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,...
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...

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...

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,...

Success story: investment for Ugandan eco-resort Banana Village

21 years ago, Jemimah Semakadde started an eco-resort near Entebbe in Uganda. Initially meant as affordable holiday accommodation for local travelers, today Banana Village welcomes visitors from all over the world. With the help of BiD Network, Jemimah was able to find the investment needed to further expand and improve her resort. Banana Village was founded in 1994. “We bought the place to build a family home. However, the property is quite extensive and this brought us to the idea to start a budget accommodation to cater for our local people who could not afford the more expensive hotels, especially for their honeymoons.” Around 2000, more and more visitors from outside Uganda and Africa started to discover Uganda and enjoyed their stay at Banana Village. Via the website and Trip Advisor, guests from all around the world find out about the resort and share their recommendations. Still staying within an affordable price range, Banana Village is able to offer a comfortable place to stay in a peaceful and natural environment: “it is what people come here for and what they enjoy most.” What did you need the investment for? “From the start, we have been able to reach a domino effect: as we would build one hut, it would provide us with the money to build the next one, and so on. It has been going on like that until I received the investment needed and was enabled to put a much bigger effect on the property.” Before the investment, Banana Village had 21 rooms. The loan made it possible for Jemimah to add another 9 rooms at once,...