- Meseret (Messi) Warner
Meseret (Messi) Warner
Founder and Managing Director
Entrepreneur with a background in women economic empowerment, tech, crowdfunding, investment, economics, globalization in the African market
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Ignite Investment Ethiopia Africa Ethiopia’s Equity Crowdfunding Platform Africa’s Unique Equity Crowdfunding Platform Ethiopian Diaspora African diaspora Diaspora Invest in Ethiopia Invest in Africa Women Economic Inpoerment Invest in African Women Entrepreneurs
Founder and CEO of Ignite Investment, Ethiopia’s first and Africa’s few equity crowdfunding platform for facilitating financing for African SMEs and startups focusing on the over 80 Billion USD remittances the African diaspora sends to the continent every year. Meseret has more than twenty years of extensive global professional experience in various sectors such as technology, advisory services, facilitating investment, Business Development Services (BDS), manufacturing, and MICE among others. She has been working with both small and large clients ranging from Ethiopian businesses seeking capital investments and support to grow their businesses to international investors looking for local investment opportunities.
Recently, Meseret facilitated only the second FDI in the logistics sector in Ethiopia. A multi-million joint venture partnership between a leading logistics company in Ethiopia MACCFA Freight Logistics and CEVA Logistics - a global logistics and supply chain company in both freight management and contract logistics with US$7 billion in revenues.
Past high-profile projects include successfully raising over $5 million for the Addis Africa International Convention and Exhibition Center Share Company public-private project including a reorganization of the company.
Meseret is the former President of the African Women Entrepreneur Program (AWEP), Ethiopia chapter. She is currently the women economic empowerment technical advisor to the “Strengthening the Business Development Service Market in Ethiopia” project implemented by GOPA worldwide consultants and funded by GIZ. In addition, she advises Shegerhive business and tech hub, an entrepreneurship-supportive ecosystem and accelerator that provides businesses as well as individuals a conducive environment to foster growth through enabling services and platforms. Meseret is an entrepreneur with a background in IT, economics, and globalization; and holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Mathematics as well as a master’s in Globalization and Development
Founder and CEO
January 2016 - present
Built and launched Ethiopia’s First and Africa’s Unique Equity Crowdfunding Platform ( https://igniteinvestment.com/) to unlock funding, grow businesses, transform economies, and impact millions by connecting Ethiopian entrepreneurs with equity investors from the diaspora and beyond!
At Ignite, haveing a vision of being a pioneering crowdfunding investment platform is not enough. Our impact is to actually be one by bridging the huge financing gap with suitable type of capital through innovative model essential for the market.
This is Ignite's solution to the SME and startups financing challenges that addresses Ethiopia’s access to capital hurdles and the smaller ticket sizes being sought by the more than 80% of the businesses in the country that we work on everyday.
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Meseret (Messi) Warner replied:
Crowdfunding in Africa is in its infancy stage of development. Just like in the U.S., donation and reward-based crowdfunding has been trying to take hold in the market for the last several years. That said, equity crowdfunding is springing around since 2015/16 with its potential being recognized by governments and the development/donor community including ours (https://igniteinvestment.com/) launched in September 2022.
With over 80% of African businesses being Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) facing a critical lack of access to finance because of collateralized debt financing, the potential for crowdfunding is estimated to reach over 2 Billion in sub-Sahara Africa by just 2025. I also know that Wefunder and Republic have been eyeing around the African equity crowdfunding market. In fact, I actually participated in one of Republic's Twitter spaces event talking about how African company fundraised on their platform.
Hope this help and have a look at these two articles that may give you some more information: https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/july-2022/crowdfunding-emerging-financing-source-african-entrepreneurs#:~:text=Forecasts%20now%20show%20that%20crowdfunding,cent%20of%20the%20global%20market.
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