“We are very excited about what we call “tech-enabled” solutions, and Africa, in my view, is ground zero for these types of opportunities.” That is according to Jeffrey Stine, principal of the Chicago-based but Africa-focused investment firm VestedWorld, who says “tech-enabled” companies differ from “tech” companies in that they are starting with the problem, identifying the pain points, and only then bringing technology into the picture. “There are an endless number of African startups tackling problems in areas of business services, logistics, import-substitution or replacement, energy, and healthcare, among others, utilising this “tech-enabled” approach.
The vision these entrepreneurs have for the Africa of tomorrow is what gets me out of bed in the morning – it literally could not be a more exciting time.” Stine was formerly an infantry officer in US army, and though he admits this is not a traditional background for the investing line of work, he says it was an “amazing experience”. “It offered me learning opportunities that I couldn’t have had elsewhere – leadership, ownership, operations, risk management and exposure to a virtually endless number of situations requiring out-of-the-box problem solving – experiences that I refer to nearly every day and that help me connect with entrepreneurs who face similar challenges in leading and building their own teams,” he said.
After leaving the army he attended the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, obtaining an MBA. with concentrations in Analytic Finance, Economics, Accounting and Entrepreneurship, and then headed to Wall Street to work at Lazard in the Power, Energy and Infrastructure group.
Stine now founds himself at VestedWorld, which was started by his partner Euler Bropleh in 2014. “Having grown up in Liberia, and having travelled extensively across Sub-Saharan Africa as an adult, he became acutely aware of the severe need for risk capital to enable SMEs to achieve their growth aspirations,” Stine said.
The original concept for VestedWorld was a platform-driven approach that connected accredited investors to entrepreneurs seeking investment. However, over time, Bropleh and Stine found that while investors were very excited about the opportunities presented to them, they wanted VestedWorld to play a much larger role. Read more from disrupt-africa.com…
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