In November last year, Zimbabwean businessman Adam Molai launched JUA Kickstarter, an initiative that seeks to fund and promote African entrepreneurs. The fund’s initial purse which stood at US$1 million, has been boosted by an investment from US-based firm Simba Global Start-ups to the tune of an additional US$1 million.
“Simba Global Start-ups has pledged to match, like-for-like, our contributions which is absolutely incredible. This is an example of how Africans can work together to solve the challenges facing the continent. As an African entrepreneur who has experienced the gruelling journey of establishing businesses, I firmly believe that Africa’s destiny lies in the hands of Africans.”Adam Molai
Simba Global Start-ups may be based in the United States but its co-founder Dr Phillipe Kisunzu was born on the continent:
“Born in the DRC, I am a child of the continent who grew up experiencing the atrocities of its civil wars. These intense challenges nurtured within me a vision for prosperity and hope for the people in my village and community. My deepest belief is that this vision is best attained when entrepreneurs create jobs which are scalable, sustainable, inclusive and profitable. With a JUA-SIMBA investing partnership, I have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play an active role in making this dream a reality.”
What is JUA Kickstarter and what makes it different from all other VCs?
The fund was set up in order to give African innovators funding that was more in tunes with their realities. When an African startup gets funding from international backers they often face challenges which include:
- 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.
JUA Kickstarter is looking to address these problems by offering African entrepreneurs funders with close ties to the continent. This, at the very least, ensures that entrepreneurs get backers who are in tune with the rigours of their respective nations.
The partnership betweeen JUA and Simba is one step to creating a more comprehensive continent wide funding ecosystem.
If you are interested in applying for JUA Fund Kickstarter Olympics, applications close on the 31st of January and you can find the form in the link below.