Getting a business off the ground or build it once started is challenging and in some instances seemingly impossible. SMEs in both developed and developing countries are enormously challenged by myriad of factors – with one of the main challenges being access to finance.
It is therefore no secret that raising the needed capital to launch a business is by no means an easy task, most particularly for women and young entrepreneurs. Over the years, West Africa Social Entrepreneurs Network (WASEN Ghana) has been able to identify social enterprises, startup and SMEs who uses business principles to solve societal problems. WASEN Ghana has built mentorship and empowerment programmes around these businesses increasing opportunities for their growth and success.
Our peer-selected investment approach delivers strong results for both early-stage social enterprises and impact investors. Although WASEN Ghana seek more investment options to project the goals of these social enterprises, it has become evident that a growing investor demand with more diversified portfolios are needed – one which generates capital and build a customer base for social entrepreneurs simultaneously.
WASEN Ghana is therefore launching a new platform that will allow social enterprises, startups and SMEs to advertise and distribute their products to millions of customers thereby increasing exposure to potential impact investors and customers.
The platform will help social enterprises, startups and SMEs sell their products and seek for donations / finance through crowd technology. It will further connect early-stage startups and SMEs to accredited impact investors.
It intends to invest in key sectors, including but not limited to: improving education, increasing access to financial services, sustaining agriculture, making housing affordable, making healthcare affordable and accessible, supporting clean energy technologies and increasing job opportunities for women and young people alike.
The fund will give an opportunity to women and young entrepreneurs in financially underserved countries empowering them through international public investment, rather than foreign aid or charity.
Many creative and innovative ideas of women and young entrepreneurs fail before reaching the market due to lack of funding or slow sales. WASEN Ghana is partnering with the international community and other Impact investors to ensure funding is made available to these groups of entrepreneurs across Africa.
This initiative has the potential to become a complete game changer putting the needed “capital or fund to work” thereby enhancing the growth of women and youth enterprises in emerging markets.