Business Angels Provide Investment Wings to Help African Start-Ups Fly

Business Angels Provide Investment Wings to Help African Start-Ups Fly

Africa is now in safe hands, with business angels Khadim Bâ, Karim Goudiaby, Firmin Kouadio, Rebecca Enonchong and Aldo Fotso watching over her!

africa business angels

Acting as investors and advisers to promising start-ups, these angel investors now form an influential and respected network. Here are portraits of five business angels who deploy their assets to support projects with strong growth and return on investment potential.

Business Angels: indispensable mentors for the African economy

As individual investors with expertise and resources, business angels help innovative companies to get off the ground by financing a solid and viable project. The objective is to later recoup the economic benefits with an attractive return on investment. 

Beyond the financial component, these investors also bring their entrepreneurial skills in management to bear. They train entrepreneurs, introduce them to the market and to finance, so that they can go on to cope with these matters on their own and subsequently win over even larger investors. Angels also provide valuable assistance through a powerful network of contacts – an often-decisive lever in the success of a start-up company.

These business angel networks differ from state structures set up, for example, by the Senegalese Government and are intended to encourage and support entrepreneurship with the sole provision of funds.

They are used to investing their own funds and follow the evolution of the company over an average period of five years, a sufficient length of time to generate a capital gain.

Once the inception phase is over, companies are then in a position to use venture capital to increase their funds without asking for a guarantee from traditional credit institutions.

Khadim Bâ – Businessman and benefactor 

Khadim Bâ is part of this new generation of businessmen known as business angels. Of Senegalese origin, this mid-thirty, married and father of four stands out with a brilliant career rewarded, amongst other things by a HEC diploma in Hydrocarbon Management, in Montreal. Khadim Ba has always believed in the huge potential of his homeland: Senegal. His ambition is to make Dakar the largest black gold transit zone in Africa while increasing its refining capacity.

Khadim Ba is currently the Managing Director of Locafrique, a financial institution specialised in leasing in Senegal. The future of Senegal and Africa hinges, as he likes to say, on African youth, who, as he puts it in the words of Saint-Exupéry, “does not foresee the future but allow it to happen”.

In parallel to his activities as Managing Director, Khadim Ba is working on the establishment of an investment fund to support young entrepreneurs in the realisation of their plans to create, expand or diversify their businesses. These new entrepreneurs will be supported not only financially but also in terms of advice and expertise to allow them to achieve their goals.

His vocation of encouraging and accompanying young Senegalese in their innovative projects is a perfect fit with his desire to participate in building a future full of promise for Africa, whose immense potential is obvious to him.

In addition to his brilliant academic career, it is above all the philanthropic dimension of the man that should be highlighted. A true humanitarian at heart, Khadim Bâ has contributed to all sectors of activity in Senegal, occasionally taking risks that he fully assumes.

Karim Goudiaby – at the origin of several successful websites

A French citizen of Senegalese origin who used to run W3 Corporation, Karim Goudiaby is the founder of several successful websites, including Vivastreet, a classified ads website, and Appartager, a flat-sharing platform.

In 2013, this business angel commits to Afrikrea, an e-commerce website dedicated to African fashion, arts and crafts. The platform, inspired by Etsy, has over 10,000 items for sale from 400 regular designers and is now a great success.

Karim Goudiaby has adopted one clear rule: invest in teams made up of people with diverse and complementary profiles. They have to prove that they are able to rise above their comfort zone in order to give the best of themselves to reach and achieve a common goal.

Firmin Kouadio – fostering Ivorian start-ups

The Ivorian businessman Firmin Kouadio has been working in communication and advertising for over 15 years. This business angel has chosen to invest in companies close to Abidjan where he lives permanently. This geographical proximity allows him to maintain regular contact with the company executives in which he is a shareholder and to help and support them when they are facing difficulties. 

Firmin Kouadio has financed and accompanied structures such as Allomiam, a fast-food company, and Gabea, a Limited Liability Company (LLC) that specializes in agriculture. The businessman, who has held shares in these start-ups for seven years, has put his expertise at their service over the entire period to ensure they flourish and become solid and competitive SMEs.

Rebecca Enonchong – choosing digital against poverty

Cameroon businesswoman born in 1967, Rebecca Enonchong is the founder and CEO of AppsTech, the world’s leading provider of business applications.  This business angel has understood that Africa’s growth hinged on the development of digital technology, and she is widely known for her work in promoting technologies in Africa.

A brilliant woman, Rebecca Enonchong accumulates recognition and holds, among her many functions, the chairmanship of the Board of Directors of Afrilabs, a pan-African network of more than 174 innovation centres that support more than 500 000 entrepreneurs in Africa.

Rebecca Enonchnong is also the Vice President of the African Business Angels Network and supervises the growth of several technology startups.

Aldo Fotso – believing in the future of Africa

Cameroonian by birth and grandson of King Kamga, King of Bandjoun in the West of Cameroon, Aldo Fotso has a particularly well-rounded CV and is known as the CEO of Africangels- the first African network of business angels. This investors’ club oriented towards Africa and its Diasporas gathers investors businessmen, seeking an operation that would combine interesting investment and support African companies on the continent and internationally. 

A keen enthusiast of entrepreneurship, Aldo Fotso cultivates a passion for the business world and for creating wealth for Africa. Aware that a successful economy is the key to Africa’s future and development, he endeavours to support and accompany serious entrepreneurs in their journey.

Over a second phase, he hopes to expand the existing network so that those new entrepreneurs can in turn support other projects when their own will prove successful.

Gary McFarlane

Gary McFarlane

Gary was the production editor for 15 years at highly regarded UK investment magazine Money Observer. He covered subjects as diverse as social trading and fixed income exchange traded funds. Gary initiated coverage of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies at Money Observer and for three years to July 2020 was the cryptocurrency analyst at the UK’s No. 2 investment platform Interactive Investor. In that role he provided expert commentary to a diverse number of newspapers, and other media outlets, including the Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard and the Sun. Gary has also written widely on cryptocurrencies for various industry publications, such as Coin Desk and The FinTech Times, City AM, Ethereum World News, and InsideBitcoins. Gary is the winner of Cryptocurrency Writer of the Year in the 2018 ADVFN International Awards.