Local businessman, Mooketsi Tekere of Ngwana Enterprises operating in Francistown in collaboration with other entrepreneurs and the World Bank, intends to form the first ever ‘Angel’ Investment bank in Botswana.
Speaking to Voice Money last week, Tekere, who is passionate about creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country, said he has realised that local businesses do not have cohesion and therefore suffer in silence.
Tekere stressed that it is only through unity that local businesses can discuss the challenges they face in their respective areas of business, seek out solutions, implement them and ultimately create an economic ecosystem that will see small businesses prosper and contribute positively to the nation’s economy.
The founder of Ngwana Enterprises, an entity that offers a portfolio of skills development and knowledge programmes, revealed the bank will rely upon wealthy individuals to pledge assistance and deposit money that startup businesses can then use to elevate themselves to the next level.
“The concept of ‘Angel’ investing is not new to the business world because of these angels having always been there. These could be one’s parents who assist with startup capital or lend space in the home for an office,” he explained, pointing out that anyone can be an angel investor as the investments are not necessarily capital based.
“We also intend to, in the first phase of the implementation of the ecosystem, identify the gaps that make the ecosystem weak and employ community-led initiatives to remedy the situation,” he added.
Against this background, the World Bank, the Botswana Business Angels Network and the Global Entrepreneurship Network in Botswana recently brought together local entrepreneurs and global thought leaders to share knowledge and strengthen the operating environment for digital entrepreneurs in the country.
The workshop built on the recent XL Africa competition, a pan-African acceleration program to find the 20 most promising digital start-ups in Africa to prove the continent can produce world-class digital entrepreneurial talent.
“The World Bank supported today’s event to help ensure that Botswana’s digital entrepreneurs are able to learn lessons from other ecosystems across Africa,” said World Bank Country Representative for Botswana, Xavier Furtado at the workshop held at the Masa Square Hotel in Gaborone recently.
Furtado said the World Bank hopes that, over time, the workshop can help address Botswana’s pressing youth unemployment challenge while also contributing to national economic diversification.
The 20 participants were taken through relevant case studies and were exposed to methods and tools to help accelerate digital entrepreneurship.
“With a supportive and dynamic ecosystem, local digital technology companies can spread new technologies across Botswana and abroad,” said Furtado.
For his part, Tekere had said the event indicates that supporting Africa’s next generation of entrepreneurs and investors requires ‘a thriving and connected entrepreneurial ecosystem’.
He further noted that the digital ecosystem has the potential to attract and link digital startups, more mature entrepreneurs and impact entrepreneurs from Botswana with potential investors across the continent and beyond.