Last Friday evening, SomVao, a 20 year old Somali association in Amsterdam, together with BiD Network and Collert Consultancy organized an event to promote the Somali AgriFood program that is funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The program aims to facilitate access to diaspora finance for small and medium sized enterprises in agriculture, food processing and fishery in Somaliland, Puntland and South and Central Somalia.
The event attracted over 60 potential Somali entrepreneurs and investors, who came from all over The Netherlands to hear more about this initiative. Many entrepreneurial people with loads of business ideas and questions discussed the opportunities the program could bring them when investing in businesses in their home country. The program offers mentoring and training services to get entrepreneurs and investors ready for finance as well as a fund that that stimulates specific investments in the agriculture, fishery and food processing sectors in Somalia.
BiD Network supports entrepreneurs in emerging markets to get ready for finance and matches entrepreneurs and investors. Since 2007, more than 150 entrepreneurs worldwide have been linked to financiers such as business angels, SME funds, philanthropic organizations and banks, for a total value of more than USD 22 million.
Collert Consultancy supports Somali businesses in the Horn of Africa via consulting, research, recruitment and training. Collert consultancy helps people, organisations and companies to explore opportunities, manage and sustain growth, and maximize revenue. For this project, Collert Consultancy assists in the identification and support of and facilitation of access to finance for Somali SMEs in the food- and agriculture sector.
There are many risks associated with running a business or investing in SMEs – especially in Somalia – but at the same time such a venture can be rewarding in many ways. Investing stimulates the local economy, empowers entrepreneurs, allows one to gain business or investment experience, and has the objective to provide financial returns. This program offers products and services to minimize some of the risks for you as an investor. It is open to entrepreneurs and investors with viable Somali business opportunities in the agriculture, fishery and food processing sectors. Businesses should have a financial need between USD 20,000 and 200,000 and show clear growth potential. The fund offers guarantees or co-financing opportunities that allow you as an investor to reduce your financial risk. We also offer investor matchmaking services to entrepreneurs to prepare their business plan and investment proposition and to investors as guidance through the investment process.
Find a video featuring the event here:
We thank SomVao for the organization and all participants for their contributions.