After an intensive coaching, Walo Agri, a Senegalese agricultural company, is eligible for financing. But even after the credit is granted (if any), OVO will continue to coach the entrepreneur.

Walo Agri is a company founded in 2014 by entrepreneur Baba Diallo, who has a 50-hectare site where he grows rice. But Baba wants more. After noticing that the demand for vegetables in his country is growing rapidly, he decided to develop his business further. Therefore, he now leases a 130 ha field for a period of 10 years to grow sweet potatoes, tomatoes and onions, among others.

Enter OVO, through 'lead screener' (read: head coach for this project) Veron Nsunda. "We are now in the third session of SusTech4Africa in Senegal. Walo Agri is one of the 10 promising scale-ups we selected in 2021. Specifically, Baba Diallo has contacted OVO because he is looking for a credit to purchase a Pivot irrigation system, a huge machine that will allow him to significantly increase the production of vegetables."

It all starts with the boost camp

OVO's main goal is to give promising African entrepreneurs a boost through credit. This credit is not granted lightly. It is preceded by a thorough selection procedure and intensive support. In OVO-terms: the boostcamp, is kind of a mini-MBA.

Veron Nsunda: "During such a boost camp, the entrepreneurs present their project and the coaches assist them in drawing up a financial and business plan. We also provide all the necessary tools to enable entrepreneurs to run their business even better. After about six months, all the 'documents' are ready: the business model, the business plan and the financial plan. Based on these documents, the lead screener then writes his report explaining why a project is entitled to funding or not. In the case of Walo Agri, I can only be positive. The business itself is viable and there are sufficient guarantees."

Coaching after the financing

The financing of OVO is composed of two parts: at least half comes from business angels, the rest - with a minimum of 25% - from OVO's own resources. The term is 3 to 5 years, the amounts range from 5,000 to 50,000 euro, the interest is 7%.

The idea is, of course, to repay the loan. That is why OVO coaches (usually three) continue to actively assist the company even after the loan has been granted and throughout the loan period. In the beginning, there is contact almost every day, but as time goes by this becomes weekly, monthly and at the end quarterly. Entrepreneur Baba Diallo is in favor of such guidance: "The coaching remains very important because it allows the company to better define its business model and improve the management, both organizational and financial. As an entrepreneur, you also call on the coaches to improve your know-how in terms of business management."