Thank you for the comments. I have edited the above but as space is obviously limited I will just add a few extra points here.
• Firstly, for clarity purposes, we are building a graduation programme to support entrepreneurs for the entire business journey from micro to SME. We ALREADY offer STAGE 1 programmes (investment up to $700) and STAGE 2 programmes (investment up to $3000). Here we are pitching for the next Stage 3 of this model, Micro Venture Capital that will offer intensive support and $15,000 of investment. Thus, it is the final piece in the jigsaw creating SMEs from micro businesses.
• For the MVC Fund we will do quasi-equity. Our initial plan, already discussed with several entrepreneurs, is to invest $15,000 in return for 50% of the company. The entrepreneur will then buy this back gradually as the business grows through revenue sharing. In our models we will look for a 4x return over an average of 4 years. With a conservsative projected business success rate of 50%, and making 10 investments per year, gross profit will be $150,000 per year. Our projections are to make 10 investments per year per location and we currently work in 8 locations in Uganda and Kenya. Therefore, that is 80 investments per year and a gross profit of $1.2million. This makes the fund profitable and scalable.
• Our current funding for Stage 1 and 2 comes from contracts for running enterprise programmes. For example, we are a delivery partner for the DFID funded International Citizen Service programme contract worth £2m+ per annum for Balloon. We also run programmes with businesses like Citibank and several universities. From these programmes we crowdfund our investment pot.
• For the MVC Fund, after proving the concept, we will raise investment from successful local Kenyan business people, African diaspora and other angel investors and high net worth individuals in the UK. We have tested this and approached various individuals and their feedback has been positive. They are keen to invest because it ticks both their passion for business and their desire to create a better global society but they want to see evidence of viability first. We have also approached other impact investing funds like Global Partnerships who are willing to co-invest if we discover high potential micro entrepreneurs.
• As described above, our users are informal sector entrepreneurs, typically aged 18-35, working in 2nd tier towns/cities like Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisii. Typically they will be employing 3-5 people when they apply for the MVC Fund but we won't exclude larger informal businesses. We recruit them in 2 ways. Either they come through our current pipeline of stage 1 and 2 programmes in which case we will have supported them for 2+ years. Or they will be recruited directly into the MVC Fund by staff in each locality tasked with finding exceptional entrepreneurs.
• Currently entrepreneurs tell us that the funding and education are equally valuable. The funding allows them to test new ideas and take risks, but the training and support is required to enable them to invest the funding in the most efficient way. We have various metrics from our programme showing large increases in knowledge and skills that we are happy to share.
• In our portfolio, our current most successful business is a bakery employing 12 people. It was built entirely by a recent civil engineering graduate who couldn’t find a job. They have a vehicle and everyday deliver bread to small shops in the poorer urban centres at a slightly reduced price to the supermarkets. This business currently turns over ~$24,000 annually working in only one city. The potential to scale is obvious and exciting!