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Seso Global partners with First National Bank to launch E-Mortgage Platform
February 5 @ 15:23 WAT
If you’ve ever been interested in fixing the gender gap issue women face in our world, being an angel investor and an active one at that, could just be a step in the right direction.
Alicia Robb, CEO of Next Wave Impact, recently narrated her encounter with a young female founder at a summit she attended last year. The young lady told her that she had gone to give a presentation at a pitch event and, upon arriving at the meeting, one of the men in the room had asked her to go and fetch coffee for everyone. She also mentioned how a male colleague had spent most of his time making advances at her while at a meeting. Another entrepreneur here in Nigeria had been asked by a potential investor about how she going to manage her business with her family and questioned her competence stating that ‘This is a male-dominated sector and I don’t see how you can cope as a female”
Stories like these are quite sad, yet would keep recurring if nothing is done. One thing that can, however, be done is involving more women angel investors in raising capital for small businesses. The huge gender gap in start-up funding is still quite alarming. In the US, for instance, female entrepreneurs still receive less capital funding than their male counterparts despite owing more number of businesses than males. We believe that this gap can be traced to the bias faced by females in raising funds because of their gender, and closing this gap is one cause Rising Tide Africa intends to push this further year.
Studies show a direct relationship exists between the number of funded women businesses and the number of female angel investors.
According to a study conducted by the University of New Hampshire’s Centre, the number of female-owned businesses increased from 3% in 2004 to 22% in 2016 as more women became involved in providing funding for start-ups increased within the same period (from 5% in 2004 to 26% in 2016).
We are not promoting sentiments or empathy, but we believe that having more women in the pitch room increases the chances for a female-owned business to be funded; that having more women on-board the angel-investment train will lead to increased diversity among the kind businesses that will end up being funded.
Being a female angel investor goes beyond being merely part of statistics. The impact is required. What will you do differently to help start-ups, starting with Nigeria? How will you create more impact this year with your title? How will you be more involved?
RTA operates under the four MINE pillars: Mentoring, Investment, Networking and Education. You can become more involved by joining y of these pillars. Let this year be our year of visible impact. Send a mail today to email@example.com and let us know how we can work together.
Connect with us online and across our social media platforms:
Facebook: Rising Tide Africa
LinkedIn: Rising Tide Africa
As a startup, you’re finally presented with the opportunity to pitch your business ideas a group of potential investors or clients. You have documented your ideas and you’re confident your pitch will leave your audience’s mind packed with questions of interest, but you have just ten minutes to wow them. You may be thinking of what tips to take to help you sell your business idea in ten minutes and return home with some good news.
Every innovator or entrepreneur will find themselves in this position at one point in their lives, and it is important that you are prepared for that moment. So, we have laid down the major factors that separate a poor pitch from a successful pitch.
Here’s a few tips to help you when pitching your business:
- Prepare yourself first, before your idea.
Most investors and potential clients will pay more attention to a business plan when the pitcher exudes confidence and a detailed approach. Your idea might be great, but you need to gain the trust of your audience.
Investors want to see how efficient you are, they want to know can you can sustain the business/project through its conception and growth.
- Use a case study with your pitch.
It is no news that stories keep people interested. Your audience is likely getting bored when you expose them to strictly statistics and data, although those are the keynotes in your pitch, endeavour to include case studies where possible.
- Capture only the key points.
Investors are more interested in the presentation than in the business plan. You can always go into more details when they have shown interest. Therefore, beating around the bush is extremely unnecessary when you have just 10 minutes. Focus on explaining the project, your strategies for growth, and your Return on Investment. If you are using slides, keep them short, engaging and straightforward.
- Have a plan for the future
Many investors usually move on to invest in new companies after a couple of years. How do you plan to make them believe investing in your project is a good idea? Do you plan to franchise? Sell the company’s assets? Expand into other business ventures?
- Know your audience
Before going for a pitch, it is important that you do a lot of research to understand your audience.
You will be looking out for questions like
What companies are they currently invested in? What kind of projects are they drawn to?
What business plans did those companies have?
How much time can your potential investor devote to your business?
- Improve your vocabulary.
There are certain phrases you can adopt when pitching your idea, it’s all on the internet. You don’t have to use ambiguous terms, because you will leave everyone confused.
