The innovative finance platform will also focus on other forms of financing including crowdfunding.
S tories are still being told of how difficult it is for startups and to a lesser extent Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to get funds from traditional banks to grow their businesses. To surmount the challenge, some young Cameroonians have brainstormed and came up with an alternative method of innovative financing which will solve the problem. Under Gilbert Ewehmeh, the young people on-board created a structure known as StartUp’nkap; an innovative finance and investment platform that connects start-ups and SMEs to investment opportunities in Cameroon and Africa. The innovative finance platform, according to its Operations Manager, Gilbert Ewehmeh, will focus on four principal methods of financing start-ups and SMEs namely crowdfunding, Angel Investors, Equity Investors and Venture Capitalists.
Crowdfunding, which is one of the surest ways to raise money through the internet has no guiding framework in Cameroon which means crowdfunding cannot be done in Cameroon. For it to be possible, the Ministry of Finance has to make policies that will facilitate the hosting of crowdfunding in the country and if not, the business venture will have to contact someone in Europe to host the crowdfunding and subsequently send the money raised to the person in Cameroon.
To connect Start-ups and SMEs to investors, StartUp’nkap in collaboration with YES Cameroon will organise an innovative funding sensitisation event on April 17 dubbed “Carrefour de Finance”. The event will focus on financial institutions where banks will be proposed alternative ways of financing without necessarily asking for guarantee while investors coming from neighbouring Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and the USA will be given reasons why they should engage in one or two of the four innovative financing including Angel Investor, Venture Capitalists and Equity Investors. Once StartUp’nkap hit the target of FCFA 100 million, it will finance start-ups and SMEs by placing an insignificant interest rate that will be motivating enough and convenient to pay back.
Speaking during a meeting with start-ups and SMEs in Douala recently, StartUp’nkap’s management including Triya Swebu, Rollin Foko, Willy Zogo, David Bokta and Nana T. Georges all enlightened participants on the activities of the innovative finance platform and encouraged them to venture into innovative businesses that can be industrialised and create jobs in order to be selected for funding.