In this edition of Business Day Spotlight, we take a look at a start-up venture capital partnership set to address the funding of new and promising businesses developed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Sandras Phiri, CEO of Startup Circles; and Lelemba Phiri, Enygma Ventures’ operating partner, to discuss start-ups.

Join the discussion:

The guests begin by giving insight into their work at Enygma Ventures and Startup Circles.

Sandras says Startup Circles is “Africa’s number one online accelerator and start-up school” with a network of entrepreneurs in close to 40 countries across the continent.

Enygma Ventures is a R100m investment fund focused on female entrepreneurs and founders in Southern Africa, Lelemba says.

Business Day Spotlight host Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI
Business Day Spotlight host Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI

Enygma Ventures’ sub-fund, Shift, has opened for a second round of funding for African entrepreneurs and innovators, who either have existing businesses or new business ideas. With August being women’s month in SA, more female entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply.

The Shift Fund — a partnership between Enygma Ventures and StartupCircles.ai — was launched earlier in 2020 and focuses on entrepreneurs and innovators who are passionate about driving innovative solutions to address Africa’s challenges, both during and after the pandemic.

The discussion looks at the rationale for creating the Shift Fund and how it works, exploring trends around the state of start-ups during the Covid-19 crisis and how this has affected the start-up investment landscape.

In giving her outlook for venture funding, Lelemba says there is a healthy appetite for new business with more capital being directed towards new ideas. Sandras says at this time, it is important for businesses to show their ability to make returns quickly.

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 Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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