To meet the demand for food, fuel, and other agricultural products, scientists estimate that we’ll need to double—perhaps even triple—production by the year 2050 .
Sierra Leone imports most of its food requirements. This needs to change. About 65 % of the population are estimated to live in rural areas. Sierra Leone’s land area amounts to 7.22 million ha and about 5.4 million ha, or 74 percent of the total land area, is considered suitable for cultivation, although almost 80% of farmers cultivate less than 10% of that land (this could be attributed to many factors, e.g. poor governance of land tenure).
We need to get more young people into farming. Financing is a major obstacle that young people going into farming face. The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Sierra Leone is nascent, characterize, among other, by the lack of a Business Angel Network.
In awakening and mature ecosystems, start ups seek seed capital from a network of angel investors. In our ecosystem, we have to look for alternatives. Crowdfunding is one such alternative.
Investopedia. com magazine, list the following Pros for Crowdfunding
Using Crowdfunding to Raise Capital
- Funding doesn’t have to be equity-based. While startups can use equity to attract investors through a crowdfunding platform, it’s not always necessary to give up any ownership control in the company to raise capital. Some platforms allow you to to use a rewards-based approach to generate funding. For example, if your startup centers on creating a specific product, you may make that product available to your investors before rolling it out the general public.
- Attracting investors may be easier. Bringing angel investors on board can be a time-consuming process because it typically involves pitching your startup’s concept multiple times. Crowdfunding platforms, on the other hand, streamline the process by allowing startups to post their pitch in one spot where it can be viewed by a broad range of investors.
- Crowdfunding can increase visibility. Marketing can eat up a large part of any startup’s budget but using a crowdfunding platform to raise funds is a low-cost way to spread the word. When a crowdfunding campaign is funded relatively quickly, it sends the message that the startup is one to watch. That can increase the brand’s visibility and help to attract additional investors for subsequent funding rounds.
We have decided to focus on Agri business start-ups because this is where we have seen start ups with serious growth potential. We also see a pool of talent in agronomy; we see visionary young leaders starting up their own agri-business.
Providing this platform , as a means for these young agri-preneurs to raise seed capital has the potential to create successful agri businesses, creating employment and reducing our imports of food.
Francis Stevens George
MD/CEO Innovation SL Ltd