Crowdfunding, a solution for financing SMEs in Africa

Crowdfunding can play an important role in reducing the financing needs of African SMEs, estimated at $ 331 billion, far more than the capacity of conventional finance.

This is one of the main lessons of the crowdfunding forum held in Dakar on Thursday, November 15, 2018, in the presence of national and international financial players.

The founder of Afrikwity & Cofundy and co-chairman of the FPAM network, Thameur Hemdane, based on statistics, showed the financing limit of the banking system in the continent. According to the co-organizer of the Forum, « only 20% of SMEs have access to bank financing and 30% to long-term financing ».

Exploring the figures, Thameur Hemdane estimated that « Africa has 44 million formal SMEs, representing 33% of the continent’s Gross Domestic Product and 45% of jobs. Of these, 70% lack long-term funding and 80% lack access to bank credit.  »

Faced with this situation, the founder of the Afrikwity platform stressed that it has become an imperative for African companies to find other ways of financing to compensate for this glaring lack of resources. Crowdfunding thus appears as the financing solution for African companies, especially SMEs and startups.

« These crowdfunding platforms are also a tool for financing culture, civil society and all types of projects, including projects with social impact, » he said.

 

 

« Today the continent is experiencing a situation where social projects are very important, seen the climate and sustainable development issues. So, we will need financing solutions that are adapted to this type of issue, « he says.

Asked by Financial Afrik about the viability of crowdfunding in Africa in the context of judicial liquidation of some dedicated platforms in France, the financier replied that this does not prevent the development of participatory finance in Africa.

« It is up to us to draw the good lessons from what is happening in the northern and European countries to actually build a regulatory framework that will probably avoid drifts or failures »
Bringing details of this case, another panelist explained, « that there are a hundred platforms in France. It is normal that some disappear at the time of the creation of the activity.

And to add, « what is important is the very strong growth of the amounts raised, up 36% in the first half of 2018, compared to the same period of 2017 ».

Today’s value, 16% of French have already participated in collections, 1 French out of 7 and 38% plan to do so in the next 12 months.

« All this shows that the lever is also the taste, the appetite of the inhabitants, whatever the country, for forms that allow them to participate, to choose and to be directly involved. Beyond the entrepreneurs and co-entrepreneurs, the entire population is now involved and responsible in this new game and, therefore, that strength can not stop, « concluded Hemdane.

In a world where capital flows so freely, Africa has room to maneuver, leveraging financial innovations to leverage more funds to finance its socio-economic projects.

Recall that, crowdfunding, still unknown to the general public in Africa, raised $ 153 million in 2017 according to the figures of the ADB.

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