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Venture Capital and Entrepreneurial Mentorship in Africa

14 min read

Earlier this week I was reading an article by Adetunji from Co-Creation Hub Nigeria, you know the power of thoughts a teenager has after hearing a motivational talk from a young billionaire? that’s how I was feeling but in a good way. in His article on Medium, Adetunji highlighted some specs that really caught my eyes, I wouldn’t delve in so much but you might as well head there and read.

To jump so far to where I thought is a root cause of many ‘not getting selected for funding” starts :

“The other issue is the perception that founders at an early stage want to play a valuation game, forgetting that funding rounds are tied to milestones. Once milestones are not met, it often forces a down round to the detriment of mostly the founder(s). Higher valuations from a founder’s perspective are not always a good thing.”

I love to see growth but in a healthy manner though, for the past year African startups saw $167.7 million in disclosed risk capital being infused in 201 startups between January and December 2017, this is according to WeeTracker. I Know some of the methods or reasons for these funding are still unknown and even some we don’t know the amount’s, some are even controversial. But yet here we are, But I really think after a really big Funding some startups start to see Exit doors or if not come up with a scrappy idea of “we will be Hiring more man-power” Darn! using at least USD30 M to hire ? are you hiring Thanos?

Anyway, we are here to support the African Tech Ecosystem and see it “grow”!

Let me start with My home Town, Kenya has been one of the most vigorously growing countries in terms of business development and growth. According to African Investment Index 2018 in collaboration with Swiss-based research and Quantum Global, Kenya is positioned at 9 in terms of investment rankings in Africa. A lot of breakthroughs in the business sector have been seen in the recent years like never before.

New programmes have been introduced all over the country with the aim of both nurturing existing entrepreneurs and improving the ecosystem to attract the “wantrepreneurs“. Most of these programmes target young, energetic and creative people in the society (i.e youths between the age of 20 years to 35 years ).

Some of these programmes include;

KCB Lions’ Den. This is an entrepreneurship reality show which provides the opportunity for local people with business ideas to pitch to a group of successful Kenyan entrepreneurs (lions), seeking for funding. The “lions” include Myke Rabar, the founder, and CEO of Homeboyz Group, a multimedia entertainment company. Kris Senanu, chairman of Black Rock Capital and renown venture capitalist.

Kris strongly believes that mentorship and strategic support is what upcoming entrepreneurs really need, more than capital provision. Darshan Chandaria, director, and CEO of Chandaria Group. Wandia Gichuru, managing director of Vivo Activewear Ltd. Olive Gachara, publisher, and editor-in-chief of Couture Africa Magazine.

KCB Lions’ Den takes a period of 13 weeks per season. So far, the programme has run for two seasons. Third season’s application has just finished. 59 entrepreneurs have benefited from the program so far (Season 1 & 2).

Just to Benchmark, Personally, I’d support a person who wants to go to these pitches Daaah! but for me Naah it’s a pass because literary I have seen any of the startups ( Tech-Related ) make a move or Rather Grow, ( or maybe I’m blind, I’m open to your Ideas )  Apart form Bamba Group which Raised $250k  through Lion’s Den. Then from there, the rest of the funding was from a US-based Investor.  Then from there never seen any startup tech-wise. I think investors fear to invest in Tech spaces.

Blaze BYOB by Safaricom. This is a programme that was started by Safaricom with the purpose of empowering young people through entrepreneurial mentorships, seminars, and workshops. The programme launched a reality TV (KTN) show to empower youth through entrepreneurship and business development. The initiate holds mentorship summits to all major cities in Kenya and then selects young people with great business ideas. The selected people are then put together to compete. The winner goes away with Kshs 5,000,000 plus business support from the initiative. The TV show has run for two seasons so far.

Ok, Some of the judges to BYOB TV show include Caroline Mutoko, a radio presenter and marketing manager with Radio Africa Group. King Kaka, Kenyan poet/rapper, and entrepreneur. Trushar Khetia, the founder, and CEO of Tria Group of companies. So not judging but by any chance how do you expect these group of fellas to understand a startup dealing with cryptocurrency, or an E-health startup generating money out of bio Data?  … not saying they are dumb or shit but really a rapper?  anyway, I want to see more of these but Techy Techy.

I’m not so familiar with the Nigerian ecosystem but I will base my Knowledge and data from the Nigerian Comrades,  Back to Adentuji with a topic ” BULLISH ABOUT FUNDING NIGERIA’S NEXT WAVE OF TECH ENABLED BUSINESSES ”  and also From Techpoint :

“I’ve seen a lot of people take money from VCs but, I doubt they know what they are signing into because VCs don’t tell you these little things when you are collecting the money,” Olumide clarifies, “the idea for me is to let people be aware that there is a different path to getting to where they’ve envisioned as entrepreneurs outside of the VCs that we’ve been brainwashed with.”

“So ideally, it is best to keep one’s options open, scale the business, get the product market fit, and then get enough insight into one’s market to understand the potentials that are therein,” he concludes.

On the other News also Aliko Dangote,  a While ago not so far He aborted plans of Investing in Kenya! and what’s with this guy with cement and Farms?


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