enterprise

AFFORD Interviews #DiasporaTransformer Noreen Makosewe

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

3rd Diaspora Investment and Policy Forum in Lagos, Nigeria

 

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:

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.

The Global Native: Enhancing agriculture in Zimbabwe

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 info@enaleni.org.” 

AD3 2018: From Locally Known to Global Brands

AFFORD’s 18th annual African Diaspora & Development Day (AD3) took place on Friday 7th July 2018 at Chatham House: The Royal Institute of International Affairs. This years theme ‘From locally known to global brands – Where are all the global African brands?’ focused on the scalability of African businesses. We would like to say a big thank you to Chatham House, our speakers, guests and all who assisted in making AFFORD’s 18th annual African Diaspora & Development Day (AD3) such a wonderful and interesting event. The line-up for the event included AFFORD Chair, Mr Ade Adaramy and four key speakers: Mr Henry Thompson from Chatham House, Ms Rubelyn Alcantara from Uhusiano Capital, Ms Pumela Salela from Brand South Africa and Mr Paul Asquith from AFFORD.

Panelists discussed opportunities for investment among African businesses and key barriers for smaller businesses to attract investors, if you are a business owner or entrepreneur who would like to receive regular updates on business opportunities within the diaspora and gain access to a range of benefits relating to business development, click here to find out more about the AFFORD Business Club.

To find out more about the event and topics discussed regarding the scalability of African businesses and investment opportunities, click here to read a short report summarising AD3 2018 and check out our Facebook page to see official photos taken on the day.

 

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