Highlights

9 September 2014

Kenya CIC looks at crowdfunding to boost clean-tech sector growth

On August 28, the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) launched the first-ever support program for crowdfunding in East Africa. The center inaugurated the initiative with a high-profile seminar on the latest market trends followed by a pitch competition for the 20 clean technology entrepreneurs who will participate in the program. 

19 June 2014

Enhancing Access to Finance for Technology Entrepreneurs

Analysis of Highly Innovative, High Growth Start-ups in Vietnam, Cambodia and Nepal

infoDev debuts a new study on the state of financing for highly innovative, high growth start-ups (HI start-ups)  in Vietnam, Cambodia and Nepal. The study provides a critical knowledgebase on the landscape in financing in these countries, details major gaps and associated barriers faced by these enterprises in accessing finance and offers recommendations to reduce the associated impediments.

13 May 2014

Creating Your Own Angel Investor Group

A Guide for Emerging and Frontier Markets

infoDev's new Guide for Creating Your Own Angel Investor Group aims to educate entrepreneurs and angels from around the globe. It offers hands-on examples, such as financial worksheets, application forms, term sheets, contracts, and checklists that may be used as templates. The publication is a substantial update of the original Kauffman Foundation’s 2004 guidebook, which targeted a U.S. audience. This international edition is written specifically for newcomers to angel investing, and highlights the successes and challenges of angel groups in emerging and frontier markets.

 

Resources

Analysis of Highly Innovative, High Growth Start-ups in Vietnam, Cambodia and Nepal

infoDev debuts a new study on the state of financing for highly innovative, high growth start-ups (HI start-ups)  in Vietnam, Cambodia and Nepal. The study provides a critical knowledgebase on the landscape in financing in these countries, details major gaps and associated barriers faced by these enterprises in accessing finance and offers recommendations to reduce the associated impediments.

 
 
This report examines the financing gaps for early stage and growth that high-growth technology entrepreneurs are facing in the information and communication technology (ICT), climate technology, and innovative agribusiness sectors in Zambia and Mozambique, with a more regional review of Namibia and Botswana as possible. It will analyze the unmet needs of these entrepreneurs— perceived demand and latent demand—as well as the existing sources of supply of private capital for seed and early-stage investment, and define the adequacy to meet these needs. The report also explores the challenges that angel investors have experienced in the past when attempting to finance early- and growth-stage start-ups in the region and, if and where appropriate, make recommendations relating to infoDev’s possible interventions. 
 
A Guide for Emerging and Frontier Markets

infoDev's new Guide for Creating Your Own Angel Investor Group aims to educate entrepreneurs and angels from around the globe. It offers hands-on examples, such as financial worksheets, application forms, term sheets, contracts, and checklists that may be used as templates. The publication is a substantial update of the original Kauffman Foundation’s 2004 guidebook, which targeted a U.S. audience. This international edition is written specifically for newcomers to angel investing, and highlights the successes and challenges of angel groups in emerging and frontier markets.

A new report by infoDev finds that the Caribbean diaspora is a sizeable, well-educated, and affluent demographic whose large majority is interested in investing in its countries of origin.  Supported by the right incentives and policies, diaspora members could play an even larger role in contributing to the region’s development.

A new report commissioned by infoDev studies the promise and the risks of crowdfunding as a tool to finance innovation and growth in developing countries. It also provides an in-depth case study of crowdfunding’s potential in funding clean energy and climate technologies.

Executive Summary

Access to finance is generally regarded as a major impediment to the development of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the East African region. The problem is perceived to be particularly severe in the case of innovative firms. The purpose of this study is to shed light on the magnitude and severity of the financing gap faced by innovative MSMEs and to formulate recommendations for operational measures that could alleviate the constraints identified. The study covers four countries: Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. It focuses on innovative ventures active in three lines of business (sectors): (i) information and communication technologies (ICT), including IT-enabled services such as business process outsourcing; (ii) climate technology (off-grid power systems, biofuels, etc.); and (iii) innovative agribusiness activities (producers and distributors of agricultural input, agricultural processors, etc.)

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About

infoDev Access to Finance Program

In the developing world, finding financing for a small business can be challenging. An entrepreneur may plunge personal savings into a startup, or ask family and friends for contributions—but then what? Banks are often wary of loaning to new ventures, and investors often overlook smaller-scale companies.

Many startups and small ventures in developing countries get caught in the so-called “Valley of Death”—the financing gap between an entrepreneur’s immediate resources and the investment floor of many venture capitalists and banks. Unfortunately, it dooms these fledgling companies in their early stages. A startup in the developing world may need only $100,000 to get running, but investors (to the extent they exist) often consider only proposed investments of $1 million or more.

To bridge this gap, our Access to Finance Program, supported initially by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland under the Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy Program designs and pilots early-stage financing facilities where entrepreneurs can get both the business coaching they need to thrive —and also to attract investments from nontraditional sources, such as angel investors, crowdfunders, and accelerators. Currently, Access to Finance activities are also implemented under the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean, financed by the government of Canada. Our program also carries out original research on new opportunities and challenges facing entrepreneurs, so that we and other organizations can be responsive to local needs.

For a deeper look at our Access to Finance Program, check out its chapter in our Work Program.