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,...

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,...

BiD Network’s first Investor Cocktail of the Year

Yesterday we organized a cocktail for our network of investors. The event took place in Amsterdam and was the first of a number of matchmaking activities to happen this year. For this meetup we choose to focus on investment opportunities in Rwanda, one of BiD Network’s target countries. The evening started with a word of welcome by our investor matchmaker Laura Smeets and our partner Martijn Blom of De Investeerdersclub and Droomzaken, followed by three entrepreneurs who pitched their businesses. The first to present was Clarisse Iribagiza of HeHe Labs, a Rwandan tech research lab that offers mobile solutions for different sectors, such as agriculture, infrastructure and health care. HeHe Labs also provides a code program for school and universities in Rwanda, thereby creating employment opportunities for the Rwandan youth. Next to take the stage was Sivan Breemhaar, founder of Afriek, a company that designs high-quality blazers that are made in Rwanda. With her unique designs she wants to create awareness among her customers about the clothes they are wearing. Lastly, Laurent Demuynck of Kigali Farms told the audience about how he wants to boost the mushroom industry in Rwanda with his business. Next to these live pitches, we also showed several video pitches of our entrepreneurs in Rwanda presenting their businesses. After the presentation of these Rwandan businesses, the cocktail continued with more mingling and networking between our guests. We look back at a great evening that brought together different types of investors, funds, and others with an interest in investment opportunities in emerging markets. Are you an investor and would you like to join one or more...

Press release – CATALIST program Uganda

BiD Network and the International Fertilizer Development Center have signed an agreement for a program that aims to improve the performance, business plans and access to finance of SMEs in the Irish potato, cassava, oil seeds (soybeans and sunflower) and rice value chains in Uganda. The ultimate goal is to contribute to an increase in rural incomes and trade in Uganda along with increasing food security in the region. The program is part of a 4-year regional project financed by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and implemented by the International Fertilizer Development Center in Uganda, called “Catalyze Accelerated Agricultural Intensification for Social and Environmental Stability” (CATALIST). The goal of CATALIST-Uganda is to sustainably commercialize smallholder agriculture through improved productivity and market development, resulting in marketable surpluses that raise farm incomes in Uganda, and increase regional food security for the wider East Africa and Great Lakes Region. Starting with the ‘pull’ of the market by working with commodities for which there is strong demand, CATALIST-Uganda will employ a systems approach to develop integrated cropping systems around priority commodities – Irish potato, cassava, oilseeds (soybeans and sunflower), and rice – combined with an accelerated cluster development approach appropriate for Uganda. In addition to agricultural intensification, attention will be paid to input market development (both seeds and fertilizer), output marketing, linkages to Dutch and other agribusinesses, and improvement of the policy environment. The CATALIST-Uganda program aspires to enable smallholder farmers to improve production, productivity, and quality in commodity-specific cropping systems (production push), and to enable agribusiness clusters to create value by selling into national, East Africa regional, and international/Dutch markets and...