By now we probably know the basics of Equity Crowdfunding….

That it is the process by which people invest in a business that is not listed on a stock exchange, in exchange for ownership of equity shares in that company. Of course, just like any other investment, listed or not, there are risks of capital loss associated with investing for equity.

These risks can be reduced or avoided with a proper and professional analysis of the investment case, care taken before buying the shares and transparency. This can be achieved by using an equity crowdfunding platform that is well regulated by financial regulatory bodies such as the FSB (Financial Services Board).

We at Uprise. Africa, are one such platform. Our company is the first and only regulated equity crowdfunding platform in South Africa and the rest of the African continent.

Now we are proud to be have been selected as the platform that will power Agri2Rise, an equity crowdfunding initiative for innovative Agri-food businesses from farm to fork.

Agri2Rise is disrupting the traditional funding landscape with an alternative method for agribusinesses to raise capital, thus making the funding landscape more accessible to both entrepreneurs and investors. This is the future of South Africa’s food security industry and the continent as a whole.

Statistics
The forecasts in terms of numbers in the agriculture industries in Africa is impressive. The continent’s agribusiness industry is estimated to be worth $1 trillion by 2030; its population growth projected to be about 2.4 billion by 2050 and 4.1 billion by 2100.

Furthermore, Africa is set to have about 48% of the globe’s population aged 14 and under by 2100 while possessing the world’s unused arable land at 60%.

Agriculture in Africa
It is widely agreed that the African continent has enormous potential to feed itself, eliminate food insecurity, and more importantly be a major player in the global food system. This potential lies in the vast tracks of arable land that are found here, in the huge market potential presented by the fast-growing population and perhaps in our most important resource in the form of the growing population of young men and women who enter the labour market.

A special feature of African agriculture in comparison to the rest of the world is that the sector has continued to absorb a large proportion of the working population. “Half of all new entrants to Africa’s working population have turned to agriculture, whereas in Asia, this statistic is only 30%. In the developed world, the number of farmers is declining,” according to New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

The agricultural sector remains a major sector in most African economies with NEPAD’s agricultural outlook report, stating that “agricultural production in Africa has increased steadily over the last 30 years: its value has almost tripled (+160%), showing an increase that clearly exceeds the growth rate for global agricultural production over the same period (+100%), almost identical to that of South America (+174%), and below but comparable to growth in Asia (+212%)”.

The challenge of funding
As expected, the above-mentioned success in African agriculture presents its challenges. Even with the reported increased production, there has been little improvement in production factors including labour productivity and mechanization, both of which are capital intensive. Research shows that the major African investors in agriculture are farmers themselves. They invest around $100 billion every year in their farms, despite the almost total lack of credit facilities for the vast majority of them.

Equity Crowdfunding
Equity Crowdfunding, therefore comes in to remove some of the challenges faced in accessing finances for the African agribusiness sector. The fundraising method is rapidly changing the way innovation is driven, including bringing inclusion, transformation, and growth in agriculture.

This soon to come Agri2Rise equity crowdfunding initiative bears testament to one of Uprise Africa’s main objectives, to empower Africans to raise each other up, one business at a time.

To view our investment page visit https://uprise.africa/discover/ and register to become and investor or start raise your own business capital today.