This post was originally published on TNWAfrica by CP-Africa’s Nmachi Jidenma…You can read the full interview via the link below this post. By the way, check out The Next Web Africa regularly to find out what is buzzing in Africa tech.
Interview with Ben White, Founder, VC4Africa
TNW Africa: What is VC4Africa?
Ben White: VC4Africa is the largest and fastest growing social network for investors and entrepreneurs dedicated to building sustainable businesses in Africa. Our business is connecting people and ideas. We are the only open and accessible platform dedicated to the subject and our members come from more than 250 countries.
TNW Africa: Why did you start VC4Africa?
Ben White: Microcredit is too small. It is great for buying a goat, but then what? What comes after? What happens when you need an office space and need to hire employees? What happens when you need to grow and scale your business or when you need investors who understand the business and can help you work through really tough decisions?
On the other end of the spectrum, you have the banks and larger financial institutions but they are looking for big deals with as secure of a return as possible. For entrepreneurs starting out, often times with minimal track-record or little in the way of assets, it is a feat just to get a meeting… let alone having to swallow the exorbitant interest rates and unfair terms if the meeting actually goes well.
TNW Africa: Why in your opinion hasn’t this space tackled effectively?
Ben White: It is hard. One of the biggest challenges for investors is finding good entrepreneurs with solid ideas who actually have the ability, infrastructure and network to implement. At the same time, there are many entrepreneurs ready to take the next step but need help in their business plan preparation. They also need guidance and support needed to navigate the investment process. It is in these spaces that I continue to see a need for a true peer-to-peer network. VC4Africa is a community of like-minded entrepreneurs and investors that share the same mission of building great companies in Africa. It is these businesses that will provide the continent with the jobs and taxes it needs to develop. As a community we also believe it is okay to lend a helping hand and support each other along the way. After all, we share the same goals and all want to see Africa prosper as it should.
Read the full post on The Next Web Africa here
Check out success stories of African entrepreneurs who have been able to raise funding.
Omoyele Sowore of Sahara Reporters – Amount: $450,000 by the Omidyar Network. Read all about it here
The team at Pagatech – Amount: Undisclosed. Funded by acclaimed investor, Tim Draper. Read all about it here