VC4Africa and Appfrica Announce Formal Partnership
VC4Africa.com and Appfrica.org are announcing a formal partnership to mobilize and support the venture capital community of Africa. The new partnership aims to leverage their combined vision, resources, and networks in an effort to connect aspiring entrepreneurs in Africa with the skills, knowledge and connections needed to develop, grow and scale their business. More importantly, the partnership aims to promote social entrepreneurship by making it easier for the entrepreneurs to find the investors who may be looking for them.
Both parties believe that entrepreneurship should be the main driver in Africa’s economic growth, in particular the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that provide much of Africa’s employment, income and hope for a better future. SMEs contribute around two thirds of national income and provide the foundation for a stable middle class in many African countries. They help form strong communities and are a powerful force for poverty reduction. SMEs play a significant role in building economic stability and sustainability for the future.
As Africa enters the new millennium it faces a challenge to provide better economic opportunities for citizens through sustained growth and alleviating the poverty that has long plagued the continent. The NEPAD (New Economic Platform for African Development) and the United Nations Millennium Goals for 2015, to which the EU-countries have all subscribed, have set out ambitious aims in this respect. The World Economic Forum in Davos and the G8 have also made the commitment to stimulate private and public investments in Africa. However, it’s our belief that the most meaningful impact will still come from grassroots entrepreneurship and local efforts.
It is important to support this bottom-up approach of citizens working to tackle local challenges and build on the idea that any person anywhere in the world might have the skills, knowledge and resources needed to make a difference. Ben White, founder of VC4Africa.com says, “There is a serious lack of information and tools in this area. South Africa as a market dominates the space. How can we serve entrepreneurs in the rest of the continent fighting to make a difference? I believe we can achieve a lot by bringing the right people and tools together.” Jonathan Gosier of Appfrica.org adds, “At Appfrica Labs we practice these ideas on a niche-level everyday, it gives me great pleasure to be able to support the entire sector on a macro-level through this partnership.“
Advancement in new media technologies introduces new opportunities for this process. We believe that now is the time to effect great social impact by maximizing the resources available. The VC4Africa.com project will build on Afridex.net (an online directory inspired by popular websites like Crunchbase.com, LinkedIn.com and GetSatisfaction.com and developed by the team at Appfrica Labs in Uganda). This engine provides a unique tool on which to build the VC4Africa community and kick starts a new process that seeks to empower investors and entrepreneurs with the tools and resources needed to make business decisions.
The partnership will leverage Afridex.net, a business information aggregator developed by Appfrica Labs Lead Developer, Moses Mugisha. Afridex was built in the Python framework Django and allows businesses to create profiles, monitor their brands and offers ‘portable widgets’ that allow people to write and blog about them. As part of the partnership, Afridex will build out a web community of various verticals (sme’s, agriculture, tech ect.) that allows for an easy to navigate index of companies that exist across the continent. The most innovative aspect of the community, however, will allow groups of would-be-investors with similar interests to raise venture capital funds. These crowdsourced funds can then be invested in the business of the group’s choice. By taking the general concept behind venture capital and leveraging this community of nearly 5000 expatriated Africans, as well as foreign and local investors, our aim is to offer a web application that allows for the constructive application of capital to the market.
VC4Africa.com was started in the interest to connect investors and entrepreneurs. The community has developed into a powerful network of individuals dedicated to the promotion of African business. In an effort to scale impact, VC4Africa.com seeks out ways to mobilize members and effect change. In May 2009 a technical partnership was sought with Appfrica.net.
Appfrica Labs is a tech incubator based in Kampala, Uganda. It’s a unique organization that works to incubate entrepreneurs and university recent graduates to combat brain-drain and support the local economy. Appfrica provides developers with the physical space, hardware, internet connection and mentorship needed to produce successful software entrepreneurs in East Africa.
Ideas, questions, partnership? Please contact the VC4Africa.com team Ben White at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jonathan Gosier at email@example.com.
Tags: Africa, angel, appfrica, Business, capital, Community, connection, developer, Development, east africa, Economics, Entrepreneurship, equity, impact, Internet, Investment, investor, jonathan gosier, Kenya, marketing, mkb, money, networking, north africa, partnership, sme, social, Software, SOuth Africa, Start up, stock, uganda, vc4africa, venture, west africa
About zia505The world is changing right before my eyes. Sometimes I don't know how I will ever keep up. There are so many ideas floating around on this internet. If only I had the means to collect them....
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