Ladybrille African fashion designers, it is very crucial you re-shift your attention to the business of fashion, not showbiz i.e. display of fashion. If you are a business that has survived the startup phase, have the basic business infrastructure in place, ongoing customers, a strong internet presence, media buzz and have even showed at one or two fashion shows, it is time to really think and move your business to the next level.
The next level is avoiding a situation where you are still borrowing from yourself, family and friends to fund your business. Your business should be paying you, not the other way around. This means it is time to seek financing if you want to take your business to that next level.
When you want to borrow money from a financial institution or an investor, it is a lot different than borrowing from yourself, family or friends. There are strict requirements including showing a business plan that reveals how the investor will and can make a return on their investments.
This next level also involves many risks that must be careful evaluated. In the USA, there are two main methods that fashion businesses fund their enterprise: factoring and purchase order financing. On the continent, our designers are unable to have banks borrow them money because they have no real collateral to offset the amounts they would like to borrow.
Enter a group called VC4Africa. VC4Africa began as a community on Ning.com where investors and entrepreneurs could gather. Today, they are helping investors find businesses they can invest in, the serious African entrepreneur owned businesses with a promising future who just need that extra infusion of cash.
Nigerian fashion brands Mmabon and LPM/L’Espace founders entered VC4Africa’s September Cohort competition to win the opportunity for funding and mentorship. The results are out and both labels, after a vigorous process, have been chosen. Congratulations to them!
If you recall, earlier this year, L’Espace/LPM’s Isoken Ogiemwonyi was featured as Ladybrille Woman of the Month. You may revisit that interview here.
Otherwise, check out an excerpt of the announcement below and also watch the fashion finance law video from one of my fashion law colleagues out of the UK so you too can learn have to take your business to the next level.
“We are pleased to announce the 10 entrepreneurs selected for VC4Africa’s September Cohort! The selected entrepreneurs will receive, among other things, targeted coaching and introductions to the VC4Africa investor network, the largest network of African SME focused investors.
The VC4Africa team congratulates the selected entrepreneurs on their achievement! The 10 teams have gone through a rigorous screening process, with the final selection done by a committee comprised of Victor Asemota of Afrinnova, Lot Carlier of African Media Ventures Fund, Ory Okolloh of the Omidyar Network, Sean Smith of Invested Development, and Samuel Ssenyimba of LGT Venture Philanthropy. VC4Africa is privileged and thankful to have had such an outstanding group of professionals involved in this process, and looks forward to their continued engagement and support as the selected entrepreneurs move forward.
Over the next three months the VC4Africa team will be working with the 10 selected entrepreneurs to further strengthen their business cases, help them complete their documentation, and upon successful graduation facilitate introductions to VC4Africa’s Investor Network. Industry experts will join dedicated sessions on traction, building a killer team, fundraising, pitching and deal closing. And building on VC4Africa’s peer-to-peer philosophy, a top team will be selected by the participants and recognized as the most outstanding venture.
The companies participating in the program require investments under USD $1 million. The entrepreneurs are running established businesses with high quality teams, most already generating revenue. Many have already secured early funding and now seek the additional capital needed to take the venture to the next level.. .”
Fashion Finance Law