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.
Colombia hosted the Latin American Venture Forum last June 4th in the city of Pereira. The forum aimed to influence the bridging the gaps between talented entrepreneurs and venture capital investors.
The forum included a networking session for entrepreneurs and investors as well as a panel of experts in the investment field who agreed that Latin America has become a land of opportunities for venture capital investors. Therefore, it is important to make more visible the entrepreneurial ideas with high growth potencial and to share successful investments in the region in order to increase investors confidence.
Sofia Gonzalez, City Mayor of Entrepreneur Cafe in Bogota, attended the forum to share her learnings with the Entrepreneurs in the first meeting of June: Discussions on financing.
This was the big question of our first meeting in Edinburgh.
It was not an easy one, or probably too easy, depending naturally on the context and point of view. The topic was introduced to us (Luis, Ruchi and Joanna) by Nikhil, the founder of the Entrepreneur café during a short presentation of the initiative.
It was a passionate discussion about what nurtures entrepreneurship, with different visions and perceptions of the word and the real sense of the innovative behaviour. We did not achieve one conclusion, and I don’t believe that it possible, but the debate is still open and we are waiting for your comments. Nikhil believes that what nurtures entrepreneurship is the passion a and the will to do something to benefit others.
I don’t disagree! However, I would add that to undertake an entrepreneurial action directed by passion one needs to have fulfilled all the stages of the pyramid (Maslow). It is only when one reaches the top (the last mile) then it will be possible to permanently, if not exclusively, nurture our actions by passion.
I will conclude by asking you what do you think about this. Do you believe that it is possible to interpret entrepreneurship as an ideal and drive our passion and altruism towards a major goal which is TO CREATE?
And more equally valid alternatives
As an entrepreneur, especially in Kenya, it is likely that you are looking for money. But there are two
One: Money is nowhere to be found.
Two: If there are funds, you won’t be able to access them.
The last meeting of Entrepreneur Café in Nairobi proved both assumptions wrong.
One: Money is there in plenty.
You just need to know where to look. There are venture capitalists, seed and angel investors, bank
loans and business credit as well as grants. There is even a Kenyan crowdfunding platform. “Money is
information,” says Gilbert, an Entrepreneur Café member with vast knowledge in finance. “You need
to know what you want, where you can get it and under which conditions.” This involves extensive
research. At the last meeting we barely touched the surface and had already plenty of sources.
Two: Proper research is one way to get funded.
You need to do the work, of course. You must have a business plan or a business model, you need to
be able to show how serious you are. And you need to expose yourself and do networking, for which
Entrepreneur Café is the ideal place.
That said, there are other options to get money.
We shortly discussed family and friends as yet another source of support. They also have networks,
for one, and if they see that you are serious, there are chances that they back you up. If you are just
starting out, turning to your family and friends might be a good idea, in order to gain credibility and
But does it always have to be support in form of money?
We discussed the example of an urban farmer in the US, who is producing and selling lots of organic
vegetables without owning even an acre of land. He leases small pieces of land around people’s
houses in his town who don’t use it, and pays them off in vegetables.
Labour is also an investment that you can provide in exchange for accommodation and food. And it always helps to team up. That is what happens in Kenya if people apply for bank loans. The banks need security, but as a small start-up you may not have a property or land big enough to meet their requirements. But if you team up and you apply in conjunction with an investor who is able to provide the security, everybody wins:
You get a bank loan, the investor does her job investing in you, and the bank gets another customer. There are ways and means to get support, financially and in other forms. But you need to know where to look for them and what to provide. That is why on June 25th, we are going to hear from experts from the world of finance, following the evenings motto #GetMeMoneyHoney.
Learning from the experts
Nairobi entrepreneurs visit RE/MAX and get to know the business model of the real estate franchising company
Normally, the meetings of Entrepreneur Café Nairobi happen in town in a local restaurant, but this time the participants were invited by RE/MAX Kenya. Robyn T. Emerson, the Regional Director, explained their business model.
And while usually in a real estate company, the business is built like a pyramid, with the few bosses on top and inexperienced agents at the bottom, the RE/MAX way works the opposite way. This enables them to open career paths and train their agents, while still benefiting from their expertise and gaining profit.
Compared to the start-uppers of Entrepreneur Café Nairobi, the RE/MAX model works best in huge companies. However, even entrepreneurs who are running their businesses as a one man show can learn from this model how important and successful it is to invest in their partners in order to grow.
