The devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has seen the SADC regional economic growth forecast being revised from a growth of 2.3% in October 2019 to a contraction of 3.4% in April 2020. SME’s are the lifeblood of every economy. In South Africa, SME’s contribute 39% of the country’s GDP and employ 25% of all private sector jobs.
“Now more than ever we need to invest in tomorrow, invest in women, invest in growth, invest in innovation and build for the future. Now is not the time to think small and shrink back but the time to think big, plan for growth, look for new pathways and see our current climate as an opportunity,” says Sarah Dusek, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Enygma Ventures.
In the last year, Enygma Ventures funded 10 businesses across the SADC region and deployed almost $4m. As an industry agnostic player, their investments ranged across various industries including fintech, edtech, recruitment, food, e-commerce and many more, making them one of the most active investors on the continent.
Lelemba Phiri, Operating Partner at Enygma Ventures adds, “Access to capital is critical for SME growth and is even more important during a recession as is facing the region. We have seen exciting growth and impact already being created by the businesses we invested in last year. Premier Credit, a loan fintech platform in Zambia, who after receiving investment in December 2020 has grown both revenue and loan deployment rate to other SMEs by 10 times in just 3 months. Such is the power of catalytic capital.”
Commenting on the quality of businesses and applications received over the last year, Phiri said, “We are here to support start-ups launch and build big businesses and to get them the funding they need to do this. We understand that many may not have the resources they need or know how to attract investment which is why we partnered with Startupcircles, the number one business school for entrepreneurs, to equip entrepreneurs with the right practical knowledge and skills to grow and scale. Startupcircles has programs that cater to both aspiring and existing business owners to give every entrepreneur a fighting chance.”
Dusek concludes, “The way to rebuild economies, climb out of recessions and create jobs is to build and grow small & medium size enterprises. We are continuing to look to invest in those with vision and those with bold, brave new ideas for growing their businesses because they are the builders of Africa’s future. If you can see a pathway to growing and scaling your business we want to hear from you. If you have a business idea that could revolutionise our world, tell us about it.”
Enygma Ventures has opened up a call for applications for investment for the month of April and is looking for exceptional female entrepreneurs and visionaries to join them in rebuilding Africa’s economies. Could you be one of them? To apply go to this link https://www.enygmaventures.com/applications