Entrepreneurship-focused crowdfunding platform Afrikstart is also at the forefront by empowering African entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow businesses. Founded by Stanford University online students, Afrikstart is a one-stop platform to fund, train, and mentor entrepreneurs in Africa. Afrikstart was recently declared the winner of the 2015 Africa TechPitch.
Organised in London by the Africa Technology Business Network and supported by Appsafrica, the Africa TechPitch showcased high-impact and high-potential African-focused tech start-ups bringing disruptive and innovative solutions to cater the African market.
Six startups were shortlisted to pitch at the event, among which Safe Motos and InvestwellAfrica. Safe Motos is an Uber-like app making Rwandan motorcycle taxis safer and more convenient. InvestwellAfrica is a matchmaker helping businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa to attract funding from institutional investors.
Edwige Boum, founder of Afrikstart, who pitched at the event tells Appsafrica.com: “We are pleased and grateful to be the winner of the 2015 Africa TechPitch. The technical support and expertise we get from the sponsors will definitely help us launch the crowdfunding platform faster.’’ As well as funding, Afrikstart helps provide e-learning and training also, which echoes the sentiments of Evangeline Wiles, Managing Director of Kaymu Nigeria who explains that education is key in driving eCommerce in Africa.
60 million unemployed young Africans
Over 60 million unemployed young Africans plan to sustain themselves by creating their own ventures but they lack the networks, business advisory and entrepreneurial skills to kickstart their projects.
The platform will be an innovative alternative to these critical issues with a one-stop platform to help them raise non-equity money from donors and lenders worldwide via the crowdfunding platform, to finance start-ups and small businesses, provide e-learning courses on entrepreneurship and business management and match African entrepreneurs with mentors worldwide and as well connect African entrepreneurs via a social forum.
One-stop platform for African Entrepreneurs
Edwige explains that Afrikstart are a one-stop platform for African entrepreneurs, in particular, youth (under 30 years old) and women:
- Afrikstart empowers entrepreneurs in Africa by giving them access to necessary funding needed to launch their businesses, through connections with donors and lenders worldwide.
- Afrikstart embraces a holistic approach by teaching the technical skills required to start and run efficiently a business through online entrepreneurship courses.
- Afrikstart connects African entrepreneurs with mentors worldwide.