Growth Accelerator hosts monthly eco-system events that engage the broader entrepreneurship eco-system. On Thursday, 21st November 2019, Growth Accelerator discussed the topic of Crowdfunding in Malawi at mHub Offices. The event had guest speakers: UNDP Malawi Resident Representative, Shigeki Komatsubara; Elizabeth Howard, Chief Executive Officer of African Crowdfunding Association; and Maclean Mbepula of Afrineur. The aim of the event was to discuss the definition of crowdfunding, its application in Africa and the underlying potential for Malawi.

The event kicked-off with an overview of crowdfunding in Africa, presented by Elizabeth Howard; Here are some facts about crowdfunding in Africa:
• African Crowdfunding market is estimated to be at USD2.5 Billion in 2025. This is only 0.3% of the global estimate of USD96 Billion.
• The recent statistics on crowdfunding in Africa were documented in 2015
• In 2015, Africa raised USD 125 Million on crowdfunding platforms; 1/3 on African crowdfunding platforms. A majority of the 1/3 raised in Africa was distributed between SME finance and Real Estate. On the other hand, the 2/3 raised on international platforms was allocated to social funds in areas such as Health, Education, Women and children.
• In 2015, African country rank for crowdfunding was as follows:

Investment crowdfunding falls under a regulatory domain that requires the involvement of regulatory authorities in a particular country. In places such as the United States of America and Europe etc. the regulatory authorities have caught up with the trend and created regulatory framework to support and guide crowdfunding. Unfortunately, this scenario is not replicated in Africa were regulators are still in the early stages.

The African Crowdfunding Association is an aggregate of crowdfunding platforms that created a regulatory framework for crowdfunding in Africa. The Association has a bias towards crowdfunding for SME investment; with 30 members as of 2019. To learn more about African Crowdfunding Association what it is and how to become a member, visit their website

The evening progressed with a presentation by Maclean Mbepula of Afrineur, a Malawian investment crowdfunding platform for start-up and SMEs. Maclean worked to perfect her crowdfunding model not only for Malawi but for Africa. She gave a three-minute pitch that included the need she saw in Malawi, how crowdfunding can address it; and her ask for USD 500,000 to operationalize the platform.

Maclean has two key notes for entrepreneurs trying to raise funds through crowdfunding:
• Build a network around your brand. Crowdfunding works like wildfire, if your start-up idea and/or prototype has built a brand and following of potential customers it will be easier to gain trust from investors and raise funds.
• Don’t sit and wait for the platform to do the work. Raise awareness and strategically plan your fundraising campaign. Learn more about Afrineur and its dreams for Malawi and Africa on Twitter and Facebook.

Finally, the evening closed off with a speech from the UNDP Malawi Resident Representative, Shigeki Komatsubara. He gave a powerful testament to Africa’s innate wealth of ideas and money. Mr. Komatsubara went on to pledge UNDP’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurs and ideas in the Malawian eco-system. UNDP is the principal partner of the Growth Accelerator Programme; the host of Growth Accelerator Eco-system events.

Growth Accelerator hosts monthly eco-system events on topics that concern entrepreneurs. The platform is designed to be an interactive space that facilitates the sharing of information and knowledge from various avenues relating to business. Hope you join us next time!