It is not every day that young men and young women with burning and out-of-the-ordinary business ideas get to meet an angel investor in an elevator or meet a venture capitalist by fluke.
A local TV show based in Tanzania made that scenario a reality, by bending the ropes of bureaucracy and lengthy proposal-writing to make big dreamers, change-makers and transformative business owners maximize their reach.
‘Nipe Dili’, Swahili for Give me a Deal, is a rather unique program that connects young African social entrepreneurs with investment opportunities, networks and resources to take their business operations higher, and Tanzania is the starting point.
For many young people with startups, this platform is the new haven for maximizing impact; to others this could be an opportunity to showcase their abilities or for gaining insights on respective industries from experts.
With only two seasons under its belt, Nipe Dili believes that “In the wake of the fourth industrial revolution, the youth population boom, and the urgent need to catalyze mass employment opportunities on the continent, we recognize that African businesses, and not government alone, hold the key to Africa’s progressive future,” according to its December 8 press release.
These are new ideas introduced to the Tanzania business audience and could be the next big thing across East Africa.
A TV show for Impactors
Unlike Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank, Nipe Dili comes to the table with a uniquely crafted show that focuses on various social impact entrepreneurs and is published exclusively on YouTube.
The show created by Khalila Mbowe, the founder and CEO of Unleashed Africa Social Ventures, one vibrant youth-led social enterprise, focused entirely on youth development, social innovation and entrepreneurship, and believes in paving the way for young people and providing them with a platform to highlight their stake in the region’s progressive future.
“It is all about opportunity, connecting African social entrepreneurs to investment opportunities and networks that would then take their businesses to the next level and then to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams,” said Khalila Mbowe.
Begun in 2019, with showcasing 17 social entrepreneurs, this year the show brings 10 interesting Tanzanian social entrepreneurs.
According to Nipe Dili, at present, the region is experiencing a wave of youth who are dedicating themselves to be part of the forefront of the continent’s change agenda.
“Driven to see life-long progress, these social entrepreneurs use business acumen to create scalable and adaptable solutions to challenges in every sector; from healthcare, agriculture, communications, service delivery, transport and logistics, tourism, financial inclusion, technology, small to large scale manufacturing, the arts and creative sector, infrastructure, food security and so much more,” the Nipe Dili press release reads.
Nipe Dili comes to the fold along with KCB’s Lion’s Den TV show of the same philosophy, believing that the core passion for transformation is not in itself enough to truly build an impactful and lifelong business.
Nipe Dili substantiates this by arguing that “many enthusiastic start-up entrepreneurs are witnessed to launch their start-ups and yet get stuck along the way, never reaching growth and scale. The reasons for this are wide-spread and can be extremely contextual. From unsupportive policy and regulatory frameworks to the lack of adequate technical skills and leadership skill-sets to build scalable ventures to the lack of capital, networks, resources and much more”.
On cross-examination, it is not every day in Tanzania, or anywhere else for that matter, that social impactors can pitch their ideas to the best minds in the industry and in return, acquire tailored and carefully curated guidelines, capital and networks to boost their ventures.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) forecasted Tanzania’s economy to grow at 5.2 per cent in 2020 despite the COVID-19 shocks, and yet there were several sectors of the economy that registered faster credit growth as highlighted by the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) report on September 2020, such as transport and communications (23 per cent), personal related activities (largely micro, small and medium enterprises) (16. 3 per cent) hotels and restaurants (9.89 per cent).
This means there is a wide net to be cast across Tanzania and Nipe Dili can showcase much more potential, as it promises to be committed to being a platform that supports the growth of youth-led impact businesses, and a bridge from start-up to growth and scale.
Why Nipe Dili Matters
In the second season, a slew of entrepreneurs rained the stage and presented their ideas to a panel of experts and entrepreneurs on different fields, and most importantly outstanding impactful business ideas were revealed, along the lines of agriculture, education, food-delivery and finance. Notable among these are:
Darasa Line—a digital interactive platform providing skills on arts and entertainment to all creative arts aspirants across Tanzania. With the young being the target market, the start-up is now in negotiations with universities to integrate lessons through their service. They pitched for financial support of about $21,573 going directly to product development, but also Victor Nyakirang’ani, founder of Darasa Line asked for technical assistance and network of class instructors.
Albany James—founder Food Sasa, a food delivery platform based in Dar es Salaam. With an app and a website, one can place an order from within seven kilometres of your current location. The startup has executed over 8,000 food orders, secured 1556 active customers and had nearly 2000 app downloads. Since its inception, it has drawn $16,000 of revenue, but is in the red. The company pitched for $156,000 in exchange of a 5 per cent stake to invest in marketing, hire key staff and web-development.
Margareth Bonepastor—founder of Kwikloan Africa Microfinance Limited, aspires to get Tanzanians financially connected, by developing a mobile app that gives people access to get financial literacy and further on get a quick loan after filling out tailored e-forms. Kwikloan bridges the gaps unbanked and uncredited individuals have been facing by automating the loan application services, providing incentives that conventional loan providers don’t offer, such as giving incentives to customers whenever they do a referral, repayment period extension for punctual repayment, sizeable loan and better interest rates.
All these ideas germinate with a promise of sustainability, as they prolong the abilities of the common person to execute different facets of human interest, such as learning (Darasa Line), seamless access to food delivery (Food Sasa) and decent availability of sizeable credit (KwikLoan).
Hence, the show poses great potential in helping impactful entrepreneurs expand and develop their respective communities. Nipe Dili aims to create powerful content that inspires the next generation to uplift their entrepreneurial ideas and build a network of impact and vision-driven entrepreneurs who dare to shape their future.