CHS Alliance, Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and AFFORD organised a capacity building event for diaspora volunteers and organisations working in the humanitarian sector in London on 20-23 November 2018. The training sessions included training on: Core Humanitarian Standards and Volunteer Management. A variety of diaspora organisations attended, this included: Himilo Relief & Development Association (HIRDA) & Hand in Hand for Syria (HIFHAD). The event is part of a series of events aimed at building diaspora capacity to work in the humanitarian sector and international development. The next training session will take place in January 2019.
1. Tell us about your business and the motivations behind starting your business?
The Radical Leap Company focuses on providing end-to-end strategy and grow solutions for brands leaders and organisations with the aim of increasing performance, productivity and profitability. In the course of working with businesses over the years, I noticed the need founders and co-founders have for consulting and long-term mentoring and advisory support to help minimise failure rates and increase chances of success. That led me to create different programmes that carter to start-ups in general as well as female founders, who have a higher churn rate (more start-ups and closures).
a. Start-Up Box™ – 1-2 day immersive to take ideas from concept to reality
b. Crystallize™ – 12-week accelerator programme for growth stage businesses
c. Female Founders Africa™ – 10-month programme for female-led, Africa-focused businesses
2. What do you find most rewarding about being an entrepreneur and working in Africa?
Being part of the positive transformation of businesses and the lives and communities connected to them. Being of African origin, I am passionate about helping African businesses compete on a global platform by become future-ready, more profitable and sustainable, with the aim of birthing more local venture capitalists capable of investing in start-ups in their home countries.
3. What advice would you give to young members of the African diaspora who are interested in starting a business in Africa?
a. Get on a plane and go to your country of interest. Market reports are brilliant but back that up with first-hand experience of what it feels like to be in the environment where you want to do business
b. Speak to locals and understand what the greatest need is. It’s dangerous to make assumptions based on own mind-set, media representation or market reports only. Africa is a dynamic market and change is constant. Understanding that could be the difference between success and failure
c. Respect local knowledge. Find allies or trusted partners who can guide you in discovering the business terrain of your country of interest. They are the experts in that regard
d. Understand both the business culture and social norms of your country of interest. Certain words and actions that are not ill-intended could damage business relationships
e. Follow economic and political changes of your country of interest closely. The survival of your business could depend on your ability to adapt or exit at the right time
4. What do you think are some of the key barriers in preventing people to starting their own businesses?
a. Fear of the unknown
b. Misconceptions based on second-hand knowledge
c. Lack of know-how of certain aspects of business or their specific industry
d. Lack of ongoing support (business coaching, consulting or advisory support, mentoring)
e. No access to funding to start-up (some businesses are capital intensive)
f. Not knowing how to pitch correctly to access the right funding
AFFORD’s Executive Director Onyekachi Wambu attended the Africa Philanthropy Network Series in Mauritius from 8th-9th November 2018. The event was organised to create a space for experienced and new philanthropy leaders who want to engage in conversation that would enrich each others’ understanding and practice on African philanthropy by developing and an African-generated and African-owned narrative about different forms and models of philanthropy in Africa.
Onyekachi Wambu attended the second day of the conference and spoke about how we can leverage diaspora time, money and skills for the development of African philanthropy beyond remittances with Amaha Kassa, founder and director of diaspora led organisation based in the USA African Communities Together.
The AFFORD Business Club (ABC) are working with great people and organisations who want to join us in supporting members of ABC. A4ID is our partner for all things legal. This month’s interview is with Joe Tan, the Deputy Head of Partnerships & Legal Services at Advocates for International Development (A4ID).
1. Can you tell us a bit about A4ID and the services you offer?
A4ID is global charity headquartered in London and a presence in Nairobi and New Delhi with a vision of working to ensure that the law and lawyers play a full role in the eradication of global poverty by advancing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Established over 12 years ago in response to the Asian tsunami crisis, it began as a movement of city lawyers who wished to use their skills practically to assist survivors. Since then, A4ID has worked at the intersection of law and international development. Remaining faithful to its humanitarian roots as a lawyer led movement, it is perhaps best known for its brokerage service. This service helps its registered ‘Development Partners’ (largely charities and other non-profit entities and some social enterprises but in more limited circumstances, also intergovernmental organisations and developing country governments, and legal professional bodies) to access pro bono (i.e. free) legal advice and assistance in support of their work. Development Partners approach A4ID with its draft projects which are reviewed and scoped by A4ID lawyers. The projects are placed on a list which is circulated to its network of ‘Legal Partners’ of law firms, barristers chambers, in-house lawyers at corporate organisations and legal academics. Legal Partners then have a week to bid on the projects of interest before the deadline of noon the following Monday. If a project is not picked up that first week, it will be placed back in the list and re-circulated for a second week and allocated on a ‘first come first serve basis’.
