Ugandan SMEs show their growth potential to international investors during the Impact Investment Trip

Ugandan SMEs show their growth potential to international investors during the Impact Investment Trip

From Monday 20th of March till Friday 24th of March, investors from the Netherlands, Kenya, the USA and Australia were in Uganda to visit a selected number of promising Ugandan entrepreneurs. The businesses that had been selected by BiD Network operate across sectors, Agriculture, Health, Fintech, Renewable Energy and Waste and have a few things in common: they have a proven business model, a competent management team and the potential to scale. Investing in Ugandan SMEs During the 5-day visit, the investors met and discussed with the entrepreneurial teams of the businesses of their choice. The program was designed to give the investors a full grasp of the Ugandan entrepreneurial eco-system. Besides visiting the selected businesses, the investors met with the Ugandan Investment Authority, were part of a networking event with banks, local investment funds and business angels and they met with seasoned entrepreneurs and investors.  All of this to show the international investors the potential of investing in Ugandan enterprises. As one of the entrepreneurs of the trip said: “The experience with BiD Network has been invaluable. I especially liked the business development workshops and sessions with the industry guru from the Netherlands. Investment will be a bonus”. Following this trip, investment deals are in the pipeline! Join our upcoming investment trip in September BiD Network is hosting the next Impact Investment Trip to Uganda in September of this year. Do you want to get a behind the scenes look at doing business in East Africa and explore investment opportunities first-hand? Join like-minded investors and business angels and explore Ugandan business opportunities in a fun and exciting way! Read more...
Celebrating a new investment deal! Safe disposal of hazardous medical waste in Uganda

Celebrating a new investment deal! Safe disposal of hazardous medical waste in Uganda

In Uganda, there is no special way to dispose hazardous medical waste. Health care facilities illegally dump their waste in swamps or bury their waste in on-site pits. These sites fill up quickly and the medical waste is causing health hazards; methane gasses in the sites have the risk to set fire and chemicals leak into the soil, contaminating ground water. In 2009, after having a blood sample taken in hospital, Lydia Naiga realized that the disposal techniques of hospitals and clinics in Uganda were not sustainable. That motivated her to start NLS Waste Services, a company that collects and disposes the hazardous medical waste from hospitals and health care clinics in Kampala. Lack of capacity Lydia and her team collect and dispose all the medical waste responsibly, safe and in an environmental friendly way. Her business grew rapidly over the years, gaining a 75% market share in Kampala, serving the big hospitals and health clinics. Unfortunately, the machinery of NLS lacks capacity, which forced Lydia to turn down new business opportunities. At the moment her two incinerators are used to their full capacity and each of them can handle 100 kilogram of waste per hour with 50 kilogram of ashes as a result. The new incinerator can process 350 kilogram of waste per hour, with only 20 kilogram of ash as a remainder. Thus, replacing one of her old incinerators will double her current capacity and at the same time reduce her waste. Informal investors allow for expansion Via BiD Network, four informal investors were introduced to Lydia. These investors saw the potential of her business.  After receiving valuable...
BiD Network News – February 2017

BiD Network News – February 2017

The year has just started but we can already look back at some great moments: we intensified our partnership with EY, got granted EUR 500,000 from the Postcode Lottery and we invited PUM experts and Business Openers to train our growth SMEs in Uganda on finance and strategy. This has only been the start, so be prepared for more news from BiD network and join us at the Master Classes, Investor Drinks and Impact Investment Trips! ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————– BiD Network is granted EUR 500,000 from the Postcode Lottery BiD Network received EUR 500,000 in grant funding from the Dutch Postcode Lottery. In the past 5 years, BiD Network received grants from the Postcode Lottery and has been able to help 188 entrepreneurs to gain access to finance & business support, creating more than 4300 jobs. This would not have been possible without the support of the Dutch Postcode Lottery and its members! ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————– EVENT | Join our Ready-2-Invest Master Classes in Amsterdam In the pre-deal master class (March 8, full day) you will immerse yourself in impact investing and learn more about screening, due diligence, structuring and negotiation. In the post-deal master class (April 6, half day) you will learn how to manage, monitor and exit your investment. Register for the Master Classes via email. Costs: €750 excl. VAT. Participants of the investor trip join free of charge. ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————– UGANDA | Experts of PUM & Business Openers support our 14 SMEs in getting investment ready! We invited our partners from PUM and Business Openers to train our growth SMEs in Uganda. During the past three weeks, three PUM experts and two Business Openers worked closely with BiD Network in preparing our 14 selected Ugandan SMEs, by fine-tuning their business strategy and...
Hendrik van Gent says goodbye as director of BiD Network

