This month the Africa Digital Media Foundation moderated a mini masterclass organised by the Ambitious Africa Kenya team, featuring one stellar Kenyan entrepreneur, and one far-reaching Finnish investor.
ADMF is part of the leadership team of Ambitious Africa Kenya, a new initiative promoting education, entrepreneurship and education. As part of Ambitious Africa’s efforts to create learning and exchange opportunities between Africa and the Nordics, ADMF’s Head of Foundation, Claire Baker, moderated a mini masterclass on investments this month. The session was hosted on Dealroom, which offers the opportunity to host panel discussions, rountables, and conferences, but also offers one-on-one meeting functionalities, so you can effectively close deals right on the platform!
The mini masterclass featured Johanna Raehalme, Investment Manager at Finnfund, a Finnish development financier, and Navalayo Osembo, Cofounder and CEO of Enda, an innovative Kenyan sportswear company. The mini masterclass took us from one side of the investment table to the other, with a first mini masterclass from Navalayo, who has successfully raised investment through family and friends, through crowdfunding, from angels, and from external investment funds. We then crossed over to the other side and heard from Johanna, who shared a mini masterclass from the point of view of the investor, and what they look for, and how to go about your investment courtship.
Some of the top lessons gleaned from this were that you need to develop an incredibly thick skin as you go out to pursue investment for your business or idea. The number of rejections you will almost certainly get before getting that wondrous ‘yes’ could cause many entrepreneurs to give up, but that is part of the journey.
As a development financier and investor on behalf of Finndund, Johanna was adamant that you should just go and approach any potential investor you want to pursue, and to not be afraid. They may love your idea and want to know more, but even if they don’t you have nothing to lose! Both speakers were upfront about the challenegs involved, but insisted that everything is possible, and if you do intense research, if you’re passionate about your idea, and can justify your business case, there is room for everyone.
Despite the current travel challenges, Finnfund, and Johanna, continue to engage new potential businesses to add to their portfolio, and have simply adjusted the way they conduct due diligence.
A global audience tuned in to hear from Navalayo and Johanna and ask questions, but it’s not too late if you didn’t make it; you can catch the full recording here.