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5 Senegalese Investors to Reach Out to Launch Your Own Start-Up!

by Olufisayo
Senegalese Investors- Khadim Bâ

West Africa is a land of investment. This is evidenced by certain countries such as Senegal, which relies on a large population of young entrepreneurs not afraid of developing innovative projects or putting their talent at the service of the population.

These young individuals, some of whom already have a solid footing in finance, do not hesitate to launch initiatives to help the weakest carry out their projects, notably thanks to private financing funds.

At the head of such initiatives those African entrepreneurs inevitably stand out from state organizations, such as the General Delegation for Rapid Entrepreneurship for Women and Youth (DREWY), by playing the role of complementary solutions in the financing of young entrepreneurial nuggets.

Star Businessman in Senegal and Young Entrepreneurs’ Philanthropist, Meet Khadim Bâ

Khadim Bâ and his dazzling career in the worlds of finance and solidarity economy no longer need an introduction. A genuine figure in his native Senegal, the entrepreneur has managed in just a few years to straighten the agricultural leasing company Locafrique, turning it into a first-rate infrastructure for financing activities related to the hydrocarbon sector.

It is worth reminding that Senegal has colossal natural resources, making the city of Dakar one of the key players in the oil and gas industry within the region. The local authorities, as Khadim Bâ, are now fighting to ensure this industry benefits Senegalese people first and foremost.

Along with these activities, the businessman is committed to implementing further personal projects, linked to the desire to support local entrepreneurship. Accordingly, a financing fund dedicated to entrepreneurs “outside the system” should soon be set up, for all Senegalese with very little means; an initiative that should make it possible to support those who cannot afford a bank account, or very small structures, such as VSEs.

In this way, Khadim Bâ can be considered a “Business Angel”, one of those providential investors who do not dither to offer financial support to any company with a project that seems innovative and good for the country.

The Senegalese star entrepreneur ticks all the boxes of the benevolent investor: both a business leader with a great deal of entrepreneurial experience and a generous contributor who does not waver to take risks by investing personal funds. To find all the latest news about Khadim Bâ on the Internet, visit his official website at khadim-ba.com.

Omar Cissé and Olivier Furdelle, at the origin of Teranga Capital

Of the most popular initiatives in Senegal to support small businesses, Teranga Capital is one of them. This first venture capital fund, founded by the duo Omar Cissé and Olivier Furdelle, aims at supporting small Senegalese companies that wish to achieve their growth objectives.

With the help of Teranga Capital, these small structures obtain liquid assets that are usually cruelly lacking. In an interview given to the online news site StartupBrics, Omar Cissé stated that “the lack of financing and the reluctance of banks to lend to entrepreneurs who are starting out is a major obstacle to the development of small businesses.

According to him, this situation contributes to slow down the economic activity, and constitutes the weak link of the Senegalese entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Founded in 2016, Teranga Capital is a private company under Senegalese law. The main actors of the project are, for example, private structures such as Investors&Partners, whose investment and financing activities are primarily intended for small businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. Hence, Teranga Capital’s long-term objective is to build a dynamic SME based at home, working mainly with local entrepreneurs and suppliers.

Marième Diop, founder of the Dakar Network Angels

According to a recent report conducted by the investment fund PartechAfrica, African start-ups managed to raise over $1 billion in 2018. Among the investors behind these results is the Dakar Network Angels (DAN), active in Senegal since March 2019.

The founder of this infrastructure, Marième Diop, is accompanied by a network of professionals with solid experience in the financial sector. The DAN organization has already had some great successes, such as raising funds for the Coliba association. This Ivorian start-up is currently specializing in plastic waste recycling and should very soon be set up in Nigeria, a country considered to be one of the most important economic powers in West Africa.

In other words, the Dakar Business Angels association is on the verge of becoming a major player in the financing of young companies in West Africa. This is partly due to the professional experience of its members, all of whom have a long-standing relationship with the finance sector.

Thiaba Camara Sy, President of WIC Capital

Of all the initiatives that stand out in Senegal, we should also take the time to talk about these leading women who are taking action in favor of small businesses. Therefore, Thiaba Camara Sy, Women’s Investment Club (WIC) President, is leading a group of female professionals with the objective of addressing the financial, technical, and operational challenges that women entrepreneurs in West Africa regularly face.

The Dakar-based company WIC Capital, in addition to the savings of financial partners, is responsible for the savings of 80 women. It is safe to say that this feminist initiative is the first of its kind in this French-speaking region of West Africa. This key player acknowledges the lack of support for women entrepreneurs, who are often forced to fall back on “traditional financial mechanisms such as banks and microfinance institutions”.

The Women’s Investment Club was established in March 2019 with the initial purpose of providing appropriate solutions for the development and growth of women’s businesses. Initially, financial resources were raised to support micro and small enterprises in all sectors – an investment strategy valued at between $50,000 and $250,000 at the time.

When Thiaba Camara Sy is asked about her long-term plans, she replies that her ambition is to go further and further in the search for micro-structures that can help and contribute to the development of the economy of West African countries. The hope is always to progressively remove the barriers that hinder the development of businesses created by women.

Afrikwity, or the first participatory financing platform in Africa

Despite some successful initiatives led by dynamic investment funds in West Africa, there are still major challenges for the most fragile entrepreneurs, who are often too small for banks and not attractive enough for some investment funds. Confronted with this situation, participatory financing platforms, such as Afrikwity, can also be used.

This initiative is the work of the French-Tunisian Thameur Hemdane, who has already had some notable successes with the completion of Isahit start-up (first socially responsible platform to offer small jobs in the digital field in Africa) to the tune of 400,000 Euros.

Image Credit: khadim-ba.com

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