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APPLY: Africa Business Club New Venture Competition in 2019. Deadline, 30th November

The Harvard Business School invites applications for their Africa Business Club New Venture Competition in 2019 and as part of the 21st Africa Business Conference, the Africa Business Club is set to host the all important competition. Deadline is the 30th of November, 2018.

The New Venture Competition as explained, has the aim of showcasing the diversity of entrepreneurs making a difference on the continent of Africa. The competition is assessing the commercial merit and potential viability of the proposed new ventures. Teams with better technology or have attracted ‘beta’ customers may have a chance of being success in this competition. 

Organizers of this event also add that early stage ideas that have been well tested will received a great amount of consideration “based on their standalone potential” and the ability of the team to execute them.

The New Venture Competition by the HBS African Business Club is open to all African entrepreneurs with the goal of shaping Africa’s future. Therefore entrepreneurs who offer unique and outstanding homegrown solutions to local problems and meet the following eligibility criteria should apply immediately.

  • You must be an EARLY STAGE STARTUP either profit or non-profit.
  • Your business must be Africa focused and almost all your operations must be on the continent.
  • Do you employ less than 50 people and in less than 5 years of operation?
  • You must have raised less than $250,000 to date to be eligible to apply. 
SEE ALSO |  1776 Challenge Cup: 9 African Startups Compete to Make the Top 20 Global Finalist

What is in this for entrepreneurs?

The 10 successful finalists will be invited to pitch their businesses to over 700 attendees and receive feedback from experienced panel of judges. 

The ultimate winner receives $10,000 whiles the runner-up takes home $5,000.

The top 20 shortlisted ventures will also have the opportunity to showcase their companies at the Startup Fair to network and interact with the panelists and conference attendees.

To apply, DOWNLOAD THIS APPLICATION FORM, enter your company’s details, save the completed form and send it to hbsabcconferencenvc@gmail.com.

Good luck! 

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NEWS

Nestlé Partners with Nomanini to Boost MSMESs Across the Eastern & Southern Africa Region

Informal retail Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) across the Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) are set to receive a technological and operational boost for their businesses, thanks to Nestlé, Nomanini and Standard Bank.

Announcing the project today, Bruno Olierhoek, Chairman and Managing Director of Nestlé ESAR, emphasised that the region’s economic growth is interdependent on strong partnerships amongst various stakeholders, including the informal retail sector. “As one of the fastest-growing consumer retail markets in the world, Africa is full of economic potential. This potential lies firmly within the informal retail sector, which constitutes the vast majority of the retail market in Africa. To give impetus to this positive outlook, we have leveraged Nomanini’s technology to unlock business opportunities, drive economic growth, create jobs and improve ways of doing business.”

The vast majority of retail transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa are cash-based and occur in informal channels, according to IFC research. Many retail MSMEs are therefore unable to create the digital footprint necessary to access the credit they need to keep their shelves stocked with high-quality essential items. Additionally, many MSMEs across Africa have been negatively affected by disrupted supply chains, inter-trade, as well as reduced consumer sales, which have resulted from Coronavirus lockdown regulations. “Being able to support the creation of wealthier and healthier communities by providing working capital to retail MSMEs is a real win for all,” said Adrian Vermooten, Chief Innovation Officer at Standard Bank Group.

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“With Nestlé as one of our newest clients, we are able to address these and other key business challenges and transform the informal retail ecosystem through an innovative solution. Through our platform, Nestlé is able to provide much-needed access to sufficient working capital so that retailers can stock a wide range of high-quality products. This capital is offered in the form of physical stock rather than cash,” shared Vahid Monadjem, CEO and Founder of Nomanini.

He added, “Our solutions are designed with MSME retailers at the core so that we can support, rather than disrupt their businesses. We know that while many of these MSMEs are un- or under-banked, they would qualify for credit if they were. By using our technology and data, our partners can help MSMEs access credit responsibly.”

Nomanini’s platform analyses the sales history of an MSME to create a credit score. If approved, the retailer is offered an uncollateralised loan in the form of stock from Nestlé. MSMEs are given access to the working capital they need to grow their businesses without having to open a bank account or visit a bank branch. When it is time to repay the loan, they do not need to go to the bank or even have a bank account to make an electronic transfer. 

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Following the successful implementation of the trial of concept in Zambia, Nestlé is set to expand the solution into other countries, benefitting thousands of MSMEs across the region.

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