Meetup: Africa focused entrepreneurs, investors and supporters connected again, this time in Amsterdam

Amsterdam-meetup
Last Wednesday, VC4Africa hosted a special meetup together with BiD Network in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, bringing together Africa focused entrepreneurs, investors and supporters from the area for some informal networking. We had a chance to catch up with some of the attendants. And check out more pictures from the meetup below!

Martin Diatta, Founder of Bumbou:

Martin

“I’ve been a VC4Africa member for three years. This year I’ve created a venture profile for my company Bumbou, and I’ve now applied for fundraising in VC4Africa’s September Cohort. My company Bumbou is an African business-to-business portal, open to any person in the world interested in doing business in Africa, presently we have around 3000 members from Africa and the rest of the world, especially China and India.” 

What was an interesting connection you made at this meetup? 

“Great to meet all these people working on business in Africa! For example someone who is helping SMEs in Ghana get access to finance, but also many others. I am originally from Senegal and presently live in Lille, France. When I read about the meetup in Amsterdam, I booked a bus ticket from France to The Netherlands to join. Back in France I’m going to organize a VC4Africa meetup in Lille!”

(The new meetup in Lille, France will be announced on the VC4Africa website soon!) 

Affiong Wiliams, Founder of ReelFruit, Nigeria:

Affiong

“I’m here in The Netherlands as a finalist to the BiD Network’s Women in Business Challenge. My company ReelFruit produces ready-to-eat dried fruit snack. Reelfruit currently makes variants of mango and pineapple. It’s sold in over 10 locations in Lagos, Nigeria. I’m presently raising money to expand. For entrepreneurs it’s not easy to find early stage investors in Nigeria!”

What was an interesting connection you made at this meetup? 

“I spoke to some investors. One said it’s also difficult to find worthy businesses to invest in. Interesting to know. It was also good to speak to the VC4Africa team and to get more information about VC4Africa’s criteria for fundraising.” 

(Update: the next day Affiong was announced as the winner of the BID Women in Business Challenge! Congratulations!!)

Mark Schneiders, Chief Development Officer at financial service provider ADC: 

Mark

“We are mainly investing in banks in Africa. We stated as a private equity fund and are now listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange. We have branches in Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and other countries; via BancABC, Union Bank of Nigeria and other companies.” 

What was an interesting connection you made at this meetup?

“I found it interesting to meet VC4Africa, an interesting network. There were many interesting people at the meetup. From agribusiness to green energy to the Netherlands-African Business Council. And for me it’s inspiring to see what new tech companies are developing in Africa.” 

Luc Pieters, Business Consultant and Trainer:

Luc

“I’ve made some investments but don’t consider myself a real investor: I just invest or lend out small amounts of a few thousand euros at a time. But I’ve seen there’s a big need for this! For example, recently a small shop in Lagos needed just 1500 euros to get a bigger shop. I’ve seen that for me the time to get my money back is short, and I can get more return out of these kinds of investments in Africa than I can in The Netherlands.” 

“There are many small businesses that want to improve or expand but don’t have access to finance. They are too big for microcredits but too small for VCs and banks. Who is taking care of them?” 

What was an interesting connection you made at this meetup? 

“I’ve met a variety of people willing to exchange and contribute expertise. For example I spoke to someone who has studied value chains in Ethiopia, and someone else who shared with me what it takes to shift from meat cattle to milk cattle production.

For me this meetup was a good introduction to VC4Africa. I’m starting up working on consultancy and business development, it’s interesting for me to see the network and hear what is happening in different places.” 

It’s great to see the local VC4Africa community and other Africa focused entrepreneurs, investors and supporters come together like this! Already more than 60 VC4Africa meetups have been hosted across Africa and across the world.

Are you interested in organizing a VC4Africa meetup in your own city? Get in touch: just pick a date and fill in the form! If not a VC4Africa member yet, join here. Happy networking!

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