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Impact Investment Key to Global Reach and Success: ATRN hints

Impact Investment Key to Global Reach and Success: ATRN hints

By Isaac Asare

An impact investment forum aimed at bridging African startups with global investors has taken place in Accra with speakers stressing on the critical need for increased investment in Africa to address complex business challenges that require support from key investors and partners.

Dubbed “Impact Investment in Africa”, the forum organized by the Africa Tourism Research Network ATRN, highlighted key investment areas, particularly in the tech sector, Agritech, Healthtech and MedTech which till today is also attracting significant interest, especially from European investors.

A notable trend discussed was the increasing interest in female-led startups, with many investors keen to support these ventures.

During a panel discussion involving seasoned business owners and entrepreneurs, the Founder of Earthmate, a company specializing in linking African impact startups with international investors, Marco Maiworm, representative of Earthmates stressed the importance of moving beyond discussions to build real connections and bridges. “It’s essential to link African startups with the right people,” he noted.

“At Earthmates, we specialize in this matchmaking process, connecting global investors with African impact startups.” Maiworm also underscored the importance of establishing a foundation of common values and soft criteria to facilitate meaningful connections between investors and startups from different continents.

“For startups, it’s important to have solid data, track and measure their impact, and maintain clear financial statements,” he explained. “Transparency in how funds are used is key. By focusing on these aspects, we help build strong bridges between African startups and global investors.”

He concluded with a call to action for entrepreneurs: “We’re here to help entrepreneurs make those crucial connections. There are many opportunities, especially in tech and female-led startups. He moreover emphasized the readiness of

his office to support entrepreneurs. “We’re ready to facilitate impactful investments.” “Moreover a vibrant scene of female entrepreneurs in Africa eager to launch their startups,” said Maiworm. “It’s fantastic to see the growing support for these initiatives. To make meaningful connections, it’s crucial to establish common values and track measurable impacts. Transparency and solid financial data are key for building trust with investors.”

For his part, the President of ATRN, Emmanuel Frimpong said the investment forum underscores the growing momentum in connecting African startups with global investors, fostering innovation, and driving sustainable development. According to him, the initiative precedes a recent media launch with focus on generating credible and reliable data to attract investors to Ghana and beyond. It aims to bridge the gap between young, innovative entrepreneurs and potential global investors.

He revealed that series of research efforts has it that a significant number of young people in Ghana are with promising ideas but lacks direction and support. While some of these startups seek financial investment, many simply need guidance and mentorship to navigate their growth. On the other hand, there is a growing interest from investors looking to engage with Africa, home to the world’s youngest population. However, these investors often struggle with a lack of reliable data to inform their decisions.

The program was therefore engineered to address this gap by exposing international investors to the plethora of investment opportunities available in Ghana. It also showcased young entrepreneurs pitching their innovative ideas, emphasizing the need for support beyond financial investment. The primary goal is to create a robust connection between investors and startups, ultimately boosting the economy.

From a tourism perspective, Mr. Frimpong hinted that although Africa abounds in lots of potentials, the continent is faced with limited infrastructure and skills gaps and mentioned developing roads, hotels, event centers, and theme parks as key areas identified. He bemoaned that despite these prospects, investors often perceive Africa as a risky venture due to insufficient data to mitigate perceived risks. By providing thorough analyses and credible data, the initiative aims to reshape these perceptions and highlight Africa’s true potential.

He urged young entrepreneurs to consider persistence as their key watchword. He said while financial support is vital, the need for mentorship, emotional intelligence, and soft skills is equally crucial. By fostering these aspects, Ghanaian startups can better position themselves for success and attract the investment needed to thrive.

This initiative marks a significant step towards connecting Ghana’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem with the global investment community, unlocking potential and driving economic growth.

Speaking to GBC NEWS on the sidelines of the Impact Investment Forum, CEO of Jannice Digital & Co. Jannice Tagoe, highlighted the transformative impact of digital platforms on business growth and the pressing need for increased funding to support African startups. The young but enterprising entrepreneur seized the opportunity to share her insights on how digital tools are revolutionizing business practices and the challenges that need to be addressed to foster innovation.

She emphasized that digital platforms offer businesses unprecedented access to a global audience, which is crucial for growth. “Even the largest companies need more sales, and digital platforms provide access to a wider audience,” she said. Ms Tagoe pointed out that businesses in Africa can now reach customers worldwide, breaking down geographical barriers and expanding their market reach.

Touching on the importance of metrics provided by digital platforms, she noted that metrics give businesses detailed insights into customer demographics, preferences, and behaviors, enabling them to tailor their products and services more effectively. “Metrics help companies understand where their customers live, their interests, ages, and other key factors, which can significantly enhance sales strategies,” she explained.

Ms Tagoe again addressed the significant challenges faced by startups, especially funding, which remain a major hurdle for startups. “The African child is inherently creative and quick to innovate solutions to problems, but without monetary support, many brilliant ideas remain unrealized,” she noted. Ms Tagoe called for more robust financial support systems to help startups transition from ideas to viable businesses.

She urged organizations and institutions with access to funding to not only provide financial support but also mentor startups. “It’s essential to guide startups on how to present their ideas effectively and align them with broader goals like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” she said.

Ms Tagoe’s comments come at a time when many African entrepreneurs are looking to digital solutions to overcome local market limitations and compete on a global scale. Her advocacy for increased funding and mentorship reflects a broader push to create a more supportive ecosystem for innovation in Africa.

The vibrant investment forum drew significant participation both offline and online.

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