Zimbabwean businessman Adam Molai, has launched a US$1 million venture capital fund called JUA Kickstarter. Molai who has set up a number of enterprises across Africa through TRT investments, says that the driving force behind JUA was to inspire and support Africa entrepreneurs.
“Without entrepreneurs, economies cannot grow and countries cannot advance. But African Entrepreneurs unfortunately do not get the support they need to thrive for a myriad of reasons. Yet Africa is full of enterprising people.”Adam Molai via Business Day Nigeria
The greater goal that JUA is trying to meet is getting Africans to invest in their own startups and small businesses. At present, the largest proportion of venture capital (VC) investment in Africa is dominated by North America (53%), Asia (39%) and Europe (15%).
These traditional players in the venture capital space present some challenges for African entrepreneurs. Some of those challenges according to Molai are:
- Labourious requirements which include collateral and tenure
- Conventional biases that traditional sources of funding have. They have a certain way of doing things that might not suit the African ecosystem.
- Lastly, there is the red tape, there is often a long duration and processes that have to be adhered to before disbursement.
In light of all of these challenges Africans must invest in their own entrepreneurial ecosystems. This will allow for the creation of funding requirements that are bespoke to the different stresses and starins that each African country presents.
“When people see Africans investing in our environment, they feel more confident to invest alongside us. Confidence breeds confidence. And I am nothing if not confident in the future of Africa and in what we can collectively achieve.”Adam Molai via Business Day Nigeria
Over the next two months, JUA Kickstarter will be taking applications from African entrepreneurs who want to set up a small business and require a capital boost. Applicants will be shortlisted based on a number of criteria which include, impact on the continent, employment creation and impact of the investment on their enterprise.
After the assessment process, finalists will selected and will compete in a five day elimination style contest. Each day will have a selected theme and participants will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges. At the end of the week the businesses that make it will immediately be given a commitment to funding.
For all those interested in participating you can access the application form with the link here.