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5 Years, and the Journey's Just Begun: Ventures Platform Foundation 2020 Annual Impact Report

Ventures Platform

September 27, 2021

Can you believe it? It’s been FIVE glorious years. How time flies, right?

Honestly, we thought we knew all about entrepreneurship, but boy, we were wrong.

The events of the last five years, notably the COVID-19 pandemic, have served as an eye-opener to many organisations worldwide, Ventures Platform inclusive.

Now more than ever, we firmly believe that entrepreneurship is the most sustainable path to creating economic prosperity. So while we may just be five years old, we have learnt a lot. Through our work in that time, we have seen entrepreneurs innovatively tackle some of Africa’s biggest problems, leveraging technology. Their strategies led to better results than other non-entrepreneurial approaches.

For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when countries and organisations were in disarray, and many had to shut off operations, we, on the other hand, viewed it as an opportunity for growth by quickly embracing a three-pronged approach. This involved digitising our processes, partnering with NSIRF to provide business advisory services to startups, and driving engagement through the Policy Dialogue Series.

This approach enabled us to work with startups in recognising and capturing new business opportunities presented by the pandemic, thereby enabling them to stay profitable and expand their impact within their community.

Between when we kicked off in 2016 and where we are now, there have been significant changes - mainly for the better. Here’s a brief recap of our achievements as captured in our 2020 Impact Report.

The last five years at a glance.

In the last five years, Ventures Platform has:

  • Held 44 Startup Programs
  • Supported startups that have created 283,976 Jobs
  • Trained 8,300 people
  • Championed12 Policy Initiatives
  • Supported 314 female entrepreneurs
  • Supported 636 entrepreneurs
  • Invested in 60 startups (equity)
  • Provided $588,811 equity-free funding

What lies ahead: 2021 and Beyond.

Our key takeaway from our experience so far is the reaffirmation that, indeed, innovation and entrepreneurship is the best way to deliver on the promise of a prosperous Africa.

Our survey observed that mission-driven startups have greater chances to stand the test of time and have the most effects in terms of job creation and access to essential goods and services. These startups have also been successful in developing solutions that address critical value-chain gaps and create new markets.

For these reasons, Ventures Platform will be transitioning from solely supporting startups through time-bound programs to creating a continuous support system. We believe this will encourage entrepreneurs to use creative, inclusive, and long-term business strategies to produce goods and services that increase access, create employment, and boost economic success.

You made it possible!

In retrospect, we know that none of these would be possible without our resilient team, unwavering and supportive partners, founders, mentors, advisors, and family and friends. You all made our vision a reality.

Thank you for making the last five years epic!