Adam Molai, a businessman from Zimbabwe, has launched a $1 million venture capital fund that will go by the name JUA kickstarter. The aim of the VC will be to support African entrepreneurs and to get more people from the continent to invest in local startups. He has experience setting up successful enterprises through TRT investments.
He said, “Without entrepreneurs, economies cannot grow and countries cannot advance. But African Entrepreneurs unfortunately do not get the support they need to thrive for a myriad of reasons. Yet Africa is full of enterprising people.”
Currently, most startups in Africa sort funding from VCs in other continents, more than half of them are investors from North America (53%), followed by Asia (39%) and Europe (15%). According to Molai, foreign VCs presents some challenges to African entrepreneurs, he outlined three of them as follows: labourious requirements which include collateral and tenure; conventional biases that traditional sources of funding have, that is, foreign investors have a certain way of doing things that might not suit the African ecosystem; lastly, there is the red tape which brings a long duration and processes that have to be adhered to before disbursement of funds.
He stated that the only way to solve this issue is for Africans to invest in their own startups. This way, they will be able to tailor requirements that suit the African continent.
He added that, “When people see Africans investing in our environment, they feel more confident to invest alongside us. Confidence breeds confidence. And I am nothing if not confident in the future of Africa and in what we can collectively achieve.”
To set an example, he started JUA kickstarter, it will accept applications for the next two months from small businesses / startups that require funding. A shortlist of applicants will based on several factors which include the impact the business makes on the continent, the jobs it creates and the impact the investment will make on the startup.
The shortlisted will compete for 5 days in a contest. Each day, a different theme will be selected and the contenders will pitch their ideas to judges. Eventually, the business that win will immediately be given a commitment of funding.
If you would like to participate in the kickstarter, you can submit your application on their website linked here.