Frequently Asked Questions

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Our mission

What is entrepreneurship to OVO?

OVO uses the term entrepreneurship in its broad sense. It is not only about correct business management, but also about seeing and seizing opportunities, discovering and solving needs, developing and marketing services and products. Taking initiative, innovation and motivation are essential pillars of that entrepreneurship.

 

In the same way, entrepreneurship is also about creating value. Not only for oneself, but also for the broader society.

 

That entrepreneurship creates higher income and employment, perspective and motivation, self-confidence, more and more focused education, new opportunities for families and communities.

What does OVO understand by sustainability?

A company is only sustainable when there is a balance between people, the environment and the economy. Fair wages, the provision of training and education, attention to environmental impact, raw materials, short chain ... All these elements determine whether an activity is sustainable or not. OVO uses the Sustainable Development Goals to determine whether entrepreneurship is sustainable.

 

Because only sustainable entrepreneurship creates well-being and prosperity in the short and long term.

Our operation

Why does OVO cooperate with NGOs?

 

OVO works together with seven NGOs recognized by the Belgian government. These NGOs work closely with local partners in our focus countries and have an extensive network and knowledge of local knowledge. Thus they work - from their broad local integration - to improve local living conditions, both in terms of education, health care, infrastructure.

 

Interaction

The NGOs contribute projects for our Sustainable Technology for Africa campaigns: companies or entrepreneurs with great potential. Thanks to their experience, NGOs thus contribute to a qualitative influx of companies seeking coaching and financing.

 

Conversely, OVO contributes to the NGOs' fundraising efforts. They receive up to 80% grants for their projects. They themselves contribute at least 20%. Fundraising through OVO contributes to that 20%. After all, each NGO we work with brings projects to our project portfolio. Through our website and other channels, OVO highlights these projects.

 

Leverage effect x5

The majority of NGO projects benefit from the "co-financing method" of the European Union and Belgian Development Cooperation. For every euro donated, the project gets five. For example, if you give 5,000 euros, the project gets 25,000 euros.

 

Belgian NGOs are subject to strict reporting and monitoring, both in terms of substantive results and financial management. OVO and donors thus have a guarantee that their (financial) support is used correctly.

 

Our NGO partners

OVO collaborates with these NGOs:

What is Sustainable Technology for Africa?

With Sustainable Technology for Africa - SusTech4Africa for short - OVO stimulates sustainable entrepreneurship in Africa. Together with (international) partners, we help selected projects optimize their business models and make them more sustainable, in 4 steps. 

What is the OVO Acceleration Fund?

The OVO Acceleration Fund provides affordable tailored loans to African start-ups with sustainable impact. In other words, not grants, but repayable funds that entrepreneurs need to achieve their ambitious growth. In this way, the fund is constantly replenished and a gift has a lasting impact.

Why these 8 themes?

SERVICES & INFORMATICS

 

Service provision with or without the use of digital innovations can affect all aspects of life, Especially in East and West Africa, digital development plays a decisive role for the innovative potential of society. Young entrepreneurs use new technologies to develop solutions that can have a significant impact on people's daily lives, for example by improving medical care or opportunities for education, by opening new sales channels for small-scale farmers or by harnessing solar energy and making financial services available to more people.

 

ENERGY

 

In climate action, alternative sources of energy represent ecologically sound uses by reducing logging and unhealthy use habits in daily life. Accessibility of these sources enrich the lifestyles of local people in terms of, among other things, length of time for children to expand their learning opportunities and avoidance of harmful combustibles in the preparation of meals. Larger-scale application in village communities offers the population the opportunity to develop economic activities.

 

FINANCING

 

Through microcredit, for example, we enable farmers and entrepreneurs in low- and middle-income countries to develop their activities. Regular credit from traditional banks is usually not feasible for them. Moreover, through financing we not only give these entrepreneurs and their families a better future, but also the people who work for them and the local traders/suppliers they work with. Through B2B projects, Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs directly invests in promising entrepreneurs who do not have access to the "missing link" of financing, above the ceilings of microfinance and below the limits of banks (amounts between €10,000 and €100,000).

 

AGRICULTURE & FOOD INDUSTRY

 

People who provide our food often suffer the most hunger themselves. This is because they are not fairly paid for their work and, especially in the case of African farmers, also because of the difficult conditions in which they have to work. Yet they are the key to a sustainable solution to the food shortage. Poor soils, low availability of seeds and auxiliary materials and poor access to markets make survival difficult in this sector. By uniting through cooperatives, among others, and working to adapt techniques and diversify their activities, farmers can take their lives into their own hands. The processing of agricultural and horticultural products into a variety of nutritious end products help local people richly supplement their diets. Customized marketing through various distribution channels helps them in scaling up and improving their income.

 

PROCESSING INDUSTRY
 

The extent to which a country is industrialized has a direct impact on the average income of its inhabitants. Moreover, industrialization contributes to technological evolution and overall development of a region. Manufacturing and services are both dynamic sectors that create considerable added value for consumers. Therefore, Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs believes that investing in these sectors can be a turning point for start-ups and their environment.

 

EDUCATION & TRAINING

 

Quality education is the foundation for development. It not only helps people get out of poverty, but contributes to greater (gender) equality and a more peaceful society. Although basic education has improved significantly worldwide, there are still too many children, especially girls, who cannot go to school. That is why Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs supports training programs that promote the technical and personal development of youth and adults in low- and middle-income countries.

