All over the world, entrepreneurship is increasingly being recognized as a key driver of job creation and economic growth. Successful entrepreneurs are celebrated as luminaries, and the entrepreneurial mantra of accepting and learning from failure is being adopted by organizations of all sizes. In other words, it is a great time to be an entrepreneur.
This Entrepreneur’s Guide is designed as a comprehensive, accessible, and informative tool that can be useful to entrepreneurs in different stages of their business. Its aim is to help the Sudanese rising entrepreneurs and migrant communities in Sudan to navigate the nebulous and suboptimal financing landscape.
We do this in several ways:
Chapter I we provide an overview of funding instruments, highlighting advantages and disadvantages of each.
Chapter II we break down the different types of investors that are covered in our guide. We examine 10 types of funders, and present other information about them, including typical funding sizes and the services that each offers in addition to funding.
Chapter III continues on this to discuss, in more specifics, what happens when entrepreneurs approach various types of investors. This includes an overview of the documents different types of funders will expect, the typical phase at which to approach each type of investor, and what to expect in their interactions with the investors.
Chapter IV shares Sudan-specific insights based on our conversations, research, and data analysis. This chapter will give entrepreneurs a better understanding of the entrepreneurial ecosystem of their country. It will highlight potential perils to look out for, and opportunities to seize on.
Chapter V is the Support System and Investor Directory – a look at various support facilities and investors that are actively supporting and funding the country’s emerging start-ups. In addition to providing basic information about who they are, how long they have been around for, and the types of companies they support and may invest in, we also show more unique and insightful information, including average investment size, type of funding offered, and what benefits they provide post-funding (if any).
Chapter VI we conclude by providing an overview of the guide and providing further sources of information.
In conclusion the first part of the guide is meant to answer the how of fundraising, while the directory is meant to answer the who to go to.
For this investment guide, we have assessed financing opportunities for both start-ups and SMEs. The biggest difference between these two company types lies in their objectives and stage in the corporate lifecycle. SMEs are driven by profitability and stable long-term value, while start-ups are focused on top end revenue and growth potential. SMEs need to set a goal to grow to a certain extent in order to be eligible for financing and demonstrate their sustainability.
It is important to note that Sudan is in a transitional phase, and while the country is moving towards a more favorable investment landscape and sophistication in terms of funding and financial instruments, currently there are few instruments available for start-up financing but start-ups may also be eligible for sources of funding that are developed for SMEs through Banks, Microfinance Institutions, Corporates and others. On the other hand, Startups and SMEs that are active in critical sectors of the Sudanese economy, such as agriculture, manufacturing, export oriented activities may have access to numerous support and funding opportunities that are available in the country. In addition, support and funding are also for tech-based startups and SMEs through various programmes by Incubators and Accelerators, Angel Investors, Corporates, and others.
As the Sudanese economy grows through the current challenges, it is likely that Sudanese entrepreneurs will have greater access to funding and development opportunities that matches their growing need for capital and tailored support.