Teranga Capital, Khadim Bâ, Babacar Birane: Business Angels networks, a financing alternative for Senegalese entrepreneurs

Bringing a project into life, turning an idea driving us, or making us vibrate into reality and which becomes our overriding ambition, is the feeling shared by many entrepreneurs with ground-breaking projects. Read more: Teranga Capital, Khadim Bâ, Babacar Birane: Business Angels networks, a financing alternative for Senegalese entrepreneurs

Teranga Capital, Khadim Bâ, Babacar Birane: Business Angels networks, a financing alternative for Senegalese entrepreneurs

Bringing a project into life, turning an idea driving us, or making us vibrate into reality and which becomes our overriding ambition, is the feeling shared by many entrepreneurs with ground-breaking projects.

But the difficulties arising from that are multiples and often linked to one single problem: the lack of proper funds.

How many might promising ideas never have seen the light of day without outside help to finance them and accompany them in their development?

This is an issue all the more relevant today in Senegal since the West African region is confronted with a serious lack of attention from investors, despite many bright talents with innovating ideas. Of course, banks may give the illusion of being a solution, but they rarely have adequate financing in accordance with each stage of young companies’ entrepreneurial projects.

We can indeed observe a large financing gap for young companies. However, other alternatives exist to allow project holders to join the entrepreneurial ecosystem, because yes, the promising future of Senegalese projects is being felt.

Crowdfunding platforms are emerging in Senegal and are becoming an increasingly useful and fruitful solution for financing our Senegalese entrepreneurs. Accompanying structures are flourishing, some of them with already well-known names.

This is where actors with a revealing name, the business angels, come in; or in a literary translation, ‘business angels.’ People involved in the world of innovation decide to support start-ups that they consider to have high potential and added value, thus enabling new companies to thrive. In this way, business angels offer a financial investment but also share their skills, experience, and network.

Financing through the investment trust Teranga capital

The first high-impact private equity company dedicated to financing and supporting high-potential small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Senegal bears the name of Teranga Capital. Teranga Capital was designed to give Senegalese entrepreneurs the means to realise their projects by providing them with financing and strategic support.

At the head of this investment fund is business angel Olivier Furdelle, the founder and managing director of Teranga Capital. After having co-founded his own start-up and worked as an independent consultant specialising in private equity and SME financing in Africa, he decided to create his own investment fund to help small Senegalese companies structure themselves.

So far, Teranga Capital has invested in about fifteen companies. Among them, La Vivrière, a Senegalese SME specialised in the processing and marketing of local cereals, has received several awards from the European Union.

In 2019, La Vivrière became the Senegalese African cereal company, thanks to the investment of Teranga Capital. This partnership has brought La Vivrière into contact with stakeholders, support for reflections on the start-up’s national development, and a structure for the development of management methods and tools. So many skills and know-how are necessary for a young company to develop.

Dakar Network Angels, the new network of angel investors

Since March 2019, another network of business angels has emerged, the Dakar Network Angels (DNA). This Dakar-based investment fund was created under the impulse of Mareme Diop. There, investors choose the projects they are interested in supporting and then provide them with personalised support.

The network currently includes 31 potential investors across four continents. These ‘angel’ investors share their expertise with high-growth start-ups and bring in capital to provide high-value solutions. This enables the selected start-ups to solve problems that would be difficult to overcome without support.

By way of example, the start-up Coliba was the first company to be supported by DNA. Coliba is a start-up that uses technology through web and mobile applications to promote the recycling of plastic waste. This innovative project was able to appeal to DNA, which granted it a USD$25,000 fundraising, thereby permitting it to evolve more rapidly without financial constraints.

Concree, an accompanying partner for start-ups

Business angel’s community does not stop there. Others are emerging, such as Concree, created by Babacar Birane. Concree refers to itself as a virtual tutoring service that aims at boosting the start-up ecosystem in Senegal. The founder Babacar Birane himself, co-founded Baobab corporation entrepreneurship, a web platform with the ambition to solve human resources issues.

Concree is the first step in implementing Baobab entrepreneurship’s mission by bringing together business angels and project leaders. Before any partnership, Concree has indicators that allow investors to follow the evolution of entrepreneurial projects in order to make the decision to invest, and this, at the right time.  Each entrepreneur has the possibility to find a collaborator and a mentor who will accompany him/her throughout the development of the start-up.

The start-up incubator, the African Participatory Investment, a tailor-made support

Confronted with the difficulties encountered by the West African country in attracting the attention of investors, another investment fund has been created, with the aim of bringing the light on our young Senegalese entrepreneurs who find themselves limited or even hindered by the financial system: The African Participatory Investment. This investment fund, launched in 2015, is an incubator that targets three to four SMEs per year.

The objective of the AIP is to provide tailor-made support, to enter into the capital of the SME, and then to withdraw after a five-year period of support to allow the project holder to become autonomous. This desire for emancipation is essential to the African Participatory Investment Company, which hopes to see its entrepreneurs one day take the place of business angels in its network.

We couldn’t close this article without speaking of our latest business angel, which is none other than Khadim Bâ. Today, as General Manager of the West African Leasing Company Locafrique, the number one leasing bank in Senegal, he aspires to add more strings to his bow by facilitating young project holders to turn their ideas into reality.

