Africa is experiencing immense growth in the private sector led by young and local entrepreneurs. These young entrepreneurs are adopting technology that is continuously boosting the continent’s growth potential and innovative spirit. With such rapid increases in available information and communication technology, there continues to be an increase in the number of jobs and opportunities available to Africans. With such robust growth potential, Africa unfortunately lacks the necessarily tools and resources in order to raise the vital funds for grassroots innovation.
Although crowdfunding can still be considered to be in beta phase in Africa, it has the potential to completely evolve the startup financing culture of the continent. It has already been adapted in certain African countries to create new and interesting online financing platforms. For example, there are as many as three crowdfunding sites in South Africa, i.e. StartMe, FundFind, and ThundaFund. There’s also M-Changa in Kenya and StartCrunch in Nigeria; however, I would like to focus on SliceBiz in Ghana.
SliceBiz is an “easy-to-use web-based investment platform that can be used by anyone to make ‘micro investment’ transactions.” This platform allows users to create an “angel investor” account that is linked to a payment source of their choice. This lets startups gain access to a wide number of aggregate investments from a large pool of “accredited” investors who belong to larger businesses. By doing so, startups can receive their initial capital from accredited investors before turning to a larger middle class group of investors to provide smaller funds. The purpose of this is to allow small African startups to gain the necessary attention needed from accredited investors who can essentially vouch for their ideas or products. With this type of financial and moral backing, these startups can move on to scale their impact across the continent.
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