Accelerating entrepreneurship in Africa


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VC4Africa is building a leading peer-to-peer network that connects African based entrepreneurs with the resources (network, knowledge and capital) they require to realize their potential. By our definition, every entrepreneur we engage creates value in the areas of people, planet and profit.

Problem Statement

Innovative early stage ventures with the potential to yield high social and environmental impact - and requiring less than USD $1 million in financing (the 'S' in SME) - are the most difficult segment of the SME pipeline to reach. This is especially true in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa. Often times early stage ventures have a limited track record and lack the collateral needed to secure debt capital from a local bank. Moreover, local banks and traditional financiers too often do not appreciate the dynamics of the entrepreneur’s specific business and therefore cannot add value beyond financial capital. The cost and complexity of due diligence is one of the limiting factors for those interested and able to invest in this segment. It simply costs too much to find genuine entrepreneurs with a solid business idea and plan—just ask anyone with an SME fund and they’ll tell you how ‘hard it is to find qualified deal flow.’ As a result, most existing SME funds seek larger deals and the highest margin businesses. At the same time, micro-credit is limited in its ability to support high growth businesses beyond small-scale enterprise and leaves entrepreneurs with potential standing on the sideline. This dynamic creates an early stage “vacuum” in which a large number of potentially thriving, innovative companies are either constrained to be micro-enterprises, and hence have a limited impact on economic growth and job creation, or don’t come into existence at all. This tends to shut out promising entrepreneurs in the sub-$1 million financing range indiscriminately, or raises the cost of capital to prohibitively high levels—above the already-high rate of return on capital exhibited by many SMEs—making financing uneconomical.

Our Objective

VC4Africa exists to fill this vacuum. As the largest network connecting African entrepreneurs, angel investors and early stage VCs, VC4Africa seeks to reduce the barriers to investing in small and growing businesses with high potential to contribute to innovation and economic growth throughout Africa. But we are more than a social network. We seek to leverage our data in meaningful ways to increase access to resources and facilitate successful business and investment connections to African entrepreneurs with currently limited access. VC4Africa develops tools that work to efficiently connect members and, in our community’s drive to fuel innovation, create jobs and bring rapid economic growth to communities throughout the continent.

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Accelerating entrepreneurship in Africa

  1. 1. Entrepreneurship  Accelerated  
  2. 2. THE ENTREPRENEUR VC4Africa  aspires  to  become  the  preeminent  social  network  for   entrepreneurs  and  investors.  
  3. 3. VALUE ADDED Our  mission  is  to  help  our  members  build  game  changing   companies  that  defy  the  missing  middle.  
  4. 4. DISTRIBUTION FIRM SIZE By  definiAon  ventures  on  VC4Africa  are  looking  to  scale.  
  5. 5. ACCESS TO FINANCE Access  to  capital  is  one  part  of  the  story.  VC4Africa  places   equal  focus  to  the  non-­‐financial  needs  of  its  entrepreneurs.    
  6. 6. VIRTUAL INCUBATION VC4Africa  is  a  virtual  incubator,  tracking  the  progress  of   entrepreneurs  &  supporAng  their  growth  &  development   over  Ame.  
  7. 7. CROWDSOURCING With  members  in  159  countries  we  tap  into  a  global   network  of  resources.  
  8. 8. 1: CAPITAL The  largest  network  of  organizaAons  supporAng  ventures   under  USD  1  million.  
  9. 9. 2: MENTORSHIP Any  entrepreneur  can  register  a  mentor  request.  A  global   network  of  experts  is  available  free  of  charge.  
  10. 10. 3: TOOLS Self-­‐learning:  Empowering  entrepreneurs  with  access  to   tools,  templates  and  knowledge  resources.    
  11. 11. 4: EXPOSURE ConnecAng  entrepreneurs  to  world  class  opportuniAes     –  to  pitch,  gain  exposure  &  meet  partners.    
  12. 12. 5: NETWORKING Members  meet  offline  every  day  at  one  of  the  many   VC4Africa  meetups  around  the  world.  
  13. 13. 1200 VENTURES VC4Africa  has  screened  more  than  1200  ventures  from  40   African  countries  and  counAng.  
  14. 14. A FEW FACTS »  We  have  screened  over  1200  applica5ons  and   more  than  600  entrepreneurs  have  successfully   published  their  venture  online;     »  The  ventures  on  VC4Africa  are  early  stage  and   require  investments  between  USD  $10K  and  USD   $1  million;     »  The  primary  sectors  include  mobile,  web,  energy,     health  care  and  agriculture,  amongst  others;  
  15. 15. A FEW FACTS (cont) »  Each  venture  is  scalable,  makes  smart  use  of   technology,  or  is  disrup5ve  in  their  applica5on  of  a   business  model;     »  Thirty  percent  of  the  registered  ventures  have   some  form  of  social  mission  and  could  be  qualified   as  a  social  enterprise;     »  Listed  entrepreneurs  have  access  to  free  online   tools,  mentorship  opportuni5es  and  private  deal   rooms.      
  16. 16. EXTENDED BITS A  joint  venture  and  funding  resulted  in  the  launch  of  a   SoWware  TesAng  facility  in  Somaliland.  
  17. 17. KNELLEN Local  and  foreign  angel  investors  connected  to  launch  virtual   EgypAan  art  market.    
  18. 18. SHOP SOKO AWer  being  selected  for  DEMO  Africa,  Shop  Soko  went  on  to   close  700K  in  funding.  
  19. 19. AGRO MART ConnecAng  with  investors  to  launch  the  first  Agro  informaAon   service  and  organic  grocery  store  in  Buea,  Cameroon.  
  20. 20. MKAZI Job  search  for  blue  collar  workers  via  mobile  phone.   From  concept  to  Series  A.  
  21. 21. DORKING DAIRIES Mentorship  in  markeAng,  investment  in  Cold  Storage,   and  roll  out  of  micro  milk  entrepreneurs  network.  
  22. 22. JOIN THE MOVEMENT Join  the  VC4Africa  community  as  we  work  together  to   power  Africa’s  greatest  entrepreneurs!