Growth Accelerator hosts monthly eco-system events that engage the broader entrepreneurship eco-system. On Thursday, 21st November 2019, Growth Accelerator discussed the topic of Crowdfunding in Malawi at mHub Offices. The event had guest speakers: UNDP Malawi Resident Representative, Shigeki Komatsubara; Elizabeth Howard, Chief Executive Officer of African Crowdfunding Association; and Maclean Mbepula of Afrineur. The aim of the event was to discuss the definition of crowdfunding, its application in Africa and the underlying potential for Malawi.  

Growth
Accelerator hosts monthly eco-system events on topics that concern entrepreneurs.
The platform is designed to be an interactive space that facilitates the
sharing of information and knowledge from various avenues relating to
business. 

The event
kicked-off with an overview of crowdfunding in Africa, presented by Elizabeth Howard,
the Chief Executive Officer of African Crowdfunding Association. Here are some
facts about crowdfunding in Africa:

  • African Crowdfunding market is
    estimated to be at USD2.5 Billion in 2025. This is only 0.3% of the global
    estimate of USD96 Billion.
  • The recent statistics on
    crowdfunding in Africa were documented in 2015
  • In 2015, Africa raised USD 125
    Million on crowdfunding platforms; 1/3 on African crowdfunding platforms. A
    majority of the 1/3 raised in Africa was distributed between SME finance and Real
    Estate. On the other hand, the 2/3 raised on international platforms was
    allocated to social funds in areas such as Health, Education, Women and
    children.
  • In 2015, African country rank for
    crowdfunding was as follows:

Investment
crowdfunding falls under a regulatory domain that requires the involvement of
regulatory authorities in a particular country. In places such as the United
States of America and Europe etc. the regulatory authorities have caught up
with the trend and created regulatory framework to support and guide
crowdfunding. Unfortunately, this scenario is not replicated in Africa were
regulators are still in the early stages. 

The African
Crowdfunding Association is an aggregate of crowdfunding platforms that created
a regulatory framework for crowdfunding in Africa. The Association has a bias
towards crowdfunding for SME investment; with 30 members as of 2019. To learn
more about African Crowdfunding Association what it is and how to become a
member, visit their website (https://africancrowd.org/)  

The evening
progressed with a presentation by Maclean Mbepula of Afrineur, a Malawian
investment crowdfunding platform for start-up and SMEs. Maclean worked to
perfect her crowdfunding model not only for Malawi but for Africa. She gave a
three-minute pitch that included the need she saw in Malawi, how crowdfunding
can address it; and her ask for USD 500,000 to operationalize the platform.

Maclean has
two key notes for entrepreneurs trying to raise funds through crowdfunding:

  • Build a network around your brand.
    Crowdfunding works like wildfire, if your start-up idea and/or prototype has
    built a brand and following of potential customers it will be easier to gain
    trust from investors and raise funds.
  • Don’t sit and wait for the platform
    to do the work. Raise awareness and strategically plan your fundraising
    campaign.

Finally,
the evening closed off with a speech from the UNDP Malawi Resident
Representative, Shigeki Komatsubara. He gave a powerful testament to Africa’s
innate wealth of ideas and money. Mr. Komatsubara went on to pledge UNDP’s
commitment to supporting entrepreneurs and ideas in the Malawian eco-system.
UNDP is the principal partner of the Growth Accelerator Programme; the host of
Growth Accelerator Eco-system events.

Hope you join us next time!

admin
Author: admin