket sizes ranging from € 10,000 to € 100,000. In 2019, the DER aims to support more than 150 digital Startups and SMEs, by investing more than 10 million euros, while supporting an additional twenty Start-ups with the GreenTec Capital venture-building model.
It is not a coincidence that the day of the signature of the agreement between the DER and GreenTec coincides with groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of “The DER Innovation HUB.” The objective is to position Senegal as a major player in the field of innovation on a regional level. The Hub will host major technology companies, innovators, incubators, and accelerators… and of course the GreenTec Capital Partners team.
The agreement also includes the establishment of the new GreenTec Capital regional office in Dakar. Designed to support and develop the operations of the largest investment structure in Germany for African start-ups in Francophone Africa. The local team will help raise the critical operational capabilities of companies to help make them more attractive for international investors.
In the last four years, GreenTec Capital’s investment model has already proven successful in 10 African countries – 4 of them in Francophone Africa, among them Rwanda, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Benin, and several others. Now this model will be implemented in Senegal contributing to a new investment ecosystem adapted to the structural specificities of entrepreneurship on the African continent.
Due to its high adaptation to the African context, the innovative investment model is scalable across the continent. It provides opportunities to design and develop new innovative solutions formed by international partnerships that can benefit the entire continent.
Credit: GreenTec Capital Partners
Access Bank Partners ScaleUp Africa To Boost Women’s Empowerment with the Pan-African Women’s Conference
On Wednesday, 21st April, Access Bank and ScaleUp Africa will present the Pan-African Women’s Conference under the theme, Choose to Challenge. The virtual conference is part of a strategic partnership to boost the economic contribution and resources available to women in business and professional careers. The program will also mark 6 years of Access Bank’s “W”, the multiple award-winning initiative for women that has seen many beneficiaries inspired and connected.
‘We kick off our partnership with Access Bank with the Pan-African Women’s Conference to celebrate women in business across Africa and to open up new products and services to a broader audience beyond Ghana. We are truly committed to further support Access Bank to drive its W Initiative, Gender, Innovation and Entrepreneurship strategy, bringing our core capabilities of digital engagement, holistic programme design and implementation,” shares Amma Gyampo, CEO of ScaleUp Africa and a Strategic Advisor to corporations, foundations and governments.
The Pan-African Women’s Conference will feature leaders in finance, business growth strategy and organizational development opportunities from across the continent including Elsie Addo-Awadzie, 2nd Deputy Governor, BoG, Matilda Asante-Asiedu, Group Head, Retail Banking, Access Bank, Yofi Grant, Chief Executive Officer, GIPC and Franklin Owusu-Karikari, Director, Business Support & Policy, NEI.
Conference Discussion Topics will cover:
- Pushing the boundaries and thriving in the entrepreneurship journey.
- Strengthening the capacity of women owned businesses to boost growth
- Maximizing opportunities using the free trade agreement in Ghana and across the continent.
- Business Growth: Surviving Covid-19 and beyond
Other featured speakers include:
Irene Ochem – (Nigeria) – Founder and chief executive officer of Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum
Fatima Alimohamed – (Ghana) – CEO of African Brand Warrior
Chilufya Mutale – (Zambia)- Founder and CEO of Premier Credit
Justina Mutale – (Zambia) – Founder & President of the Justina Mutale Foundation and its Scholarship
Thelma Ekiyor (Nigeria) – Managing Partner, SME.NG
“Women play a critical role in the entrepreneurship world, providing essential human care and food-related services and as such we must be intentional about mainstreaming impact, gender equality, upskilling and decent work for women as we embark upon development in this post-Covid world. The Pan African Women’s Conference is an ideal opportunity for women aspiring to get to the apex of their careers, grow their businesses and gain nuggets for personal development,” adds Gymapo.
The Pan African Women’s Conference will begin at 11:00am GMT on 21st April, 2021.
To register visit: Pan-African Women’s Conference
Virtual conference details will be provided upon registration.