 

RECYCLING & CIRCULAR ECONOMY

 

Recycling primarily aims to reduce waste production and reduce pollution to improve living conditions in climate mitigation. The circular economy goes further by processing the waste into new marketable end products. The approach consists in the thought process of extending the durability of products or processing them into new useful products for other purposes. In addition, new economic models are developing that support circularity. This line of thinking can bring numerous benefits, such as lower environmental impact, greater certainty about the availability of raw materials, the development of innovative solutions and the creation of local jobs.

 

WATER SUPPLY
 

No one survives without proper water systems and sanitation. Water is also an important element in the production of food, energy and goods. Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs realizes that without sustainable technologies and reliable infrastructure, local entrepreneurship is not possible. Therefore, Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs invests in improved access to water for agriculture, drinking water and sanitation.

Financing projects

How does a loan to a company work?

You can support projects with a participation in company capital or a cash loan. The modalities are determined in an investment agreement. OVO has a facilitating and advisory role, and monitors the social character of the investment. It is also possible to work out an export-import model between both parties.
 

Would you like more information? Feel free to contact us. 

The OVO Acceleration Fund

What is the OVO Acceleration Fund?

The OVO Acceleration Fund comprises donations from private individuals, businesses and other organizations. The fund uses these donations to provide financial support for social and sustainable entrepreneurship in Africa in the form of low-interest loans. OVO (Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs) supports these projects with expertise. When the loans mature these budgets are returned to the Fund, thereby enabling new projects to be financed. A single donation to the Fund therefore has an impact on multiple projects. The aim of the fund is to provide financial support for African entrepreneurs who have little or no access to the financial markets.
 

Who set up the OVO Acceleration Fund?

The OVO Acceleration Fund was set up by the non-profit organization Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs (OVO for short).
 

What is the role of the King Baudouin Foundation?

For the OVO Acceleration Fund, OVO works closely with the King Baudouin Foundation (KBF). The KBF is responsible for managing the Fund. This includes the receipt of donations, issuing tax certificates, drawing up contracts, and transferring the money to the borrowers. The KBF then tracks the receipt of the repayments and the interest. The KBF also makes sure the projects are in line with the OVO Acceleration Fund’s mission and vision.

What projects does the OVO Acceleration Fund focus on?

The Fund concentrates on businesses with a sustainable economic approach with a significant social impact on employment opportunities in Africa.

What type of businesses qualify?

Start-ups, scale-ups and smaller businesses all qualify.

What criteria are used?

  • The company is economically sustainable for a maximum of 5 years
  • The location of the economic activity is Africa
  • An (initial) business plan is in place
  • There is a need for between 5,000 and 50,000 euros of finance for the start-up or scale-up
  • The company generates a social impact by creating employment, offering essential services or products to the lower class, etc.
  • There is no negative ecological impact; on the contrary, there is preferably a positive or regenerative impact
     

Can anyone contribute a project?

The projects are selected as part of the ‘Sustainable Technology for Africa’ competition that OVO organizes each year in Belgium and in a number of focus countries in Africa.

What financial selection criteria need to be satisfied?

The OVO Acceleration Fund only makes a financial contribution if at least 50% of the original project investment is in place and if OVO’s Investment Team has examined the business plan and decided it is viable. 

What countries does the OVO Acceleration Fund focus on?

Initially the fund is focusing on Uganda, Rwanda and Senegal. This country focus does not apply for projects by members of the African diaspora in Belgium. All African countries can be considered in this case if strict monitoring is possible via the project owner. The ‘possibility of monitoring’ is a crucial criterion in the selection of the projects. 

Are Belgian entrepreneurs also eligible for finance?

Investments are only made in businesses with an official address in Africa.

De quelle forme de financement s’agit-il?

Il s'agit d'un prêt social, généralement remboursable en 3 à 5 ans, avec un intérêt couvrant les risques de change et liés au projet. Des experts d’OVO aident l’entrepreneur à développer et réaliser son projet.  

Is the OVO Acceleration Fund only restricted to injections of finance?

OVO is also concerned with knowledge transfer and tweaking of the business plan where necessary.

Who takes care of coaching and monitoring in the projects?

The projects are monitored by OVO.

Are details of the current status supplied for each project?

An update on each project is published twice a year.

What happens if a project fails?

The OVO Acceleration Fund aims to assure the scope of the donations received by creating reserves drawn from interest income on outstanding loans. These reserves will offset any losses.

Over what period is the investment in each project spread?

The investment in each project runs for a maximum of 5 years.

How can donations be made to the OVO Acceleration Fund?

Donations can be made to the Fund by transferring money to account number BE10 0000 0000 0404 with the structured code ***018/0530/00002***

Can individuals contribute too?

Individuals can contribute to the OVO Acceleration Fund in just the same way as companies. 

What does the OVO Acceleration Fund offer in return for the investor?

The OVO Acceleration Fund will update each donor at regular intervals on the status of the project of his or her choice. Donors receive a tax certificate from the King Baudouin Foundation for amounts of €40 or more.

Is there an upper limit for the financial injection per project?

Because the Fund wants to spread the risk, the maximum investment per project is 25,000 euros.
 

What happens to the investment if the project finance is repaid?

Once the project finance has been repaid, the money is reinvested in a new project. The funds thus remain permanently available and can be used again to support other African entrepreneurs.

Who manages the OVO Acceleration Fund account?

The OVO Acceleration Fund account is managed by the King Baudouin Foundation. All donations are paid into this account.

Is it possible to obtain a tax certificate?

For a donation of 40 euros or more a tax certificate will be issued by the King Baudouin Foundation. 

What administrative charge does OVO make?

OVO makes a one-off 5% charge per donation. This covers all costs (including the administration costs of the King Baudouin Foundation).
 

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