Set a timer and practice. Try delivering your pitch within 10 minutes and see if you were able to capture key points. Practising will not only help you keep to the set time, but also boost your confidence.
Rising Tide Africa offers a ‘Call for Pitches’ event where startups and entrepreneurs are welcome to pitch their ideas. You can leverage that opportunity.
Find out more on Rising Tide Africa at www.risingtideafrica.test. Subscribe to our monthly newsletters and follow us across our social media channels to stay up to date with everything Rising Tide Africa.
There is little debate needed to ascertain that the skills from both an up-and-coming startup CEO combined with the experience of a seasoned CEO from a corporate company would do little to hurt the return on investment of any business. Startup CEOs bring energetic and fresh perspectives on how to maximize profits. They come ripe with innovative ideas and typically have a more comprehensive understanding about how digital technology can foster new opportunities for businesses.
On the other hand, if you take the experience of a CEO with — let’s say — 20-plus years of experience in the corporate sector, you’re getting the reliability of an executive who has a much better insight for developing strategies that work for organizational structures. Corporate CEOs have a discerning awareness about how to build teams that can execute ideas. They have knowledge on key areas to focus on and they are privy in how to use market research to enhance a business’ brand. I cannot think of a Board Committee that would not appreciate the talents of both a startup and a corporate CEO combined.
However, there are times when one outweighs the other. For instance, 19 years ago, an investor for a telephone company successfully talked the company into replacing its CEO with one who had more experience at managing teams and instituting processes. It took five months of persuasion before the founding CEO, stepped down to make room for the more experienced CEO.
Contrastingly, in 2015, Africa’s MTN Group named Rob Shuter, a 48-year-old, as the company’s new CEO, replacing Sifiso Dabengwa, who is almost 15 years his junior.
The reality — and the secret — to building a sustainable business is the team. Running a successful business takes a village, and the people around you will either make our break the company.
She addressed the state of angel investing in Africa, the need for more female investors and the full objective of Rising Tide Africa.
Formalizing the efforts of what she believes is an already existing culture of angel investing, will help ease the access of capital to entrepreneurs. “Culturally you are not termed an angel investor, but every so often you assist a family member or a friend. You give them money to start up something or to grow their business. It’s really done informally,” she stated.
Her passion for providing funding and mentoring opportunities for mainly female entrepreneurs is what led to the birth of Rising Tide Africa. She saw a gap and knew she was the woman to fill it. “It was not because they didn’t have good businesses, but there’s a certain way that an investor would look at a business and want it to be pitched,” she said as she described her eureka moment.
Every Rising Tide Africa member is expected to join a committee and contribute to all pillars of the network. They invest heavily in their mentorship of female CEOs with the aim to create global success stories to inspire and support more female entrepreneurs to seek the funding they need to grow their business.
The world of work as we know it is changing forever. As you read this article, it is quite likely that like many of us, you are working from home. While we must grit our teeth and go through COVID19, it’s also important to prepare for a post-COVID 19 world. The crisis has forced many organisations previously unwilling to formally accept working from home as normal business practice, to retrace their steps. I believe having now stepped into this new room, many will decide to spend quite a bit more time here, even after the crisis is over. Indeed, they may have no choice. Employees will be more demanding of their employers about the need for a work/life balance. This is just one of the ways in which the world will change when this crisis is over. Organisations have to plan and prepare for the new normal and, just as importantly, adapt to it.
Giving staff the flexibility of working remotely is a crucial part of the work/life balance strategies employers can adopt. If done correctly, it can boost staff morale, welfare, and performance. For many staff, the strain of commuting to and from work every day is monumental. Added to the strain, in the city of Lagos where I live, the hours lost sitting in traffic are a massive drain on productivity. A study done in South Africa showed remote working could boost the South African economy by $0.9 billion annually. Given the relative size of the Nigerian economy, that figure would be even higher here. From data collated in studies by Stanford University, Gallup, Harvard University and Global Workplace Analytics, people working remotely are 35–40% more productive than office-based counterparts and employers experience 41 % less absenteeism amongst remote working staff.
