How Business for All supports entrepreneurs in bridging the pioneering gap

In order to get promising new businesses on track to grow, entrepreneurs often need support to bridge what we call the pioneering gap. This means assessing the current situation of the company, determining the objectives to be reached, and then charting out the best path to get there. Since each company is different, a lot of flexibility and creative thinking is needed to help entrepreneurs overcome specific hurdles and to improve their prospects for investment and growth.

That’s where Business for All comes in. The program offers tailored support to water-related entrepreneurs that have promising, scalable business propositions. Earlier this year, Aqua for All received a supplementary budget from the Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) to continue the exciting work we are doing to develop a pipeline of scalable business models. Aqua for All’s in-house partner Africa Funded is engaged with fulfilling this mandate. Much of the current pipeline is focused on smart water for agriculture and circular economy models.

A couple of businesses on this track which are worth mentioning:

  • Farmerline: Founded by Alloysius Attah, a young Ghanaian entrepreneur, Farmerline is a social enterprise supporting 200,000 small holder farmers to improve crop production and profitability. Most of these farmers are illiterate and have no access to the services of a bank. ‘Farmerline reaches the target beneficiaries of Aqua for All in a very efficient way.  We provide funding and business support for the development, implementation and scaling of a business model increasing access to solar water pumps to the unbanked’. We work with both the company and the interested investors to bridge the pioneering gap.

Mr. Attah had this to say about the support Farmerline has received from Business for All:

“Grass-root ventures or entrepreneurs – solving problems in their own community or country – it can be a struggle to attract the right capital and resources to scale. Challenges around perceived risk, proof of traction, transparency, and exits are applicable to grassroots entrepreneurs raising money in emerging markets. The funding and business support from Aqua For All and Africa Funded comes with the credibility and endorsement that will hopefully bring more opportunities to unlock capital for entrepreneurs who understand the problems they are solving from lived experiences.”

Alloysius Attah – Founder & CEO Farmerline

  • Hydroponics: This company produces sustainable farming units which grow food crops without soil and with 80% less water than normal farming methods. The customized business support provided by Business for All/Africa Funded has enabled the company to attract USD 850.000 in both grant and investment capital last year. At Hydroponics’ request, Business for All will continue to provide customized business support, as they transition toward a fully scalable venture.

Have a nice summer! Our next newsletter will come out mid-August. We will share more news on Farmerline (among others) in September.

Interested in these companies and/or customized business support tracks? Please contact: Saskia Reus: s.reus@aquaforall.org