Aware of the new economic issues affecting young companies, Khadim Bâ has now made it his mission to work with them to participate in the deployment of high value-added start-ups through a financing fund. If you are interested in financing your business project, developing your growth plans, and benefiting from a network in Senegal, we invite you to contact him by visiting his brand-new website about his work as a Business Angel.

Several solutions do exist today to promote Senegal’s potential. The lack of funds and the absence of investment should no longer justify the absence of entrepreneurial projects. Nothing should justify the halting of a promising project. Our country is full of talent with innovative ideas, so we encourage you to do your utmost to make your idea blossom and turn it into your own start-up.

 

 

 

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Teranga Capital, Khadim Bâ, Babacar Birane: Business Angels networks, a financing alternative for Senegalese entrepreneurs

Source : Business Matters More   

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We’ve run out of excuses for the world’s supply chain woes

For almost two years now, the world has been living in supply chain hell. The disruption caused to the distribution of consumer goods is widespread and set to persist far beyond the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more: We’ve run out of excuses for the world’s supply chain woes

We’ve run out of excuses for the world’s supply chain woes

For almost two years now, the world has been living in supply chain hell. The disruption caused to the distribution of consumer goods is widespread and set to persist far beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s a major factor behind the growing problems we face with food security and nutrition – described by the UN as a ‘humbling reality’. And it’s a problem that demands better answers.

In recent months we’ve been presented with a vast array of different excuses for the world’s supply chain woes. The HGV driver shortage, lockdown, problems at the ports, in the canals, political disputes and, lest we forget, the weather. Doubtless some new, unexpected external challenge is already waiting in the wings, ready to make headlines.

And this is the crux of the matter. External supply chain hindrances have always existed and will continue to exist for as long as there is global trade. Even the pandemic doesn’t fully explain how things have gone so wrong.

This is because the problems with the flow of consumer goods run far deeper. There are underlying structural concerns that continue to inflate the price of food, drink and other staple FMCG products, irrespective of inclement weather, grounded container ships, or Brexit.

It’s time to stop looking for convenient excuses and acknowledge that our supply chains are no longer fit for purpose – how can they be, when they consistently keel over at the first hint of external pressure?

Problems at home and abroad

Wherever you go in the world, the core problem is the same. The process of getting products from the factory into merchants’ stores is broken.

There are issues at every stage in the distribution journey – too many intermediaries adding complexity and muddying the relationship between brands and distributors; too much reliance on expensive, cumbersome cash rather than digital payments; and too little sales data.

FMCG brands don’t know who they’re selling to. Distributors are trapped in a world of antiquated manual trading processes. And as for merchants, they are finding it increasingly hard to get the products they need onto their shelves at a price their customers can afford.

To illustrate this point, in the past 12 months, FMCG brands lost $1.8 trillion in sales because their inventory didn’t make it onto merchants’ shelves in the first place. $19 trillion of non-digitised payments between merchants and distributors are adding at least 10% to the cost of the goods being bought and sold. Such levels of inefficiency are totally unsustainable.

While rising prices may be a mere inconvenience in western markets, in emerging economies – where billions of consumers still buy and pay for products locally – there’s a potential crisis in the offing. The consumer goods we’re talking about are everyday items like pasta, nappies, and coffee, which low-income consumers cannot afford to go without.

Supply chain inadequacies make it hugely difficult for brands to sell into these markets. The local infrastructure is inadequate or too hard to access, meaning that a typical FMCG brand will only ever reach a tiny fraction of prospective merchants. Unless steps are taken to transform the efficiency of the world’s supply chains, prices will continue to rise, and product availability will get worse. The impact will be devastating, both for individual households across large parts of Latin America, Africa and Asia, and for millions of local merchants unable to grow their businesses as a consequence.

The answer is clear: we must digitise B2B supply chains, cutting cash out of the equation and restoring visibility and transparency to a murky, convoluted and wasteful trading environment.

In pursuit of a ‘sell anywhere’ economy

FMCG brands and manufacturers are not deaf to this issue. Far from it – many of the world’s biggest companies have invested small fortunes attempting to digitise their merchant bases, only to be greeted by the understandable riposte: ‘What’s in it for me?’

Merchants don’t want to be locked into walled gardens or forced to adopt technology that makes their lives more onerous and complex. Of course, they too want to digitise. However, what they seek is the tech that will allow them to engage in open, frictionless commerce. This means gaining access to more products, improved visibility into what is locally available, the opportunity to build up a digital trading profile for the first time (bearing in mind that many of these merchants are unbanked).

Hence, a different approach to supply chain digitisation is needed, one that provides a holistic solution rather than addressing only the brand side of the equation. The goal should be the creation of a ‘sell anywhere’ economy in which any brand can access any local merchant via any distributor.

This is not some fanciful utopia. Local distribution networks already exist everywhere. It is simply a question of access. Digital technology can enable this access, but only if the technology architects adopt a merchant-first mindset. As any good economist will attest to, when local merchants flourish, global FMCG brands also prosper.

With prices rising and supply chain excuses wearing thin, it’s time we changed how consumer goods are bought, sold and shipped. Bringing local merchants into the digital ecosystem may not speed up the ships between ports, but by championing open, digital commerce, we can greatly improve every other aspect of the distribution journey to the benefit of brands and consumers the world over.

By Justin Floyd, CEO and co-founder of open commerce platform

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more:
We’ve run out of excuses for the world’s supply chain woes

Source : Business Matters More   

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