We heartily thank RE/MAX and especially Robyn T. Emerson for the warm welcome and inspiring open house. We are grateful for being recognised, invited and worked with.
On May 28th, 2015; the 11th Meeting of the Entrepreneur Cafe took place at Starbucks Coffee Villa Franklin Roosevelt Casablanca.
This event organized by CasaEducation is held every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month. Actually present in more than 80 cities around the world; and 5 cities in the Kingdom,
Entrepreneur Café is facing a big success all over the globe. Entrepreneurs and projects holders attend the Meetings to discuss about their projects and get feedbacks from experts and attendees.
Another successful Meeting, which is due to innovative projects proposed by the participants who will share their projects with future entrepreneurs, students and professionals. The place was set, participants flooded in, speakers and guests were seated.
Mr. Mohamed Tlemçani, a regular attendant of the Entrepreneur Café Meetings, and an all-around speaker who already pitched his first project in the last meeting, is our first speaker today, this time with an old-new concept: a phone App, only this app can manage you whole house; it will for instance help you close all your windows, turn off the lights and set the central heating into eco mode.
Mr. Tlemçani says that: “Over the coming years, the constant rise in prices of energy and climate issues will stimulate consumer demand for intelligent home automation and environmental technologies”. In this context, smart house maker Domotik Energie embodies a new way to gain energy and time, in houses as well as large organizations.Time for our second speaker in the list: Mr. Anas Ouaziz Mouttalib, Founder of Ouaziz Company, maker of top-line personalized T-shirts.
“Why design a Man’s clothes? Let him wear what he wants”: a respectful philosophy by which Mr. Ouaziz manages his project, small but highly effective, and in less a month of existence, he managed to gain the trust of 10 different customers, wholesalers, making a descent total of over 600 T-shirts.
Last but not least, Mr. Anas Laayali, a law master’s degree student, escorted with Dr. Adil Zakaria, a personal coach, both came with a rather unique and new concept, at least in Morocco, and it’s vastly spreading across North Africa. The concept titled SMS, short for Success Made Simple is a network (or a school) helping Moroccans with personal transformation and targeting any person willing to change, help change others and break free from blockage that stops the path to positive change.
The project idea is innovative, makes success available for everyone. Furthermore, all of the teachings are in Arabic or Darija maghribia (Moroccan dialect). They also involve a number of known and recognized Moroccan coaches and from the Arab world in this project; each will contribute through its specialty.Don't forget to join us for the next Meeting on June 11th at 6:30PM at Starbucks Villa Franklin Roosevelt-Casablanca.
This 25th June 2015, Entrepreneur Café is coming up with a MEGA event #GetMeMoneyHoney globally and it’s all about funding your startup!!
This 25th June 2015 Entrepreneur Café brings to you #GetMeMoneyHoney, a MEGA event across 75 locations globally to share insights on funding your startups by bringing top VC’s in the country to share the platform!!
Venture capital is a source of financing for new businesses. Venture capital funds pool investors' cash and loan it to startup firms and small businesses with perceived, long-term growth potential. This is a very important source of funding startups that do not have access to other capital and it typically entails high risk (and potentially high returns) for the investor.
Conversations on how to present your USPs, creating prototypes, how to create and analyze traction to further refine your product or services will keep you pinned to your seats asking for more! Things to consider while choosing the right angel investor or venture capital firm, stages of Venture capital investing and alternative investment valuations will be some of the hot topics for the evening. Secrets of what an investor looks for while considering his investments for start-ups, guidance on how to complete the transition from Idea to IPO and the roles played by you, your cofounder, friends & family, angels, venture capital firms to early employees and investment bankers and what would make him spend even more!
Save the date : Thursday 25th of June 2015 from 6.30-8.30pm (Register Here)
Entrepreneur Café in your city brings to you a complete hacker guide on how to raise funds for your startup by asking the right questions from your potential funders sharing the stage.
While this event will enlighten you as you get to hear and see potential investors sharing their insights, views and candid opinions on the funds they manage, the high demand sectors, how funding is not the first (or the second step) in your business and that its not for everyone.
Let’s get together to learn the art of negotiation with your investors from the investor himself! The art of building an image while you pitch and negotiate at the same time. So let’s learn and share this 25th June at Entrepreneur Café on how to innovate and create the right pitch for your start up.
Come grab a seat with fellow Co-founders at 6.30pm sharp. Go ahead and register yourself absolutely FREE at www.entrepreneurcafe.org/ for the #GetMeMoneyHoney event with Entrepreneur Café in your city. See you there!