Business Daily is a live programme that brings entrepreneurs together to talk about…well, business. Today’s episode was on Africa’s social entrepreneurs and the guests were Mary Dinah (CEO Job-Link Recruitment, Nigeria), John Kakungulu Walugembe, (Founder, Better Livelihoods, Uganda), Eric Guichard (CEO Homestrings, an investment platform for emerging markets) and (Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, Founder of Wecyclers, Nigeria).
Sometime during the programme, the discussion strayed towards the difficulties African startups face trying to get funding, and Bilikiss talked her challenges.
In her words, “As a business, we’ve been working for about four years now, and I literally spent about a year putting together investment proposal for investors. We’ve had people that we’ve actually gotten to the stage of an investment committee presentation. We’ve had people visit us from all over the word, talking to us and saying, “Hey, this is a great thing.” But I think investors are naturally very risk averse. They say that they want to be socially minded, they want to help social enterprises – which is fantastic. But I think they really needs to be a more of a risk mitigation minded.”
Eric Guichard started by giving her some advice, then he pulled a Godfather by saying, “Let me suggest that we will take your proposal and what we will do is, we will tie you up with a technology company in India to grow your asset base. We will issue a 3 to 5-year diaspora bond against those assets that will be backed 50% by the US government through USAID development credit authority.” Now, that’s an offer she can’t refuse.
I can’t even begin to count the great things that have happened in the Nigerian tech ecosystem over the past month. I mean, Mark Zuckerberg paid a surprise visit, OgaVenue raised, ToLet.com.ng raised, YC Partners are visiting this weekend…we’re (finally) getting that international exposure, yo.
Congrats, to the Wecyclers team.
You can listen to the full Business Daily episode here.