Women in Business finalists from Uganda and Rwanda visiting Holland

Women in Business finalists from Uganda and Rwanda visiting Holland

From 13 until 15 January the two finalists of this year’s Women in Business challenge will be coming to the Netherlands. During these three days the finalists will meet with investors and they will represent their businesses at ‘Bridge the Gap II  Women, Money and Markets’, an event organized by Vive Invest. The finalists that will be visiting are the following: Yellow Star Food Products Ltd (Uganda) Yellow Star was founded in 1997 and registered in 2014, and produces nutritive cassava flour, soy bean flour for children and adults, soy paste and ground nuts. Other products include a mixture of soy, millet flour and soy with maize or rice. The company sources all its inputs from contracted women and farmer groups from the North of Uganda. Women are supported and trained in various ways and cooperatives are founded and made bankable. Yellow Star has sales contracts with the 4 main supermarkets (Shoprite, Nakumat, Quality and Capital) in Uganda and also sells to schools, orphanages, church organisations and individuals. The business currently rents most of the processing facilities and wants to establish its own processing plant as well as a larger facility for storage and packaging. The development of the facility has already started and additional finance of USD 487,037 is needed to complete the building, set up a modern processing plant and to cover initial working capital. Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE) (Rwanda) SHE is a social for-profit entity in Rwanda that produces affordable menstrual pads while at the same time providing health education and advocacy for girls and women. Currently 18% of the women and girls in Rwanda miss out on over 50 days of school or work due to a lack of...

BiD Network launches market research in Rwanda & Uganda

We all know the obstacles hampering SME growth. They are access to knowledge, access to finance and access to markets. Access to knowledge is a broad term. Hence, the variety of actors providing access to knowledge is large. The GIIN and Open Capital’s recent publication about East Africa sought to make an attempt to map the larger Business Development Services providers. However, the sector is scattered, consisting out of many individual consultants. Which are the organizations specifically designed to provide Business Development Services? How do SMEs that made use of these services rate them? Who pays for these services? These are the questions we are seeking to answer by means of a market research project and we need your help. Are you an SME and have you made use of Business Development Services? We want to hear from you! Please fill in our survey here. Are you an intermediary and have you ever purchased or provided Business Development Services? Please let us know here! Thank you and keep an eye out on the website and blog to stay updated on this market...

G20 SME Finance Challenge Winners: Gathering June 24th

Today marks the beginning of a three day event that highlights the idea of “leveraging innovation” to promote access to finance to SMEs. The event starts off with a gathering of G20 SME Finance Challenge Winners that bidx and BiD Network will take part in. Our director, Hendrik van Gent, will be present alongside the founder of BiD Network and bidx, Thierry Sanders. Following the gathering of G20 SME Finance Challenge Winners on Wednesday the 24th of June, will be a two-day DFI/IFI Working Group. Co-hosted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the overarching theme of the two-day meeting will be about “leveraging innovation” to promote access to finance to SMEs. The meeting will also provide an opportunity for the international development community to share their experiences and achievements made over the past year and explore synergy and partnership, where possible, to achieve greater and more impactful outcomes. BiD Network is proud to be able to join the gathering of G20 SME Finance Challenge Winners. In November 2010, the prestigious G20 SME Finance Challenge prize was awarded to bidx. United States President Barack Obama and the then HRH princess Maxima of the Netherlands, personally congratulated founder Thierry Sanders and offered their support to start the online platform for emerging market SMEs and investors. The first to invest in bidx was Putera Sampoerna, one of Indonesia’s most successful entrepreneurs. The G20 and the Nationale Postcode Loterij followed by funding the start of the organization. As a result, bidx became independent in...

Impact Investing: a trip to Rwanda!