Virtual meetings via video conferencing using tools like Zoom and the like have become the order of the day in recent times. According to Reuters, the number of Zoom’s daily users ballooned to more than 200 million in March, from a previous maximum of 10 million as at December 2019. Other alternatives to Zoom include Skype, WebEx, and GoToMeeting. One can guess that they too, have seen their usage rise exponentially since the crisis began. The use of collaboration tools and software such as Slack and Microsoft Teams, which allow multi-location collaboration has also skyrocketed. Due to the COVID 19 virus and the resulting increase in remote working, Microsoft Teams usage has grown to 44 million daily users from 12 million in one week alone.
Here in Nigeria, the power situation might be a challenge for some people working from home. However, the use of inverters and solar energy devices could be the solution. Some companies are already deploying these devices to their staff to enable them work more seamlessly from home. Technology companies certainly seem to be beneficiaries of circumstances unpalatable to most, but technology is supposed to solve problems and act as an enabler. The bottom line is that technology is available to support effective remote working.
For women, in particular, the flexibility afforded by remote working cannot be quantified. It makes juggling the demands of work, family, and home so much easier. It allows them spend more time with the kids and at the same time, fulfil their work obligations. For instance, being able to work from home in order to keep an eye on a child who is unwell and therefore off school, would be a huge relief for any mother.
According to McKinsey, by increasing the participation of women in economic activities, African countries could add $316 billion to their collective GDP by 2025. Other research by the Catalyst found that companies with more women on their boards and executive committees perform better financially. With a more gender-balanced leadership team comes better decision making and reduced ‘group think’. It introduces new perspectives and is a wider representation of the company’s stakeholders including customers. This ultimately leads to improved corporate governance and shareholder value. McKinsey who have conducted research in this area for close to fifteen years, also found that African companies with at least 25% female representation on their boards, had a 20 % higher than industry average earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) margin. Gender parity is clearly good economics, yet many companies are either not getting the message, or are perhaps struggling with getting more women to the table.
Attrition rates for women at work globally are much higher than they are for men, particularly as women hit mid-career. This resulting ‘missing middle’ is well documented. A study by the UK’s Chartered Management Institute (CMI) found that while women occupy 73% of entry-level roles, this drops to just over 40% by the time they get to middle management.
According to additional research, 43% of highly qualified women with children opt to leave their jobs at some point. There are several reasons for this, but one reason is that they simply get fatigued and burnt out from the stress of trying to juggle work and home. Some women quit when they have babies. Others stay on only to quit later when the children get to school age, because they struggle to fit parenting activities into their schedules. What this means is that the pipeline of women available to make it into executive and board-level roles is reduced because of the missing middle. Furthermore, organisations are losing out on qualified and competent talent who can significantly contribute to increasing the bottom line. They also lose out on returns on their investment in training and developing this talent pool. A study by KPMG found that globally, the cost to businesses of replacing and training new employees to replace women who quit, is in the region of $47 billion. This is a huge drain on scarce resources, particularly now the world is staring an unparalleled recession in the face. Something has to change.
Amongst other options, one way to tackle the problem is by organisations embracing remote working, if they have not already done so. This new world will require some cultural and structural organisational adjustments to make it effective. Some of these adjustments could include changes to communication and performance management systems, but the benefits will far outweigh the pain of change. Aside from improving resourcing efficiencies, by embracing remote working, businesses stand to see higher operating margins, higher return on equity and a significant increase in shareholder value. COVID 19 has proven that working from home can work if we want to make it work. No pun intended.
By Ivana Osagie.
Ivana Osagie is a corporate strategist focused on building female leadership capacity and advancing gender balance and inclusion in the workplace. She is the Founder/Convener of the Professional Women Roundtable which advocates for advancing female leadership and gender balance. She develops programs and advises individual women and companies on these goals.
Rising Tide Africa’s sixth Deal Day event comes up in November 2020.
The Deal Day is an event where entrepreneurs are opportune to present their business to potential investors.
In light of the above, we are currently open to receiving applications applications from businesses which are female-founded and female-led (gender diverse management teams) profering solutions which are tech enabled.
The deadline for submissions of pitches is 9th of October, 2020.
Please submit your presentations using this format as only pitches submitted in that format would be reviewed for the Deal Day.