Aside from the brokerage service, A4ID provides a range of training programmes and literature. On the one hand, A4ID seek to inform and empower lawyers to get more involved in development issues, while on the other, it seeks to assist its Development Partners in understanding how the law can be used as a tool to advance their own social mission.
A4ID also manages the Rule of Law Expertise UK programme (‘ROLE UK’) funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). This programme provides financial support aimed at improving rule of law environments in developing countries by matching judicial and legal expertise, both private and public sector, with demand in developing countries to improve the policies, organisations and practices of legal and judicial systems.
2. What kind of law firms work with you and why?
Our network of Legal Partners comprise over 50,000 lawyers in more than 123 countries around the world. The majority of Legal Partners are large multinational corporate law firms based either in the UK or the US. We also work with several smaller law firms who are passionate about development and we are always looking for opportunities to build up a network of lawyers in the developing world, who can assist with domestic law advice. In the UK, we also work with some of the leading barristers and in-house lawyers who are among the best in their field of expertise.
We look to partner with lawyers who are willing and keen to offer their skills free of charge to support our Development Partners in need of legal advice and assistance. Quality of service is important to A4ID and we therefore partner with some of the world’s leading law firms, barristers, and in-house lawyers. Legal Partners have also provided This ensures that our Development Partners receive excellent legal advice for free. We monitor the quality of service closely and the overwhelming majority of feedback we receive from our Development Partners is highly positive.
3. What do you look for in organisations that you work with and support?
Our Development Partners come in many sizes and capacities. Some are large global multination enterprises headquartered in a large international city, others are single, start-up entities at the grassroots. The only criterion we demand from our Development Partners is that they must be seeking to further at least one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the developing world. The SDGs are indivisible and interdependent and organisations undertaking work that demonstrate this is something that we get quite excited about at A4ID. In the case of social enterprises, there are more levels of discretion and these organisations tend to be in their start-up phase. Having made profits and distributed dividends is also a significant disqualifying factor.
As part of AFFORD’s Diaspora Finance Initiative (DFI), AFFORD’s country partner the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) organised the 3rd Diaspora Investment & Policy Forum on 26 September 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria. Diaspora Investment & Policy Forums are an important part of AFFORD’s work as they provide decision makers, diaspora businesses and regulators with a space to have open dialogue on creating an enabling environment for SMEs.
The forum focused on building successful diaspora businesses in Nigeria through dialogue with business development institutions, local government, regulatory bodies, private sector and other stakeholders. A variety of organisations, businesses and regulatory bodies in Nigeria attended, these included:
- Ms Shalom Lloyd- CEO of Naturally Tribal Group
- Professor Ikhide Imumorin- CEO of African Biosciences Limited
- Mr. Soji Apampa – CEO of Convention on Business Integrity
- Empretec Zimbabwe
- AFFORD Sierra Leone
- Private Sector Federation Rwanda
- National Agency of Food and Drug Administration and Control
- Corporate Affairs Commission
- Sterling Bank- Nigeria
- Access Bank- Nigeria
The forum was successful in providing diaspora businesses with the opportunity to engage with policy makers and regulatory bodies in Nigeria. Diaspora businesses were able to have open dialogue with regulators on barriers relating to regulation and discuss sustainable solutions.
The next Diaspora Investment & Policy Forums will be led by AFFORD’s country partners in Zimbabwe and Rwanda later this year.
AFFORD attended the Royal African Society Autumn Reception at the British Academy launching the official patronage of H.R.H. The Duke of Cambridge on Wednesday 12th September 2018. Guests at the reception included various experts in the field of business, academia, the arts and education in Africa and the diaspora.
The Duke of Cambridge, in his speech, mentioned the importance of the diaspora as a bridge between Britain and Africa and also the need to focus on job creation, enterprise, investment and new technology to drive Africa’s development. We were pleased to see that his vision supports the current focus of AFFORD’s work.
AFFORD is seeking a Graphic Design Volunteer to design content for AFFORD’s website, marketing, branding, and social media campaigns. They will conceptualize, design, and create templates for reports, flyers, presentations, banners.
