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,...
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...
Finding & Fixing the Gaps in the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Rwanda

Finding & Fixing the Gaps in the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Rwanda

What hampers businesses to thrive in Rwanda? That was the question that led the roundtable organized by BiD Network and Ejo Partners as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Entrepreneurs, Business Development Service providers and financiers came together to collaboratively discuss the problems and solutions. Equipped with post-its in different colors, all participants got to indicate their perceived problems and solutions. A recurring theme was the attitude of the entrepreneurs. The problem post-its were filled with “a lack of entrepreneurial spirit,” the solution post-its with “changing the attitude of entrepreneurs.” More specifically, below are 5 problems and 5 solutions as a result of the roundtable.   PROBLEMS The biggest problem is how to get stakeholders to collaborate more. Particularly banks are comfortable in their own space. Roundtables such as this one organized by BiD Network can only go so far. Record keeping remains challenging. Bookkeeping should be a practice incorporated from the very beginning. It aids in forming a strategy and improving access to finance. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs only realize the necessity when they are in need of finance. Entrepreneurs like to be in charge. This is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is important to know what is going on in your business. On the other hand, it does undermine the ability of experts taking certain activities on. There is a disconnection between the high international product standards and the low purchasing power in Rwanda. To create products that can be exported means increasing production costs. This translates into prices that have a high likelihood of excluding the local market. Bank lending rates are sky high. In...

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...

Promising entrepreneurs from Kosovo to Holland

Guest post by blogger Stevan van Dijk of www.kosovo-info.com KOSOVO – Two Kosovar companies with a lot of potential to grow, will visit The Netherlands in October this year. Both of the companies are active in the food processing industry and are looking for Dutch investors, customers, partners, and experts to let their business grow. ‘Rizona’ sells both high quality fresh and canned vegetables. This will be an amount of 250 tons of vegetables, in the year 2015. The owner of the company is Bashkim Bytyqi. The other company, ‘Edona’, is specialized in selling sweet pastries like baklava, the famous ‘Turkish’ delicacy. Edona delivers her goods to many big supermarkets, restaurants and hotels. But her product does not stay in Kosovo, as also other European countries are interested. Owner of the company, Fatmire Maliqi, received the title of ‘most successful businesswoman of Kosovo’, in 2014. Owners of both of the companies will visit Amsterdam on the 7th and 8th of October to meet potential partners. If you are interested in the program, and the possibility to meet (one of the) owners, you can send an email to Annemarie van Mossel of BiD Network (annemarie.vanmossel@bidnetwork.org). She has also more information regarding the two promising companies. Interested in more about doing business in...

Impact Capital Activities during Amsterdam Capital Week

BiD Network, Crosswise Works, dutch, THNK, and Impact Hub Amsterdam will organize the following activities with a clear focus on impact entrepreneurship and impact investing. These events will fall under the Impact Capital track of the first Amsterdam Capital Week.   Impact Capital Activities BiD Network Drinks Thursday, September 24, 17:00 – 20:00 Network drink with impact investors and East African startups Join us and network with fellow investors, partners and changemakers at the BiD Network drinks. Learn about some of the most promising investment ready entrepreneurs from Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya, and meet Nairobi’s rising startups & hubs in tech, mobile and impact innovation. Apply here   Impact Investor Innovation Lab Friday, September 25, 9:00 – 12:00 Learn how & why Impact Investing is globally on the verge. Why is Impact Investment globally on the verge and about to set a solid foot on the ground in the Netherlands? Meet fellow investors, impact investors from the Impact Hub network and entrepreneurs to find out where your opportunities arise. We showcase you success stories told by both the entrepreneur and investor. We challenge you to meet promising startups and impact investors. We invite you to innovate and to take your first steps into the future of investment. Apply here   Kenya on the Rise Friday, September 25, 14:00 – 17:00 Discover the impact startup ecosystem of Nairobi Interested in the latest development of Nairobi’s startups & hubs in tech, mobile and impact innovation? Check out these Kenyan rising stars, listen to their pitches, and learn how you can invest and accelerate impact. The Impact Expedition Nairobi-Amsterdam brings you Sam...