Cairo-Based Grocery Delivery Startup, Appetito Raises $450k Seed Investment
Appetito truck and press release (Source: Shehab Mohamed)
Appetito, a Cairo-based grocery startup, has announced a raise of $450k seed round of financing. The Startup operates through dark stores model, where products are sourced from manufacturers, stored in mini fulfilment centres then delivered to household customers. Established in March 2020, the company started with a wide range of private label products serving all areas of Cairo, Giza, and Alexandria with next day & pre-scheduled deliveries.
Recently, the company expanded its product portfolio to include more than 1000 SKUs from well-known consumer brands and entered the hyper convenience race by offering its customers less than 60-minute delivery in selected areas.
The round was raised by a group of Saudi Angel investors led by Ahmed Al Alola, an early-stage investor who was one of the early backers of Nana and Sary, alongside with Afropreneurs Fund, an African early-stage technology fund that has previously backed top startups such as Andela, Flutterwave and Trella, in addition to the participation of Jedar Capital an emerging VC focusing on early stage start-ups in the Middle East, Africa & Emerging Asia.
Speaking on the raise, Appetito Founder and CEO Shehab Mokhtar says: “We’re proud of what we have achieved in just a few months from our launch. We’re privileged to have such prominent investors backing us. With their support and the team, we’re building, I’m confident we will be in a leading position in the global race of grocery delivery.”.
Ahmed Al Alola commented on the round “Observing the radical change in consumer’s behaviour post-COVID-19, the grocery delivery market is expanding rapidly in the region. I believe Appetito – with its stellar team – is well positioned to lead that segment and capture the market by delivering superior experience compared to what is currently available in most of the African space.”
On his part, Idris Bello, Managing Partner, Afropreneurs Fund said ” Our investment into Appetito’s seed round follows on our proven thesis of investing in strong founders with unique local insights and a bias towards execution. We are excited by what Shehab and his team have achieved so far, and we are very bullish on the Egyptian early-stage ecosystem.”
Sherif Nessim, Founder and Managing Director of Jedar Capital said “We are excited to be part of Appetito’s journey in Egypt and MENA region. We have been watching Appetito’s execution and the team’s growth focused approach with very limited resources early on, this was a clear message to us on how resilient and focused they are. Appetito is best suited for growth with the digital transformation happening in Egypt where online commerce growth is skyrocketing and saw a huge leap with covid, more and more customers now are adopting online grocery shopping as their standard now. We believe that Appetito’s model focusing on dark stores rather than aggregating from grocery retail stores will add value and differentiation in the market and play a pivotal role in terms of operational efficiency and gross margin contribution. We look forward to supporting them with their expansion and growth plans in Egypt and beyond.”.
Flux Panda Brings Live Stream Shopping to MENA Region
Flux Panda Founder, Alexander Rauser
In response to the restrictions caused by the pandemic, Flux Panda was created to encourage businesses in the Middle East and North African region to utilize live streaming platforms to sell their products. The App combines the functionalities of an eCommerce website and live streaming app. Merchants upload the products they want to sell during the live stream, connect Flux Panda to multiple social media platforms with live streaming like Facebook Live or Instagram Live, and their customers can buy the products by clicking the buy button and entering their payment details.
“Our goal is to make the selling and buying process on live streams much easier and enable any business to own the experience. While many small and large businesses are already selling live on social networks, our solution fixes some key problems such as order management, real-time inventory, and customization capabilities. You could say we are similar to a platform like Shopify, but focused on live commerce.” says Alexander Rauser, Founder and CEO of Flux Panda.
The App offers a flexible pricing model to cater to small businesses, eCommerce companies, and even large retail brands. Currently, the Flux Panda partner network covers South East Asia, Central America, Africa and the Middle East with further expansion plans in 2021.
According to research by Coresight, live selling generated $60 billion in global sales in 2019 and expectedly doubled in 2020 to $129 billion. Live selling has been popular in Asia for many years, even before the pandemic hit. The largest western fashion brands like Burberry and Louis Vuitton have already tried live stream eCommerce through China’s biggest marketplaces like Tmall and Little Red Book.
About Flux Panda
Flux Panda is a live selling solution established in 2020. It combines the functionalities of a multi-platform live streaming tool and an eCommerce website so viewers can view the details, add to cart, and pay for the items being demonstrated. It is the only solution where merchants can sign up and go live without any assistance or setup fees. It can be used by merchants with or without their own eCommerce site.
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