All submissions should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
OZÉ raises $700k seed round
OZÉ, a Ghana-based fintech startup focused on helping African small businesses grow by digitalizing their operations and providing them with access to affordable capital, closed a $700k Seed Round last week.
Rising Tide Africa joined other investors such as Anorak Ventures, Matuca Sarl and existing investors Ingressive Capital and MEST in the round. The fast-growing company will use the funding to grow its team, expand to Nigeria, and promote the newly launched iOS version of its business app. See the press release here.
“We are delighted to support OZÉ as it pursues its expansion to Nigeria and we look forward to accompanying the team as they empower MSMEs by giving them better visibility over their performance and access to the capital needed to grow,” said Ms Yemi Keri, Co-founder/Director of Rising Tide Africa.
About Rising Tide Africa
Rising Tide Africa (RTA) is an investment network funded by female investors who are harnessing their power, network, passion and capital to support the continent’s innovative start-ups to create a New Africa. For more information, please visit https://risingtideafrica.com/
Bankly, a Nigerian FinTech specializing in serving some 47 million plus unbanked/underbanked Nigerians, has just closed a $2million seed round led by Vault.
Rising Tide Africa, Vault, Plug and Play Ventures, and Chrysalis Capital all made investments in this round evoked by an alignment of interests to enable the financially underserved.
Rising Tide Africa’s key investment focus is investing in early-stage start-ups that are primarily female-owned, female-led or with a gender diverse leadership and management team. Bankly ticked all those boxes, becoming Rising Tide Africa’s 14th investment and 3rd in the African fintech space.
“We are delighted to support Tomilola Adejana, CEO of Bankly, in achieving her ambitious target of growing Bankly’s customer base to 2 million previously unbanked Nigerians over the next 3 years,” said Ms. Yemi Keri, Co-founder/Director of Rising Tide Africa.
Bankly will use the funding to expand its services, grow its customer base and build the partnerships and collaboration needed to deliver its ambitious targets.
Founded in 2018 by Tomilola Adejana and Fredrick Adams, Bankly disrupts the popularly known ‘ajo’ (thrift societies) by digitizing the informal thrift collection system and creating an avenue for inclusion of small-scale traders in the financial ecosystem.
It is estimated that about 56% of the unbanked people in Nigeria are women. Bankly will create a strong link between financial inclusion and gender inclusiveness by providing the opportunity for the unbanked (particularly the women who form the greater share of this group) to gain access to financial services including savings, credit facilities and payment services.
Phase 1 of a 3-step financial inclusion process includes the development of an agent network that bridges the gap between the formal and informal financial ecosystem by granting both offline and online cash-in points. Other solutions include access to loans and overdraft, bill payments, and deposits.
Tomilola Adejana said “Just in the same way mobile inclusion happened, you need to then focus on acquiring customers who, after transferring cash to their mobile accounts, use it to buy airtime or make payments. We call that the three-phase process. The distribution first, then focusing on the consumer, after that full digitization. This is how we reach financial inclusion.”
Bankly aims to expand its current agent network from 15,000 so it can cater to more of Nigeria’s underserved and unbanked people, increasing the percentage of banked Nigerians from 60% to 80%. An estimated 43% of people living in Sub-Saharan Africa (>450 million adults) are financially excluded, which means they lack access to a formal financial system. This presents a huge market opportunity is huge for Bankly and further iterates their commitment to meeting the needs of the financially excluded.
We are very excited at Aruwa Capital Management to have led this investment into Koolboks, a dynamic tech-enabled refrigeration company providing cost-effective cooling to business owners, particularly women, in off-grid areas in Nigeria and globally.
In the African continent, the refrigeration penetration rate is currently only at 17% with 770 million people across Sub-Saharan Africa without access to electricity. There are significant amounts of spoilage, particularly in the food and pharmaceutical industries, due to grid instability and lack of power.
Koolboks is solving this problem in a very cost-effective manner, by combining the power of two natural forces, the sun, and water, to create a refrigerator that can store energy for up to four days in the absence of power from the grid or generators.
In line with Aruwa’s gender lens investing strategy, Koolboks is co-founded by a woman Deborah Gael, with more than 60% of its management team being women and there is a significant representation of women in Koolboks customer network, with over 65% of the Company’s Koolpaygo customers being women, which is in line with our mandate to partner with companies who are economically empowering women.
