Boost for Molai’s entrepreneurship fund

BUSINESS REPORTER

African industrialist Adam Molai has received a major boost in his plans to provide entrepreneurs with capital to kick-start after angel investing and mentorship firm, Simba Global Startups, injected US$1m into the fund, Business Times can report.

The fund now has US$2m and will provide successful applicants with funds to launch or grow their businesses.

In November, Molai launched the US$1m JUA Kickstarter Fund to support African entrepreneurs.

Molai said last week: “The JUA Kickstarter Fund has partnered with Simba Global Start ups of US and now has US$2m to invest (US$1m JUA and US$1m Simba) in supporting African entrepreneurs in launching and growing their businesses.”

Simba CEO and founder Philippe Kisunzu said his tough upbringing in the DRC nurtured within him a vision for prosperity and hope for the people in his village which is best attained when entrepreneurs create jobs which are scalable, sustainable, inclusive and profitable.

“With a JUA- Simba investing partnership, I have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play an active role in making this dream a reality.

As a result of our JUA- Simba partnership, we hope to expand our vision exponentially on behalf of sub-Saharan African indigenous entrepreneurs who will not only create jobs for the citizens in the region, but also provide financial security for themselves and their families,” Kisunzu said.

“With JUA- Simba partnership, we look to optimize our synergies to produce a combined societal impact greater than the sum of our individual societal impacts.”

While SMMEs are indispensable for Africa’s economic recovery from Covid-19 devastation, raising start-up capital is one of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs on the Continent, with banks requiring collateral that most of them do not have, studies show.

Another big challenge is the absence of mentoring. Molai, who has successfully started several enterprises across Africa and whose TRT Investments had US$125m of assets under management as of end 2019, said a desire to inspire the continent’s entrepreneurial generation was behind the creation of the fund.

“Without entrepreneurs, economies cannot grow and countries cannot advance. But African entrepreneurs unfortunately do not get the support they need to thrive for a myriad of reasons. Yet Africa is full of enterprising people.

“Wherever there is adversity, there is opportunity. Africa is rife with adversity, wherever you turn business prospects are in abundance. Molai said the inspiration to create the JUA FUND was to highlight the importance of African businesspeople, demonstrating their confidence in the talent and entrepreneurial capacity within Africa.

“When people see Africans investing in our own environment, they feel more confident to invest alongside us. Confidence breeds confidence. And I am nothing if not confident in the future of Africa and in what we can collectively achieve,” he said.

Simba invests in bankable SME start-ups pioneered by exceptional indigenous entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa. ffffffffffff

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