I grew up resenting my environment and how things were done around me. Building my social life as a Nigerian, I mingled with several persons nurturing same thought and it was clear that nearly half the population wanted a change or at least an improvement but sadly, everyone had their way of dealing with things.
For instance, some of them went on to blame the government for their woes. They are probably right because, well, the government wasn’t performing nearly as half as they ought to. And if the government provided the basic amenities, perhaps more jobs would be created with a reduced crime rate. That will be a step closer to a better society.
However, these people quickly forgot that the government alone can’t build a country. The modern-day civilization is a partnership between the government and the citizens. In most cases, 80% of the structures are owned by the people but then again, the people need help in making it happen.
Most African republics are referred to as “The Developing Country” and while those who started this classification were only thinking of the little infrastructures in the countries, opportunists and other smart entities now know better. Indeed, the average individual would rather migrate to the developed world. Who would blame them? These places may come with serene environments and better infrastructures but there’s one major thing that can’t be compared to a developing country – opportunities.
You can debate it however you want but it won’t change the fact that developing countries offer more potential profitable opportunities than the world powers in terms of investing.
The key phrase: A developed country already has virtually everything you need but the developing countries lack most things and this is where the opportunity is. African countries hold several layers of opportunities for you to create these needed products/services for a large hungry market.
Africans spend a lot, no doubt. Even the British can testify how thousands of Nigerians troop in there to acquire properties and gadgets. This alone makes African countries a huge consumer market. It’s probably one of the reasons most mobile phone brands are moving their main distribution chain here.
Since Africa hosts thousands of opportunities, why are we not getting richer? Well, because not many of us are creating things. Yes, there are hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs but how many of them have the shot? Many of us have what it takes (the relentless technical founders, great disrupting concepts, etc) but there’s usually something holding us back – The Funds.
And hey, good luck convincing someone to invest in your idea as an African. Most of us don’t even have the funds to build the prototype, it’s that bad. How can a place with such a pool of opportunities, talents, creativity and hardworking people remain untapped? This still baffles our greatest philosophers.
Well, I wouldn’t say I’m good at cracking puzzles but to me, the answer is quite obvious. We need another partnership but not with the federation this time. Those with money need to also see these opportunities and envision how much more they can grow their money by investing in Africa or at least consider the good deeds and their ability to easily stand out just by backing an African brand.
Thankfully, investing in Africa is getting more convenient as companies like Slourish are creating ways for anyone to easily invest in Nigerian entrepreneurs. Slourish.com, a business micro-investing community-based platform founded by Latii Brayllot is now ushering in an exciting future for both investors and African entrepreneurs alike.
With a growing number of angel networks and venture capitalists now focusing on Africa, all it takes is for an investor to indicate their interest in the venture capital firm and in no time, that investor will be actively backing African brands without doing any of the hard work. An example of such venture capital is EchoVC.
Investment AB Kinnevik which was founded since 1936 is one of the largest listed investment companies in Europe and they are also actively getting their piece of the cake in Africa as they have invested in several notable African brands such as Millicom, Tele2, Jumia, MTG, Konga, Rocket Internet, Iroko Partners and several others. If you like investing through an investment company, investing in Africa through AB Kinnevik is a good option.
Some investors love to invest in groups and firms like Helios Investment Partners are always open to quality investors. Being a private equity and venture capital firm that invests in Africa, with a focus on Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya, you will be able to put your money to good use.
Moreso, if you are a fan of equity crowdfunding, companies like Uprise.africa are making it easier for anyone to easily invest in Africa without having to leave the shores of their homeland. According to Uprise.africa, investors only need to create an account on their platform and they could be investing in South African startups in no time.
Another great way of investing in African brands is by linking up with business competition organizers to get a clear view of strong African startup teams that are ready to change the way we do things. Attending the demo days helps you gain insight but being a part of it grants you a more convenient way of investing in them.
Africa holds thousands of problems that need quality solutions and if you are smart enough to tap in, going home richer will be the least of your rewards. To rephrase this, I would say Africa already has a bunch load of these solutions and what is left is for you to back them with some funds and boom! Everyone goes home happy.
Fortunately, the world is beginning to see the profitability in African brands and this is why startups like Paystack, Kobo360, Kudi etc. are now getting millions of dollars in investments from hundreds of both domestic and foreign investors.