In the first few years after independence in many African countries the bright students in the villages would call for a fundraiser to help them move to the next level of education. People around the village would give both monetary and non-monetary items that could be sold later and add to the sums raised to educate the village elite.
This culture was also used to help out the sick and in many other social aid situations. But over the years and with a lot of misuse by unscrupulous persons who took advantage of other’s benevolence, the fundraising culture had died a natural death.
With the advent of technology crowdfunding, which utilizes the same concept of money from several small sources to finance a business, has taken over the mantle. Several crowd funding sites have come up to assist African startups raise funds to jump starting their businesses or move to the next level. This include StartMe, FundFind and ThundaFund in South Africa; StartCrunch in Nigeria; M-Changa and Babandu in Kenya; and SlizeBiz in Ghana.
“Crowdfunding allows people who don’t necessarily have access to tradition capital to get funding for their idea’s by marketing their idea to a whole group of people. So where before you’ll have to rely to someone with a large amount of capital to believe in you and your idea, now you can speak directly to the people that interested in what you’re doing … and they will fund (you),” Patrick Schofield, Thundafund Co-founder, told CCTV Africa.