Investing in Africa
The Nordic Africa Day Summit is an opportunity for Nordic companies and international stakeholders to showcase their activities and measure the impact of their business activity in Africa.
On 25 May 2021, there was an interesting panel discussion on the opportunities and challenges of investing in African businesses. After a keynote speech by Ben White, the panellists included:
- Ben White (VC4A)
- Stephen Gugu (ABAN)
- Pascal Murasira (Norrsken)
- Selam Kebede (Antler)
- Petra Wolkenstein (Wise Guys Africa Micro Fund)
- Pontus Engström (MTI Investments)
I have witnessed the emergence of an incredible industry, and when you look at all that has been achieved in the last ten years, I have to tell you, it is absolutely remarkable.
Six awesome investors and accelerators
The short introduction of the participants gave us a good impression of what the accelerators have achieved so far and what they are currently working on. The focus of the talks was on cooperation and knowledge sharing.
VC4A – Connecting high growth high impact startups to opportunities.
ABAN – The African Business Angel Network seeks to promote a culture of angel investing across Africa.
Norrsken – The non-profit foundation with a high belief in effective altruism.
Antler– Aiming to create thousands of companies globally that solve real problems.
Startup Wise Guys – The leading B2B accelerator in Europe for early-stage startups with passion, founders and a vision.
MTI Investments – Focus on growing companies.
The discussion was hosted by Maija Luukka, Ambitious Afrika. The guiding themes were the following.
Why are you doing what you are doing?
The motivation behind it. It was great to hear how compassionately the participants talked about their investment activities and initiatives. Inspiration moves from the founders to the investors and creates a powerful atmosphere.
Finding exciting entrepreneurs who are building cool stuff today, and then helping them become role models who build great businesses.
African accelerator activities
How crucial are the trainers for the success of the programme? Why an entrepreneur needs to find a good mentor.
We do rely a lot upon our advisor network. It is invaluable to have someone in the early stages as a start-up founder who is an expert in a particular field. It saves you so much time, effort and energy to speak to someone thirty minutes and just getting that kind of download of insights.
Connection & Collaboration
What is the value of international cooperation with universities?
Building connections between African countries and Scandinavian, Nordic countries are so important for success. I think if you build a strong relationship when things go a bit wrong since you have a strong trust in each other, you can still solve things easier.
Digital platforms, new solutions
What do online solutions mean for start-ups? How cooperation between the world’s economies works and what the key to success is.
During the Covid 19 crisis, we were fascinated that you could offer so much value online and digitally with a wider reach. More people can be reached than ever before. That was the point where we got enthusiastic. Trust-building takes time, but digitally it’s much faster. We can add value faster.
Where do you think we will be in ten years’ time?
Positive thoughts and grand plans for the future.
I hope that capital will be more democratic.
You can find the full conversation on Ambitious Africa’s Facebook page. Just click on the picture.