Tech Hubs in Africa See Explosive Growth

Student entrepreneurs in tech hub

Access to finance isn’t the only thing holding back African entrepreneurs — often, startups don’t have access to reliable internet, affordable offices, and a stimulating environment to work in. Our Capital Finder helps entrepreneurs access the alternative financing they need, and there’s good news on the latter front. A recent GSMA report found that there are 314 active tech hubs in Africa, as of July.

This is almost twice as many as identified in a World Bank report from last September, which identified 117 hubs on the continent. In other words, in under a year, the number of hubs grew by 168%. You can track all of the ones the World Bank found on this nifty interactive map.

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Top Developing Countries for Alternative Finance

alternative finance india

Our emerging market alternative finance Capital Finder, which we launched in late June, is a powerful tool for entrepreneurs who wish to identify financing options in their countries and sectors, broken down by the type of funding they need (equity, loan, or grant).

It’s also a useful research tool for companies and individuals who are looking to examine the alternative finance landscapes of various regions or countries. These insights can be extremely powerful — a multilateral aid organization, for example, can examine the per capita number of impact investors in one country versus another and refocus its efforts. Or, it may look at what countries have the most access to VC funding, conduct further research to understand why some nations have had more success, and look to promote lessons learned in underperforming nations.

As a reminder, our definition of alternative finance includes venture capital firms, impact investors, angel investment networks, crowdfunding platforms, as well as public and semi-public organizations (like government-sponsored bodies, multilateral aid organizations, and NGOs) that provide funding for entrepreneurs. We count organizations that operate within the country, meaning that the firms can be based outside of the country in which they operate (think of, for example, a German impact investment firm working across East Africa).

In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing some of those numbers with our readers. Today, however, we’ll be focusing just on the basics: which countries are world leaders in alternative finance? More specifically, we identify the top countries in terms of the number of alternative financing options available to entrepreneurs, and break down the numbers.

Here are the rankings (current as of Aug. 10):

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Introducing the AlliedCrowds Relevancy Score

Capital Provider helps entrepreneurs find capital

Developing World Entreprenuer Finding Capital

In an earlier blog we introduced readers to the AlliedCrowds Capital Finder, our tool for locating alternative finance in the developing world.

The AlliedCrowds Relevancy Score builds on the Capital Finder, making it even more powerful.

Plenty of entrepreneurs have already used the Capital Finder to locate funding across different funding sources (venture capital firms, angel investors, crowdfunding platforms, impact investors, and public/semi-public funders). Our goal is to make this experience as smooth and productive as possible.

That is why we have collected an excellent round of feedback, and have continued to innovate and find new ways to better serve entrepreneurs in the developing world.


Queue the Relevancy Score

The Relevancy Score ensures that the listings at the top of your search are only those most relevant to you, based on the kind of financing you need. In order to do this, we gathered thousands of data points to inform an algorithm that ranks the funding sources.

Think about Google’s Page Rank Algorithm. When you use Google to look up something, Google returns not only every website that is relevant to your search, but orders them based one which it believes will be most relevant to you.

This is the essence of the Relevancy Score.

How does it help entrepreneurs find capital?

We have created the Capital Finder with the purpose of increasing awareness of alternative funding models and methods for raising capital for entrepreneurs in the developing world.

With the Relevancy Score, we take this one step further by tailoring these results in a way that maximizes the effectiveness of the data that we have acquired. Therefore, entrepreneurs have found it much easier to find capital and in turn save precious time to focus on improving their product.

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Finding Capital: A Guideline for Entrepreneurs

finding capital developing world entrepreneurs

Wouldn’t it be great if finding capital was easy — if every potential investor responded to every reach-out email you sent with praise and heaps of money?

We both know the answer to that question: of course it would be, but unfortunately, it isn’t. To achieve this goal, you must master the art of raising money.

You might be thinking, “Hold on, I have such a great idea, shouldn’t the investors be flocking to me?”

If you do not compel your investors, it does not matter how great your idea is.

You have spent all of that time creating a wonderful product and drafting the perfect PowerPoint. You worked hard, did your research, and built something great. But if you do not know where to look for money, or if your outreach is poor, there is no way for your idea to get off the ground.

If you want to increase the success of your start up and create valuable connections in your space, you need to master the art of finding capital.

Let AlliedCrowds show you how.

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Three Mobile Financial Innovations On the Verge of Transforming Africa

mobile financial innovations

One of the advantages developing countries have over their more developed counterparts is that they’re able to leapfrog inefficient technologies. This allows them to create innovative business models that are adapted to the local contexts. 

Arguably the biggest technological breakthrough across Africa (and especially in East Africa) has been mobile money. Companies like Safaricom’s M-Pesa have fostered greater financial inclusion, allowing millions of individuals to access tools that help them pay for goods and services, and to start or grow their businesses.

How exactly is mobile money helping people on the ground, and how widespread are mobile financial innovations? Below, we discuss three that are changing Africa’s entrepreneurial landscape.

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