BiD Network strives to fulfill its mission in helping investors gain access to capital. We achieve this through our matchmaking services and different events aimed at connecting entrepreneurs with angel/impact investors. One of such events is the Impact Investment trip to Rwanda from November 8th to November 13th. Two of our Investor Matchmakers will be joined by a group of angel investors and visit several local entrepreneurs. The overarching goal of this trip is to close the physical gap between entrepreneurs in emerging markets and angel investors. For a week long, investors will be able to meet entrepreneurs in Rwanda and see what it is like to do business in East Africa. Investors will also be able to soak up the local culture and travel alongside like-minded change-makers. Rwanda: Land of Promise   Rwanda, known for its tragic recent history, has remarkably developed over the past decade and is nowadays one of the continent’s most well-developed countries. The economy has strengthened, with per-capita GDP (PPP) estimated at $1,644.310 in 2014, compared with $416 in 1994. Its breathtaking scenery, the warmth and kindness of the people and rising business opportunities make it a place worthwhile visiting. The Rwandan genocide had a major influence on the already fragile social and economic status. Thanks to large amounts of monetary aid by: western nations, the IMF, and World Bank – the post-conflict GDP growth rates have been around the 8% annually. Rwanda actually had a staggering 13% GDP growth two years after the genocide, in 1996. Why Impact Investing?   “The bottom line is that impact is being generated by the underlying operating entity. As investors,...

Business trip Rwanda: April 2015

Last month, we went on a business trip to Rwanda to visit BiD Network entrepreneurs and to meet with both existing and new local business partners: current partners African Innovation Prize, Inkomoko, Ejo Partners and new partner Educat. The visited entrepreneurs are currently part of one of our programs, such as the United Entrepreneurship Coalition (UEC) and/or the IFDC Shape & Lead Program. Some we had already met before, others we met for the first time. We were excited to finally see the businesses that we have been working with and to hear the entrepreneurs passionately explain about their business plans. Some of the businesses visited are now ready for finance and offer interesting investment opportunities. Others are still developing and improving their business plans, but are on the right track to become ready to present themselves to investors as well. Read on to learn more about the businesses visited! Tekutangije Tekutangije is an innovative business in clean cookstoves that we have been working with since our Growing SMEs event in 2012 and that is now participating in our IFDC Shape & Lead program. Entrepreneur Isidore showed us around in his factory, located just outside Kigali, and demonstrated the sustainable cookstove he designed. This innovative cookstove can be used on both a small and a larger scale and is being sold to households and schools. Tekutangije’s cookstove distinguishes from their competitors’ because of its price/quality ratio. Tekutangije currently has 10 full-time employees, 20 employees upon request and a large number of piece workers. Among these piece workers are (ex)prisoners, who are given a job opportunity in return for a...

BiD Network’s first Investor Cocktail of the Year

Yesterday we organized a cocktail for our network of investors. The event took place in Amsterdam and was the first of a number of matchmaking activities to happen this year. For this meetup we choose to focus on investment opportunities in Rwanda, one of BiD Network’s target countries. The evening started with a word of welcome by our investor matchmaker Laura Smeets and our partner Martijn Blom of De Investeerdersclub and Droomzaken, followed by three entrepreneurs who pitched their businesses. The first to present was Clarisse Iribagiza of HeHe Labs, a Rwandan tech research lab that offers mobile solutions for different sectors, such as agriculture, infrastructure and health care. HeHe Labs also provides a code program for school and universities in Rwanda, thereby creating employment opportunities for the Rwandan youth. Next to take the stage was Sivan Breemhaar, founder of Afriek, a company that designs high-quality blazers that are made in Rwanda. With her unique designs she wants to create awareness among her customers about the clothes they are wearing. Lastly, Laurent Demuynck of Kigali Farms told the audience about how he wants to boost the mushroom industry in Rwanda with his business. Next to these live pitches, we also showed several video pitches of our entrepreneurs in Rwanda presenting their businesses. After the presentation of these Rwandan businesses, the cocktail continued with more mingling and networking between our guests. We look back at a great evening that brought together different types of investors, funds, and others with an interest in investment opportunities in emerging markets. Are you an investor and would you like to join one or more...