BiD Student Challenge 2013

Students from different business related studies, coming from Universities around the Netherlands, are participating in the 2013 edition of the Student Challenge. The students have each been equipped with a business plan from the BiD Network platform and a coach to support the process. The goal is to review the business plans and improve them. The students will need to prepare a YouTube pitch to present the improved business plan to investors. Five groups will be selected as finalists and will be asked to pitch during the Award Ceremony to the selected jury, who will then present the winning team of the BiD Student Challenge 2013. BiD Network will support the Challenge during the process, organizing master classes to train the students on business plan’s basic structures, what investors want and pitching. The BiD Student Challenge 2013 is a collaboration between Aureus, BiD Network, Rabobank and Solving...

Ready4Finance training program

Liberia As the Business Start-up Center (BSC) Monrovia expands its services to other regions in Liberia and grows their team to support more entrepreneurs, BiD Network makes sure that the staff has enough tools to provide the services these entrepreneurs need. One of the most appreciated products BiD Network started transferring to BSC Monrovia already in 2011 is the Ready4Finance training package. The Business Plan and Financial Plan modules are frequently used by the BSC Monrovia staff not only for the participants of their business plan competition, but also for other assignments. Due to both the expansion of BSC Monrovia and the demand for these training sessions, two new staff members started 2013 with a 6-day intensive Train the Trainer (ToT) course in order to become certified R4F trainers. They will be training the participants of the IT Liberia business plan competition in February. Read more about the IT Liberia business plan competition. Kosovo In 2012, two trainers in the North of Kosovo have been certified and are now giving trainings to entrepreneurs in the region. Now, two more trainers are in process of certification and will support the training sessions organized by our partner BC Zvecan during 2013. BC Zvecan aims to train around 45 entrepreneurs to enable them to start or grow a business. The training sessions will cover topics such as Financial Statements, Market analysis and Sales Forecasting among others. These topics are included in the Financial Plan and Business Plan module of the Ready4Finance training package. Entrepreneurs can apply to participate in the upcoming training sessions through our partner BC Zvecan. Become a Ready4Finance training...

500,000 extra euros for entrepreneurship thanks to the Dutch Postcode Lottery

Last night, during the Goed Geld Gala ceremony in Amsterdam, BiD Network received 500,000 euros from the Dutch Postcode Lottery to continue preparing emerging market entrepreneurs for investors. This was a night with special guests including, former president of the United States, Bill Clinton and Dutch politician Femke Halsema, who discussed the three crises the world is facing: the food crisis, climate change and the economic crisis. According to Mr. Clinton, the way to fight all these crises is by empowering people to take initiative and by having a strategy that generates employment and creates businesses. BiD Network would like to thank the Dutch Postcode Lottery for their support during the last 6 years and for believing that entrepreneurship contributes to sustainable economic growth in emerging countries. Read more about the Goed Geld Gala (In Dutch) here. Read about BiD Network and the Dutch Postcode Lottery...

The ICT Challenge 2013: Accelerating Entrepreneurship & Innovation through ICT

Amsterdam, February 18 2013 – The ICT Challenge 2013, supports ICT entrepreneurship in five emerging markets: Burundi, Liberia, Rwanda, Kosovo, and Palestine. This business plan competition – organized by BiD Network, in collaboration with Investment Partners; eVentures Africa Fund, SEAF, and the Palestinian Investment Fund (PIF), and Coaching Partner; Ernst & Young and Event Partner; TNO – aims to identify high potential business ideas, provide international exposure and finance. Information and communication technologies (ICT) draw societies and cultures together; strengthening economies, enterprises and communities around the world. The impact of ICT is magnified in emerging markets as it contributes to the development of education, health, markets, social capital and trust. Yet the industry still requires incubation in order to flourish, with 25% of the world’s population still unconnected from the benefits of such technologies. [*1] The ICT Challenge 2013 provides entrepreneurs with the assistance of the BiD Network coaching program, the access to a network of like-minded entrepreneurs, coaches and investors, and the opportunity to present their business plan to committed ready-to-invest financiers. ‘African SMEs are rapidly developing localized applications, content, platforms and solutions enabling over a billion Africans to use the web for communication, business, e-learning, and transactions. eVA Fund aims to capture the vast potential of digital media in Sub-Saharan Africa. We are delighted to partner BiD Network, who have proven effective at identifying potential investment opportunities, and training entrepreneurs to a matchmaking level’ says Vincent Kouwenhoven, founder eVentures Africa Fund. The ICT Challenge seeks businesses: • operating in one of the five following countries: Burundi, Rwanda, Liberia, Kosovo, or Palestine, • ICT focused, • growth  potential and a finance need of USD $10,000 to $1...

Will the Financial Crisis Affect your SME?

Will the Financial Crisis affect your SME? By Thierry Sanders (Republished from ) February 2009 The financial crisis has been an earthquake for banks, investment banks and funds. It is now starting to take hold of the real economy. The real economy, of shops, factories, businesses and consumers. The demand for products and services is dropping fast in this real economy. Businesses are losing customers and are having to lay-off employees. Prepare yourself, because the recession will last at least 2-3 years. The question here is: How will this affect small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries? SMEs feeling the crunch most a) SMEs with large loans with a variable interest rate have seen the cost related to interest payments increase as interest rates rise. The interest rate is the price of money. Now that banks are having trouble finding finance themselves, the price of money (interest rates) is on the raise. SMEs with a fixed interest loan will not feel the pain. However, if your interest rate period will end in the next two years, prepare for higher rates or prepare to pay off your loans. b) SMEs that are currently dependent on exports will be the first to feel the effects of reduced demand for their products. They will also be the first to feel demand pick up when the recession comes to an end in 2-3 years. It is important to develop a local client base in the coming period to diversify your exposure to export markets. c) Those SMEs producing commodities, or dependent on them, will have seen the prices for their products...

The Women in Business Challenge Awards

  The Growing SMEs Conference in The Hague witnessed the culmination for many of the challenges run throughout the year. After a long and arduous competition, the Women in Business Challenge reached its final stage at the conference. This was the third edition of the Women in Business Challenge, a competition that since 2009 has provided support, coaching, visibility and finance to over 600 women entrepreneurs in emerging markets. This year the jury and sponsors noted a surge in the quality of business plans being submitted, making their task of selecting the finalists alone harder than ever. Selected from almost 300 applicants, the five finalists were chosen on account of their potential for growth and the overall quality of their business plans. While all five finalists did fantastically getting this far, there could only be one winner. Special congratulations should be awarded to the other four finalists – Kiki Kamanu and her eponymously named fashion label, Kosi Yankey and her company Nuba Foods, Stela Maris da Silva and BioPro, and Lois Gicheru and Solafrique. The winner of this competitive challenge, selected by our panel of expert judges mainly due to the potential societal impact her product could have, was Ella Peinovich and her innovative and empowering e-commerce platform, SasaAfrica. Ella Peinovich received a check for EUR 5,000 as reward for winning the Challenge as well as tailor-made advisory services worth €5,000 from UnitedSucces. Peinovich went on to state: “Sasa Africa is by and for women. According to some estimates, women represent 70 percent of the poor in the world. But at Sasa Africa we tend to look at their cultural...