This is an excellent opportunity for an up and coming graphic designer to work on an exciting campaign celebrating successful African Diaspora Entrepreneurs and develop a portfolio of work for future employment opportunities or establishing one’s self as a graphic designer.
The ideal candidate should have:
- In-depth knowledge of Adobe creative suite and in particular Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
- Ability to work independently and in partnership with a team
- Must possess the ability to work towards deadlines
- Have good graphical skills
- Self-directed and willing to take initiative
- Excellent attention to details
CHS Alliance and Danish Refugee Council (DRC) organised a capacity building event for diaspora volunteers and organisations working in the humanitarian sector. AFFORD, as a partner of DEMAC and beneficiary of the European Union Aid Volunteer (EUAV) project managed by DRC assisted in organising the training programme.
The four day programme took place in London from the 11th-14th September 2018 and included training sessions on Understanding Core Humanitarian Standards & Principles, Strengthening Local Capacities, Resource Management, Understanding Complaints Mechanisms, implementing safety policy and an explanation of the European Union Aid Volunteer Certification process. A variety of diaspora led organisations throughout the UK and Europe took part, these included:
- Hand in Hand
- Danish Refugee Council
- Organisation of Rehabilitation of Somalia
- Homs League Abroad
- Lunchbox Gift
- The Organisation of Sierra Leonean Health Professionals
- Afghansk Kulturforening
- From Street to School
- Afghan Youth Association in Denmark
AFFORD received extremely positive feedback from attendees and will be facilitating further events and activities over the next six months.
AFFORD would like to congratulate The Global Native, one of our current grantees, for their great social impact on the lives of farmers in 3 villages in Zimbabwe.
The Global Native invest in large trucks in order to provide transport services to farmers in rural areas enabling them to move their products faster to more profitable markets. With The Global Native’s trucks, farmers can transport greater quantity of products at cheaper prices, transport their goods to the markets quicker, therefore increasing revenue and improving their livelihood.
AFFORD awarded The Global Native a £30,000 matched grant as part of the Diaspora Business Planning Competition in 2017. Over a period of 12 months, The Global Native has already made impressive progress. The grant has enabled them to scale up their work, buying a 40 ton truck. On top of AFFORD’s grant, The Global Native raised further investment from the diaspora through their Enaleni platform and have bought 3 additional trucks, creating a total of 23 new jobs. The Global Native works with Turning Matabeleland Green, who have trained over 10,000 farmers in chicken production and tomato growing in the southern region of Zimbabwe.
Na Ncube, Founder and Director at Global Native has found the support from AFFORD paramount in growing the enterprise and stated:
“AFFORD’s grant has helped us generate 100% increase in sales which would have been difficult without the extra injection of capital. Business expansion needs capital, and for most diaspora businesses this is a limiting factor in expanding our enterprises. Demand on the ground still exceeds supply therefore we are still looking for new capital to scale up further over the next year. If you are interested in investing in our work, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The AFFORD Business Club (ABC) has joined with Morrison & Foerster LLP, an international law firm, to provide a free event for businesses, charities and social enterprises to give you insight into what you need to know and do legally for your business.
Are you trying to figure out the best structure for your enterprise?
Is tax causing you confusion and frustration?
Are your contracts and agreements with staff and service providers really protecting you?
This seminar will look at these areas and more including:
• Types of business organisation, sole trader, partnership, company, charitable status
• Contracts, formation, effect and enforceability, standard terms and exclusion clauses
• Essentials of relevant employment law
• Tax considerations for entrepreneurs
• Avenues for conflict and dispute resolution
• Intellectual Property
• International trade: Import and Export
This free seminar is a vital session providing information on key legal areas of interest no matter what stage your organisation is at. It will help you identify areas of support that you didn’t know you needed!
This will also be an excellent opportunity for you to meet the team of lawyers who will be providing free one to one sessions for our ABC members. Come and find out about the other benefits and assistance you would receive if you became an AFFORD Business Club (ABC) member .
Date: Thursday 20th September 2018
Location: Morrison and Foerster LLP, 1 Ropemaker St, London, EC2Y 9AW
Time: 17.30 – 20.00
Whether you are a business, a charitable organisation or an entrepreneur, make sure you don’t miss out on this essential legal support opportunity!
The deadline to register is Tuesday 18th September 2018, and please note seats are very limited for this event so please register early to avoid disappointment.
If you have any questions please contact email@example.com