The three speakers at #GetMeMoneyHoney, hosted by Nairobi Garage, made it very clear: Money is there in plenty for start-ups. You just need to know where to look.
Nonnie Wanjihia from the East Africa Venture Capital Association (EAVCA) gave a broad overview
over the situation in Kenya and East Africa and opened our eyes: There are investors for all stages of investment. Although venture capital as such is less common than in other places. Often enterprises move from being supported by friends and family directly to private equity.
Mary Mwangi from the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) provided an informational tool to walk you through the process of getting an investor step by step. You can get access to it by contacting Laura, the Entrepreneur Cafe City Mayor for Nairobi.
The first step is always research, online as well as in person. "Finding an investor is like dating," says Mwangi, "you need to make sure that it's a good fit." There are different types of investors. Some look for return, but many focus more on the impact you’ll make with your venture.
You need to be informed and talk to each other, like we do at Entrepreneur Cafe. Networking and
sharing experiences are crucial in order to find that good match with an investor.
You should also invest in a good lawyer who knows the language of investment by heart.And finally: "Don't look for a good deal. Look for a fair deal." Because if you feel you landed a good
deal, the other party will always feel as if they made a loss and the cooperation will continue
accordingly. And vice-versa: If the investor feels like they made a good deal, you are likely to feel
cheated. A fair deal is the best compromise and a good basis for continuous cooperation.
Zak Syengo from Rafiki Microfinance Bank told the participants of the event to not take capital as an excuse. Only the fact that you don't have money should not stop you from striving to make your business idea work. The traits that are really needed are rather passion, experience, sustainability and making and impact. If you got those together, if you are burning for your idea, pushing through with it no matter what will be more joyful. And it attracts investors more easily.