UNCDF

UNCDF launches a crowd funding platform for young Gambian entrepreneurs

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the consortium of Mobi-Changa, ThundaFund and Thunda Africa (on the 4th of June) announced their partnership to develop and manage a crowdfunding platform in The Gambia for the “Jobs, Skills and Finance (JSF) for Youth and Women in The Gambia Programme” funded by the EU. The platform will help Gambian youth and women pool start-up funds and/or access investments for the businesses or economic activities. In addition the platform enables diaspora as well to channel their investments into youth and women-led MSMEs during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown and beyond.

Targeting 8,000 small businesses to raise funds amounting to US$840,000 by April 2022, the new platform will connect young Gambians entrepreneurs raise funds through families, friends and investors willing to support them in their journey through economic independence.

Mr. Edwin Mensah, the Financial Inclusion Specialist for the JSF Programme noted: “Crowd funding and peer-to-peer lending platforms, in particular, offer alternative financing options for youth entrepreneurs’ access to capital. With many young entrepreneurs looking to family and friends for start-up funds for their businesses, crowdfunding offers the possibility of pooling these funds in a formal structure and building a financial history which will allow financial service providers to better engage these entrepreneurs“. Crowd-funding platform builds a support system, creates brand awareness, validates the products in the market, brings and shares the expertise and adds sustainability for future endeavors.

Under this new project, UNCDF and the consortium will test a different mix of crowdfunding models In particular, under the COVID-19 immediate response, the team will work to enable both business and social crowdfunding and launch the first donations-based campaigns focused on innovative solutions to fight the COVID-19.

Mr. Matthew Roberts-Davies, Director at Mobi Changa and Thunda Africa stated: “It plays an important global role during COVID-19 both in fundraising for health and medicine and supporting economic stability. Crowdfunding in Africa is in its nascent stages, though activity across the industry has accelerated in response to COVID-19.

Through such innovative partnerships, UNCDF is able to catalyze the growth of the financial inclusion sphere in The Gambia by empowering populations, which have been left behind, to access innovative solutions that can help support their businesses and needs amidst the coronavirus mitigation lockdown.

Original Source : UNCDF News