Access to finance has been one of the many challenges that African start-ups have been grappling with.
Bantaba, a platform that enables Startups in Africa to access talent and capital from the diaspora community by creating a link between Diaspora and African Start-ups has moved to bridge this gap.
The platform which looks to help boost African businesses leveraging technology to address the continent’s various challenges (tech based businesses) – fintech, healthtech, ecommerce, logistics, software, agriculture to investors.
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“Entrepreneurs can access Bantaba’s services by signing-up to our platform. The sign-up can be done on our website: BANTABA. When registering, the Startups will be able to describe what problems they are solving, what impact their solution is having on the community and more importantly what their needs are in terms of talent and capital.” Said Co-Founder & CEO of Bantaba, Lamin K. Darboe.
Bantaba is among 8 start-ups chosen by Stockholm School of Economics Business lab incubator which is like the Oscars of the Business world having produced Klarna, a Fintech Company that provides online financial payment all over Europe.
“To get a spot in the incubator, we had to impress the experienced Board of Admissions, consisting of Sebastian Knutsson who is the King (Candy Crush) CEO among other business leaders.” Says Catherine Kyule, Marcomm Manager.
The community centered platform will foster innovation in Africa by enabling startups to access the diaspora’s resources.
What’s the criterion for selection of the beneficiaries?
According to the CEO, for accessing talent from the diaspora, the platform is targeting startups that already have an ongoing business i.e. a ready product or service that is already being sold or tested in the market.
“We believe this is the stage at which such startups can harness the maximum value from the diaspora support to scale their businesses.” Said Mr Darboe.
For accessing capital from the diaspora, startups will need to be validated by the platform’s local incubator/accelerator partners in order to launch fundraising campaigns. This validation through local partners will help to assure the quality of investment opportunities presented to the diaspora community on our platform.
Bantaba will be launched in June 2021 and with a target of having 1000 startups signed up and matched with relevant diaspora talent by June 2022.
“Our vision is to become the link between Global capital and Africa’s startup ecosystem, starting with the diaspora. We want to mobilise the resources necessary to support the women and men addressing Africa’s biggest challenges.” Said Mr Darboe.
The Bantaba platform comes in at a time when businesses are taking a hard hit from the Coronavirus pandemic, a situation threatening to cripple many businesses. Start ups are at high risk of kicking off in these economic times and thus this platform comes as a ray of hope for the businesses.
According to Data by the World Bank, Eastern and Southern African countries were hit hardest by the economic impacts of COVID partly because of the stronger output contractions in South Africa and Angola.
“Disruptions in the tourism industry and lockdowns will cause substantial slowdowns in Ethiopia, Kenya, and the island nations. In West and Central Africa, the decline in growth is projected to be driven mainly by oil exporters. Activity among non-resource-intensive countries, including Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Senegal, will slow but not contract, helped by relatively more robust growth in the agriculture sector. Fragile countries in the region are expected to experience a strong decline in growth as COVID-19 exacerbates the drivers of fragility.” World Bank says.
This platform will therefore come in to cushion startups and help them maneuver in the tough times as well as give growth prospects to these businesses.