My African Idea is the first worldwide crowd funding platform for African Ideas says Abasi Ene-Obong. The 27 year old, armed with a M.Sc from Imperial University and a Ph.D. in view.
Abasi, the CEO & Founder, My African Idea Ltd. (www.myafricanidea.com) say he was inspired to create a community that helps African ideas come to life. The platform let’s African’s share their plans to the world for backup.
TechMoran interviewed Abasi and this is what he told us.
Why My African Idea?
Having started businesses in Africa I am accustomed to the difficulties of raising that initial funding even when what is needed is a few thousand dollars. This however has not stopped ideas coming out of Africa, in fact at no time in my existence has there been an abundance of wonderful ideas from Africa that could have a global impact. Really what we want to achieve is to bring Africa to the fore by empowering Africans and non-Africans who have ideas that could change lives (starting from Africa of course).
While we are targeting a global audience that is interested in African based/ originated technology.
Problem we are solving
Idea execution. Financing for entrepreneurs. Project execution and support. Start-up funding for African businesses.
Entrepreneurs in art, science, technology, media etc and social entrepreneurs. Investors and people who wants to contribute in some form to the African community and who want to be part of something truly significant. Also charity organisations and corporate bodies involved in social projects.
Kiva, Kickstarter, Fundly.
How different are you from the competition?
We are a platform that connects Africa to the world and vice versa. Also unlike some of our competition we provide support to project creators. This means that we cannot open our arms to all ideas/ projects as we have to vet the project creators. We are also looking at other ways to create more value for our community (this will be shown gradually).
Decision to become an entrepreneur?
I did not decide to become an entrepreneur (laughs). I guess I want to contribute in a significant way to the world I live in. I spot opportunities and then I ask 3 major questions: will it make other people’s life easier or better; will I gain satisfaction from the venture even if it does not succeed; is there a gap in the market (i.e. is there anyone currently providing the service/ product). Every other question stems from these 3. And in the case of myafricanidea, the answers were yes, yes and yes (there’s a gap in the market).
Next on plate
First is the job at hand which is to establish the brand and develop a revenue model for www.myafricanidea.com. Afterwards, we are looking at getting into African universities where we know innovators are waiting to be discovered (my first couple business ideas were in an African university). We also have a social project we are working on because we have a responsibility to give back to our community.
Stats and user testimonies
In the 4 months we have been in development, our Facebook page we had over 5,690 fans. You can see some testimonies on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/myafricanidea and our blog: www.myafricanidea.com/blog.