Forget Micro Entrepreneurs. Sangu Delle Promotes Macro Pan-African Financing

Forget Micro Entrepreneurs. Sangu Delle Promotes Macro Pan-African Financing

Ghanaian financier Sangu Delle rethinks micro financing — small loans to small entrepreneurs — saying macro financing is a better way to drive growth in developing countries, according to a TED talk video.

“We seem to be fixated on this romanticized idea that every poor person in Africa is an entrepreneur,” Delle said. “Yet, my work has taught me that most people want jobs.”

Delle is an entrepreneur, clean water activist, Soros Fellow and TEDGlobal Fellow. He makes the case for supporting large companies and factories to promote pan-African trade. He founded Golden Palm Investments, an investment and advisory company, and has funded startups that can generate jobs and have social impact. These include SOLO Mobile in Nigeria, mPharma in Ghana and Stawi Foods in Kenya.

Rather than loan $200 to 500 banana farmers, Delle said his company gave $100,000 to one savvy, 26-year-old Kenyan entrepreneur to set up Stawi, a company that he said yields 40-percent added income to 500 banana farmers and creates 50 added jobs. Stawi’s banana agri-processing factory produces gluten-free banana-based flour and baby food.

“Our dream is to…help him become a Mo Ibrahim,” Delle said in his TED talk.

Delle co-founded cleanacwa, working in underdeveloped communities in Ghana to provide water and sanitation.

Forbes named him one of the Top 30 Most Promising Entrepreneurs in Africa in 2014. Delle, who has worked at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Valiant Capital Partners, is an MBA candidate at Harvard, Forbes reported in February 2014.

 “Forget micro entrepreneurs,” Delle said in his TED talk. “Lets invest in building pan-African titans like Sudan’s Mo Ibrahim. The ‘Mo model’ might be better than the every-man-an-entrepreneur model. Perhaps we are not at the stage in Africa where many actors and small enterprises lead to growth and competition.”