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Investor company to support start-ups inaugurated in Accra

BY: Gertrude Ankah Nyavi
Mr Richard Nii Armah Quaye (3rd left) conducting some of the guests round his office
Mr Richard Nii Armah Quaye (3rd left) conducting some of the guests round his office

An investor company with special interest in assisting start-ups and business growth in the country has been launched in Accra.

Quick Angels Limited, a fully-owned Ghanaian company, has been set up to provide special business services, including start-up equity financing, early stage equity financing, business growth equity financing, small and medium scale enterprises equity financing, and buying and selling of businesses.

The company is modeled on the angel investment concept where entrepreneurial efforts in their formative years receive financial support from another or others with the financial clout.

An angel investor, also known as a business angel or private investor, is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity.

Inauguration

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At the inauguration ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Quick Angels Limited, Mr Richard Nii Armah Quaye, said the company would lift the stress that start-up companies go through when seeking financial assistance.

“The call from young entrepreneurs and businesses has inspired me to intervene now, hence the birth of Quick Angels,” he said.

He said Quick Angels Limited had been established to help young entrepreneurs with brilliant business ideas to thrive.

“I personally think it is long overdue, and this is the time for Angel investors to penetrate into our economy so deep and help alleviate poverty,” he said.

He said “because of the challenges we have had in the economy over the years, there will be that skepticism about the company, and people will be wondering what we are about to do.

People will think that perhaps we have also come here to bring a Ponzi scheme”.

“But our mission is to drive innovative commercial Angel Investments that seek to propel Ghanaian start-ups and also restore promising businesses through strategic partnerships that exceed expectations,” Mr Armah Quaye said.

He, therefore, urged the public to do background check about the company to get firsthand information about its operation.

He said the company was ready to absorb part of government’s responsibility on funding start-ups, potential and existing entrepreneurs with great ideas.

Bank loans

Inaugurating the company, the CEO of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan, Mr John Kumah, advised start-ups not to be overly enticed by loans from banks.

“As for loans from micro finance companies, it is a no go zone for start-ups in the country. You are going to kill your business the moment you take a loan at an interest of five per cent a month.

You have eventually collapsed your business in advance, so I don’t encourage any start-up to go for a micro-finance loan to start a business,” he said.

“The banks will slow you down. They ask for collateral which start-ups don’t have.

A start-up is a business that is beginning, it is in the formative stages, if you ask them to bring collateral in the form of building they will not have it,” he explained.

He encouraged start-ups to go in for long-term funding sources in order to plan the repayment of the loan.

“Quick Angels is a God-send company at this time where start-ups in Ghana need long-term financial sources to grow their businesses and to scale up.

They are coming with equity funding and not loans, which means that start-ups can comfortably think about how to scale up their businesses and grow them,” he stressed.

Quick Angels lauded

The CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Corporation (GIPC), Mr Yoofi Grant, lauded the initiative, stressing that it fits into the agenda of government to support young businesses.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Director of Investor Services of GIPC, Mr Edward Ashong Lartey, urged the company to take advantage of the Youth Entrepreneurship Forum which mentors start-ups to give opportunities to deserving young companies.