At Venture Capital and Private Equity in Africa (VC4Africa.com) is an online community for investors and entrepreneurs dedicated to building business on the continent. We believe that entrepreneurship should be the main driver in Africa’s economic growth, in particular the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that provide much of Africa’s employment, income and hope for a better future.
SMEs contribute around two thirds of national income and provide the foundation for a stable middle class in many African countries. They help form strong communities and are a powerful force for poverty reduction. SMEs play a significant role in building economic stability and sustainability for the future. As Africa enters the new millennium it faces a challenge to provide better economic opportunities for citizens through sustained growth and alleviating the poverty that has long plagued the continent.
It’s our belief that the most meaningful impact will still come from grassroots entrepreneurship and local efforts. It is important to support this bottom-up approach of citizens working to tackle local challenges and build on the idea that any person anywhere in the world might have the skills, knowledge and resources needed to make a difference. For more information visit: vc4africa.com
In the effort to bring the right people together we know it is important we meet 'offline' as we do 'online.' For 9 months we have been using the BarCamp model (an international network of user generated conferences - open, participatory workshop/events, whose content is provided by participants) to organize our very own series of VC4Africa Meetups.
Already we have hosted VC4Africa meetups in Johannesburg, Abuja, Kampala, Nairobi (2x), Kigali, London, Washington DC, San Francisco, New York and Atlanta. We like this open format because it means that anyone can participate. Any member of VC4Africa can organize a meeting in their area whenever they feel there is a need.
A VC4Africa Meetup in Amsterdam
For the first Amsterdam meeting we hosted 18 entrepreneurs with vetted business plans. And not just from East Africa but from Mozambique, Ghana, Congo and Niger too! Can you believe that?
Needless to say, this was a great chance to connect them with possible partners and investors. Also friends and other people curious to meet them.
We had over 50 members join the networking event and facilitated many discussions between entrepreneurs and investors. We also had the chance to introduce the new VC4Africa logo and handed out t-shirts and stickers to members attending!
As with all VC4Africa Meetups, they are simply a place for members to meet one another and share thoughts and ideas. No speeches, no agenda, nothing planned. The loose structure allows for lots of networking. Just remember, everyone is expected to pay for their own drinks:)
Want to join our movement?