The GSMA’s Maxime Bayen shares what he learnt about investment…
Since launching AB2020 in July, we’ve been busy catching up with savvy entrepreneurs; open-minded investors; and our growing network of Africa-focused contacts in the UK. So it wasn’t until last month that I was able to get on a flight to Ghana and spend time with our connections on the continent.
I recently returned from a few weeks in Accra where I attended and took part in some of our media partnered events, which were buzzing with pan-African and global investors exploring the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
First up was Invest in Ghana (IIG) held at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel. Congratulations to Homestrings, IIG’s organisers who recorded over 100 guests; 30 speakers; and $125m in transactions during the two-day programme.
Another success was Angel Fair Africa (AfA) held in Labadi Beach Hotel’s Primavera Hall where 10 entrepreneurs delivered exceptional pitches selling their businesses to a room of investors. I also moderated two panels at AfA, which included a fireside chat with Vincent Kouwenhoven of eVa Fund, and Wim van der Beek of Goodwell Investments to discuss their recent deals with Dot Com Zambia and Nomanini, respectively. (Read: Angel Africa Fair 2015, Accra)
On the creative scene, the newly opened Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City welcomed Ghana Fashion & Design Week’s (GFDW) luxurious three-day extravaganza, where I made my debut ‘on-the-ground’ public presentation – delivering a PR seminar to industry delegates and Radford University Students.
Other seminar speakers included finance guru Kwesi Livingstone; Head of Radford University’s Fashion Department Yvonne Ntiamoah; award-winning motivational speaker and TV host Anita Erskine; and renowned afro stylist and hair director Charlotte Mensah.
I was proud to offer a GFDW Design Entrepreneur an international brand/PR makeover worth £1,000, alongside our world-class branding partners Vine Creatives, based in London. An additional 25 selected individuals will benefit from a free consultation with Vine’s leading art director and senior digital designer Nene Parsotam. (Read: African Design Entrepreneurs Storm the Catwalk at Kempinski)
Many thanks to talented founder of NASB Stitches Michelle Bediako, who styled me for GDFW (Read: Self-Taught Seamstress Takes UK Business to Africa), and Apstar Tours who helped arrange my schedule (Read: Taking A Business Trip to Ghana?)
At AB2020, it’s our aim to foster stronger relationships between Africa-focused entrepreneurs and investors both on the ground and in the UK, through sharing expert commentary; unsung stories; global events; and connecting future business leaders with global, economic influencers.
It’s trips like this that make the journey ahead all the more worthwhile.