By Wegentech PR
Wegenfund, the Ethiopian fundraising platform, has started supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses for crowdfunding. Launched in December 2021, Wegenfund was developed by Wegen Technology Solutions PLC in collaboration with the Bank of Abyssinia. It first started giving service as a fundraising tool to Charities, religious organisations and individuals with medical emergencies, enabling them to raise funds both locally and internationally.
Wegenfund for startups/businesses was officially launched by a virtual event held on 9th March 2023 in the presence of invited guests, panellists, startups and entrepreneurs from various fields.
In his opening remark, Mr Selamyihun Adeferes, CEO of Innovation & Startup Development at the Ministry of Innovation and Science, mentioned that securing finance is one of the major challenges faced by early-stage startups. He thanked Wegen Technology for their work on Wegenfund which could play a valuable role in financing early-stage startups.
Co-founder and Director Dr. Belachew Chekene Tesfa explained that there are four major models of startup crowdfunding, and that Wegenfund currently implements two of these. The first one is a donation-like model, where a supporter sponsors a company without necessarily expecting anything in return “more akin to buying a fishing net for fisher so that he can feed himself and his family.” This is useful for social-enterprises, charity-related businesses, or traders who are looking for support from family and friends.
The second type is based on Rewards. He likened this to sponsoring a fishing boat for a fisher, and expecting in return some fish for lunch. This one might be more interesting to creative individuals like authors and artists, where they can share their end-product with their supporters. Debt and equity are the third and fourth types of crowdfunding which Wegenfund plans to incorporate in the future.
The event also included panellists who shared their various experiences. Nael Hailemariam, CEO and Co-Founder at Chapa Financial Technologies Share Co., which is also one of the payment partners of Wegenfund, explained the various benefits of crowdfunding – which include validating an idea, creating community and reduced risk – along with examples of success stories from crowdfunding in the West.
Samiya Abdulkadir Godu, President of Ethiopian Youth Entrepreneurs Association (EYEA), explained her Association’s role in areas like empowering entrepreneurs, filling skill gaps and creating networking opportunities. She thanked Wegen Technology Solutions for coming up with a solution that can play an important role in financing entrepreneurship.
Rose Mestika, CEO of Michu MultiMedia, perhaps more known for her campaign to increase maternity leave period in Ethiopia, highlighted her services in advocating for women and mothers in Ethiopia. She mentioned that it is harder for these types of social enterprises to secure funding and promised to work in partnership with Wegenfund to alleviate current Muchubet financial constraints.
Wegenfund, the platform, calls itself Ethiopia’s first crowdfunding platform open for all charities – and now for businesses – legally operating in Ethiopia.
Founded in 2021, Wegen Technology Solutions PLC is a technology firm based in Addis Ababa. It focuses on software development and data analytics.
Wegenfund can be accessed at www.wegenfund.com
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