Scaling the Solution: How do you intend to scale your activities over the next two years (e.g., reach new markets, diversify solutions, etc.)? What will make this possible?
There is currently more demand for our product than we can fill and we are continuously developing innovative finance models. For example, our production loan is distributed according to triggers associated with a specific farm activity. This reduces the interest charges to the entrepreneur, and risk to our investors. In order to increase our portfolio to a profitable size and reach scale in 2014, we’ll need to expand our field team from 4 to 10, and raise another $370000 from investors. We’ll be diversifying our investor base by reaching the accredited investor market through partnerships with Toniic, the SVX, and Impact Base. We’ll also be seeking co-investment partnerships with larger impact investors as mentioned earlier.
Financial Sustainability: What is your business model to ensure financial sustainability?
Kulemela is a for-profit business that charges our investees market interest rates. The revenue earned from these interest charges goes to covering our operational expenses, paying investor returns, and our retained earnings. We will need a portfolio size of $500000 to break even, and to get there we aim to raise an additional $370000 in direct portfolio investment as well as $120000 for operations from various sources in 2014.
Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.
Kulemela General Manager Andrew Aforo ran a successful rice aggregation venture before consulting in the agriculture market development space. Director of Business Development Mina Shahid worked as the marketing strategist for an organic fertilizer business in Ghana prior to starting the Uganda office for EWB Canada, and Executive Director Mark Brown prototyped innovative outgrower schemes for Blue Skies – one of Ghana’s largest fruit exporters.