12 Crowdfunding Success Stories That Have Emerged From Africa

By Peter Pedroncelli AFKI Original Published: March 24, 2017, 11:22 am
Crowdfunding Success StoriesThere are many crowdfunding success stories in Africa. Photo: bmi.com

Africa is not new to crowdfunding success stories, with the idea of funding a venture or idea by raising money through many small contributions via the Internet striking a cord among Africans – Ubuntu at its finest.

There have already been a number of wonderful examples of how crowdfunding can prove to be an ingenious and resourceful way in which to raise capital for one reason or another.

Whether using the money of unknown strangers to fund a dream, or finding supporters for charitable initiatives through a collective effort, crowdfunding certainly has enjoyed some highlights in an African context.

We take a look at 12 crowdfunding success stories that have emerged from the continent.

Sources: CNN, VenturesAfrica, HTXT, BBC

funding a project or venture by raising money from a large number of people who each contribute a relatively small amount, typically via the Internet.

Honest Chocolate is where they are today because of crowdfunding. Photo: CNN

Realising a dream to make Honest Chocolate

Cape Town-based chocolate brand Honest Chocolate brought their hand-crafted, artisanal confectionery dream to life through Thundafund, a South African crowdfunder that helped raise $6,000 to turn their industrial raw chocolate business into a boutique cafe. Thundafund is not a typical crowdfunding platform, as they help to gather funding before collaborating with entrepreneurs to ensure success in their chosen project.

By training the Nigerian youth in renewable energy subjects, entrepreneurs are born. Photo: CCTV

Imeela solar technology training

Contributions made via Nigerian crowdfunding website Imeela have gone towards educating children in renewable energy services, with a specific focus on solar technology, giving them the skills to be able to start a business or work within an industry of the future.

Children in Kenya receive support through Operation Hope Africa. Photo: Cheyenne Ellis/Nokero.com/WashingtonPost

Operation Hope Africa helping kids in Kenya

Nairobi-based non-profit organisation Operation Hope Africa has found success by raising funds for various projects and initiatives through mobile-based crowdfunding platform M-Changa, allowing them to support the needy and vulnerable children of Kenya.

Kickstarting a power revolution

Kenyan business Shake Your Power managed to turn their idea into reality through a successful kickstarter campaign that raised $81,000 from 943 backers. This gave them the funding needed to build and distribute energy generating music shakers within the country.

Kids enjoying their YBike products. Photo: Imgrum

Kids enjoying their YBike products. Photo: Imgrum

From idea to multi award winning brand

Thundafund helped to empower YBike in 2013 with a successful campaign that attracted $4,100, which allowed the brand to become a multi award-winning brand of children’s developmental ride-ons, boasting a premium range of fun, funky and functional children’s mobility products that aim to encourage vital skills development and balance.

507832599 job skills competition high fiving getty

When the right skills are developed, success follows. Photo: Getty

Raj Ushanga House solar powering Kenya

Through a crowdfunding campaign undertaking via partner Azuri Technologies, Raj Ushanga House is putting around $172,000 towards deploying 1,200 Azuri Solar Home Systems throughout Kenya that will benefit about 6,000 people in the East African country.

Crowdfunding helped Ideas magazine to be relaunched independently. Photo: bmi.com

Ideas magazine relaunched

When Media 24 closed Ideas magazine in South Africa during 2016, former editor Terena le Roux took it upon herself to resurrect the publication. Thanks to support on social media, she launched a crowdfunding campaign via Thundafund and while the money continues to come in, she has been able to relaunch the magazine this month.

The Secret Love Project

One of the many philanthropic success stories, the Secret Love Project aims to raise enough money to provide 1,000 rain suits for 1,000 homeless people on the streets of South Africa. So far a third of the funds have been realised via Thundafund, so the project continues to benefit the homeless.

Peasant farmer Salome Nyambura picks ripe coffee beans in Nyeri, central Kenya. Photo: BusinessDailyAfrica.com

Kiva empowering farmers

By contributing as little as $25 towards a specific entrepreneur looking for a loan, the person looking to raise capital is able to do so through a loan that is built up from numerous contributions. Kiva has helped numerous African farmers to raise funds for farming equipment, livestock, seeds and training, helping them to become successful agri-entrepreneurs. Kiva raised $35.9 million for African projects in 2015.

SOUTHAFRICANSAUSAGE-June 6, 2003- Florence Meat Supplies, Damian Goriup (owner's son) 'stuffs' their Making boerewors Photo: Tannis Toohey/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The loan from RainFin kept First Choice 2002 CC from going under.
Photo: Tannis Toohey/Toronto Star via Getty Images

RainFin keeps butcher in business

A South African crowdfunder that caters to SMEs came to the rescue of processed meat company First Choice 2002 CC. The company’s owner died unexpectedly, and his wife was left to run the business. The cash reserves were quickly depleted while the estate was finalised, and while banks refused to loan her money for equipment, RainFin stepped in with a crowdfunded loan that kept them in business.

Nikweli is a job matching platform for industry and service sector workers in Tanzania .Photo: Thinkstock

Boosting Nikweli’s credibility

Nikweli, a web to mobile job matching platform for the informal sector in Tanzania, used Kickstarter to raise $5,000 from 40 supporters. The crowdfunding campaign proved so successful that it helped with the brand’s credibility and helped to get them into African Leadership Ventures, an accelerator programme that invested a further $20,000 in the business.

Kite deters mosquitoes through a special patch. Photo: pixabay.com

Keeping mosquitoes at bay in Uganda

This particular crowdfunding campaign did not originate in Africa, but it certainly has been a success story for how it has helped Ugandans to combat malaria and mosquitoes in general. Funded seven times over, Kite’s Indigogo campaign helped to create and distribute an innovative and non-toxic patch that deters insects throughout the East African country.

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