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...

Women in Business Finalist Named in Forbes List

She has already won BiD Network’s Women in Business Challenge 2013, and now she’s named in Forbes “30 Most Promising Entrepreneurs Under 30.” Affiong Williams, founder of Reelfruit has been acknowledged for her motivation to expand her dried fruit and nuts business outside of Nigeria. In an interview with BiD Network in 2014, Williams told other women entrepreneurs to “really think big! I want to encourage them to remove any constraints that might hold them back from thinking they can own the business of their dreams.” That is exactly what she is doing.  “We favored entrepreneurs with fresh ideas and took into account their business size, location, struggles and determination. Senior editors then debated and argued over the final 30” Since the Women in Business challenge, Williams has been able to create new products that include; integration of dried fruits and nuts into a packaged mix, a local fruit drink, and a new cashew brand. Having developed these new products, Affiong Williams is seeking to expand into the lucrative airline industry. Williams has also been increasing her staff by bringing up the total of employees to twelve by the end of 2014. The Forbes Africa 30 under 30 is an annual list of most promising entrepreneurs to look out for in the future. The entrepreneurs are selected by the Forbes Africa readers and carefully judged by a selection of judges from the editing staff.   To see the full Forbes Africa 30 under 30 report, click here. To see the interview of Affiong Williams by BiD Network in 2014, click...

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...

Interview with Stela Maris da Silva: from Plan to Finance

In 2011, Stela Maris da Silva won the BiD Challenge in Argentina and in 2012 she became a finalist in our Women in Business Challenge. Her company BIOPRO aims to educate and change farming practices in Argentina by the introduction of organic methods and products. Our business competitions have helped Stela to get the financing she needed to grow her company and since then, she has been funded to the value of $ 656,000. We interviewed her to hear more about her experiences, tips and the journey since. Stela, first of all: congratulations with your success! You won the BiD Challenge Argentina 2011 and you also participated in the 3rd edition of the Women in Business Challenge where you were selected as one of the five finalists to attend the Growing SMEs conference in The Hague in 2012. We are curious to hear more about your story. “When we heard about the BiD Challenge Argentina 2011, we only had an idea for a business. We thought by participating in the challenge, we would perhaps get help to be able to improve our business plan. That was the main reason I applied for the challenge. At that moment I had no idea, I had no experience and no knowledge on how to set up a business. I thought I would never be selected to participate in the challenge, but I was! The last week before the deadline was very stressful, but my coach was always available and dedicated. He helped me with my business plan up until a few minutes before the deadline. Later, when we were among the finalists,...

Growing SMEs The Hague: The Day in Tweets

 50 leading entrepreneurs from around the world were joined by investors and experts at our Growing SMEs conference in The Hague on November 15. During BiD Week, the business week proceeding the conference, they undertook intensive training sessions, attended B2B meetings, and shared and explored solutions for small businesses development. Video coverage of the event is available on demand on YouTube. Many attendees, speakers, partners helped us to open the discussion to more parties on Twitter. See a selection of tweets below. More highlights and news soon.   [View the story “Growing SMEs The Hague” on...

Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, joins Growing SMEs The Hague

Newly appointed minister Lilianne Ploumen combines the portfolio of development cooperation with foreign trade. This is precisely the intersection on which investors and entrepreneurs operate successfully through BiD Network. In the most recent government budget, an investment fund of 750 million euros has been created for financing SMEs in developing countries. Minister Ploumen will be visiting the marketplace of BiD Network on the 15th of November in the Hague and deliver the closing speech of the...