Recap – Sources of funding for startup Discussion at Buni

On 21st November as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) Tanzania 2013, ZAYEE prepared a meet up session for local start ups and stakeholders from the Tanzanian financial sector. The purpose of the meetup was to expose the startup owners to the funding opportunities that can be easily accessed by them.

Among the speakers was Mr. Emmanuel Elisante General Manager of GroFin Tanzania, Mr. Novati D. Mushi from CRDB Microfinance Services Company, and Ezra Musoke from Jacana Partners.

Lillian Madeje Starting off the event

Ezra Musoke from Jacana partners explained in details about the funding opportunities from their organization but they were very clear that they are not investing on ideas or early stage startups since the risk is too high. Jacana Partners provide funding of between $1-5 million (or more through co-investors). So essentially Jacana Partners, mainly works with entrepreneurs with established businesses, who want to scale up their business.

Mr. Elisante, representing Grofin (a fund manager, providing funds between 100 Million – 2 Billion Tshs) explained in detail on the funding opportunities to the local small scale companies and the reasons why most of these companies fail to access those funds or even qualify for funds. Among the reasons that makes most of the startups do not meet the qualification criteria, according to Mr. Elisante was, lacking credibility since most of them don’t follow proper procedures of registrations and management. He explained more that company without financial records or clear operational procedures do not attract investors and funders investing on those companies.

Emmanuel Elisanti, General Manager Grofin Tanzania presenting

Another challenge was ideas that people are working on and their potential for growth, he said some of the ideas are too risky for funders and investors to put money on them. He argued startup owners to run their startups in a more disciplined and organized way and to be more flexible with their ideas to fit the funder’s requirements. He also advised the startup owners to save money and learn to bootstrap and work with the resources they have before running for funding. He wanted startup owners to have something on hand before trying to reach for funds.

The event was very interactive and most of the startups owners were keen on asking questions and trying to understand how the banking system of Tanzania can favor technology based entrepreneurs. Mr. Novati D. Mushi explained this in detail to the startup owners and the challenges that local banks are facing while trying to invest in technology based ideas and business models.
CRDB microfinance, who can lend between 200,000 – 10 Million to entrepreneurs has different models for lending. One of models, that looked like might be more feasible for young entrepreneurs, was for them as individuals to form groups of not less than five people that can be used as collateral for them to seek loans from the CRDB Microfinance

So for entrepreneur seeking small funds, would be good to form of a group of at least 5 people, and thus can be able to access the present funds. He insisted the group is just for guarantership.

Group photo of participants at the Funding discussion

In general the event was very useful to number of startups owners who attended the event. We received a lot of feedbacks to congrats us for organizing the event. The local startups were very interested with the discussion and requested future events of such kind to be organized by the space.

Thanks to the Organizers, Fatma Mabrouk Khamis, General Secretary Zanzibar Association for Youth Empowerment & Education (ZAYEE) and Ms lillian Madeje, Managing Director – Professional Approach Development

Links to Presentations are below

Jacana Partners – Novati Mushi
Emmanuel Elisante General Manager of GroFin Tanzania
Novati D. Mushi from CRDB Microfinance Services Company

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