We are grateful to our advisers on this transaction, our French legal counsel ASAFO & CO., our Nigerian legal counsel Duale, Ovia & Alex-Adedipe
and our financial DD partner Pedabo.
Congratulations to everyone involved including our co-investing partners’ Acumen, All On, Big Earth Capital, and GSMA.
We look forward to continuing to support Koolboks as they scale in Africa and across the world in their ambition to provide accessible cold storage solutions to all.
Seso Global, Africa’s leading digital property marketplace, has collaborated with First National Bank Ghana to launch the continent’s first e-mortgage platform for both Ghanaian and foreign real estate buyers. This new state-of-the-art platform will significantly enhance the process of investing in real estate in Ghana by allowing individuals to digitally search, submit and manage their mortgages.
Ghana has become one of the most attractive destinations for business and leisure in Africa. In 2021, CNN named Ghana among the 21 best countries to visit globally. Furthermore, the country’s travel industry is projected to raise $8.3 billion annually by 2027. Ghana’s status as a global hub has been underscored by the much-publicized success of the “Year of Return” initiative, a government-backed program that attracted millions of diasporans from around the world to reconnect and invest in their cultural homeland. It is no surprise then, that the country has also seen a significant increase in the demand for its real estate. Additionally, the emergence of established real estate developers and the upscale property has created a friendly market for foreign investors and made Ghana a top real estate investment destination. In comparison, however, Ghana’s real estate financing ecosystem has only marginally expanded over the years, making it relatively challenging for people to access the funds they need to buy property.
The creation of the innovative e-mortgage platform by Seso Global and First National Bank is an immensely important development in Ghana’s real estate industry. A great example of this is the fact that until now, only Ghanaians and resident non-Ghanaians with a resident and working permit have been allowed to obtain mortgages in Ghana. However, the e-mortgage platform is unique because it offers the first mortgage product that is available for both Ghanaians and non-citizens, whether resident or non-resident. This provision is especially important within the context of the increased demand for property in Ghana from the Diaspora and other foreign investors. Additionally, the platform will allow individuals to submit their mortgages and get feedback digitally which will simplify and ease the property purchasing process, significantly reducing transaction delays.
“As a leading provider of home financing solutions in Ghana, First National Bank understands the difficulties non-resident Ghanaians grapple with when it comes to homeownership. Many of them have had their trust betrayed by relatives and friends” says Mr. Dominic Adu, Chief Executive Officer for First National Bank. “The partnership between two credible brands like Seso Global and First National Bank to launch this e-mortgage platform means instances where individuals abroad are defrauded by friends and family back home will significantly reduce. Access to home loans in Ghana will be easier, faster and hassle-free”, he added.
Interested property buyers can research and access this exclusive mortgage product on the e-mortgage platform with the click of a button. The suite of mortgage products, denominated in both GHS and USD, are competitively priced and applicants are eligible to qualify for additional discounts of up to 1.5%.
In addition to the reliable online support it offers on its digital platforms, Seso Global also provides comprehensive in-person support for real estate clients in major cities around the world. In 2022, Seso Global launched new permanent offices in Los Angeles, CA, Columbus OH, and London, UK, staffed with expert sales representatives who will exclusively cater to clients with diverse real estate needs.
Seso Global has built Africa’s most trusted property marketplace which is a unique one-stop shop for digital real estate transactions. Through a unique ecosystem of services, they offer buyers access to trusted properties as well as professional service providers. This allows for a secured, efficient, end-to-end property purchasing experience along the real estate value chain. Seso Global is committed to developing networks and building more partnerships that make it safe and easy to successfully invest in African real estate.
First National Bank has been in the Ghana market for the last seven years operating eleven branches across three regions. In May 2022, First National Bank acquired a 100 percent stake in GHL Bank (formerly Ghana Home Loans).
Renowned as one of the most prestigious banks in South Africa, First National Bank has expanded across the continent and established itself in major economies including Ghana, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, and Tanzania. This year, the bank launched the Build Up 2022 homeownership initiative to help many Ghanaians to get onto the property ladder. The initiative has helped people with home ownership needs to build or complete their housing projects. Existing homeowners also get to build wealth by releasing equity in their property for cash.