Hendrik van Gent says goodbye as director of BiD Network

After three years as a director, Hendrik is leaving BiD Network. Under his leadership, BiD Network extended their focus from program management to an improved service-offering to entrepreneurs and investors. He also facilitated the spin-off of the online platform bidX and the investment fund iungo capital. The supervisory board and BiD Network’s staff are grateful for Hendrik’s engagement and the effort he put into building the foundation for BiD Network’s future. Hendrik will set up a new venture, which focuses on employment generation in the Netherlands. Laura Smeets, Marens Beckers and Gert van Veldhuisen will form the new management. Together they have the ideal network and experience to serve entrepreneurs and investors. We wish Hendrik the best of luck! BiD Network team If you want to reach out to us, feel free to contact Gert at gert.vanveldhuisen@bidnetwork.org or at +31(0)...
Muhammad Yunus kicks off Impact Investor Meeting

Muhammad Yunus kicks off Impact Investor Meeting

Who could have been better suited to open the Impact Investor Meeting than Muhammad Yunus? In an inspiring speech of 30 minutes professor Yunus speaks about business solutions to poverty and the importance of fresh graduates becoming job creators.  Yunus encourages graduates to start businesses and become job creators Nearly 50 years ago, Grameen Bank revolutionized the financial industry by the introduction of microcredit. Small loans allowed women to start their own business and their children to access education. Today, their children enter the labour market. However, given high unemployment rates, having a degree does not guarantee employment.  According to professor Yunus, the solution is simple: “We need graduates to forget about jobs, we need them to focus on becoming job-creators. They had mothers that were illiterate and that managed to start a business. I tell them: ‘even if you don’t have a great idea, copy your mother’s business and make it 10, 20, 100 times bigger’.”   Focus and good people key denominators for business success In the panel discussion that follows Hendrik van Gent (BiD Network), Coen Frank (Goodwell Investments) and Hein Roelfsma (Utrecht University) discuss what factors determine the success of SMEs and their ability to grow and create jobs. Based on the experience of Goodwell Investments the team and focus are crucial. “We think it is crucial that a business can focus on its core activities. This means you need good systems that facilitate a fast scale-up. Then, you need a great team that can execute the plan. We see it is our role to support these businesses in taking up the side-tasks that distract...
DEALS, DEALS, DEALS

DEALS, DEALS, DEALS

How come businesses that have been labelled “investment-ready” rarely receive an investment? How come businesses complain they perceive access to capital to be a major hurdle, whilst investors complain there is a lack of high-quality deal-flow? The day before SANKALP in Nairobi various stakeholders came together to discuss these questions. BiD Network is one of the intermediaries seeking to bridge this gap, by working with both (informal) investors and entrepreneurs simultaneously. The gap still remains here, and whilst incubators and accelerators were reflecting on how they themselves could further facilitate the connection to investors, we invited investors to join us for an investor circle to discuss how to improve good quality deal-flow. Not surprisingly, the two frequently named issues passed the revue: 1) Talent gap – there is a strong focus on “the idea,” and whilst this is important for the potential scalability of the company, initially it is more about the management team’s capacity to execute that determines scalability. 2) Financial records gap – frequently multiple books are being kept. Even when businesses have been going through the deal-making process it has happened more than once that in the final stages the investor finds out there is yet another loan they were unaware of. Investors then are forced to discontinue the deal-making process to either prevent over indebtedness or because trust has been lost. It should be mentioned that all investors underlined the importance of a holistic approach. Whilst ranking the gaps, they unanimously mentioned the absence of any of their requirements translates into the business not being considered ready for an investment. The absence of trust, transparency,...