insiderPR is a strategic communications firm designed specifically to drive investment toward innovative companies in Africa and the Middle East and connect entrepreneurs with investors, media and influencers in the US and Europe.
We wanted to start out our monthly newsletter by acknowledging the terrible events of the past month and the current state of racial reckoning that the US and other countries find themselves in. We have worked in African markets for the past fifteen years, we have learned from, worked with and invested in African entrepreneurs.
insiderPR was founded over three years ago because we knew then, as we do now, that African entrepreneurs are the most systematically underrepresented demographic in venture and business media globally. Black founders account for just 1 percent of venture capital funding, of that just 0.2 percent went toward black female founders. This needs to change.
We believe the best means for change is action; action that brings the voices, lived experiences and successes to the eyes and ears of those unaware or unwilling to hear or see them. We believe the people telling the stories create the world we live in. To date, we have worked with over 50 black-owned businesses and helped them publish over 150 op-eds. They represent 95% of our customers.
Over the course of the next year we are committed to doing more: to amplifying more stories, placing more op eds, and working to facilitate more investment into African companies. We appreciate working with you in this important endeavor.
Here is some of the content that has risen above as of late:
Global BLM Content:
- This increased consciousness is welcome. Acknowledging racism and calling it out is a great first step. But ultimately, this increased awareness is useful only as far as it prompts policy changes, less racism and more justice. (Forbes, “Black Lives Matter: If You’re White, Pass The Mic”)
- As Africans we have our own George Floyd, Eric Garner and Manuel Ellis. South Africa’s post-apartheid examples include Andries Tatane killed in 2011 during a “service delivery protest”; then there was the Marikana Massacre in 2012 where 34 striking mineworkers were shot dead by police; and more recently Collins Khoza who was allegedly killed during the country’s Covid-19 lockdown. And it’s not just in South Africa. In Nigeria, there’s the recent alleged police shooting of 16-year-old Tina Ezekwe, and in Kenya the case of 13-year-old Yassin Hussein Moyo who was killed on his balcony at home. (CNN, “Can the American-led Black Lives Matter movement trigger an African awakening?”)
- Not seeing race does little to dismantle racist structures or improve the lives of people of colour. In order to do so, we must see race. We must see who benefits from their race, who is affected by negative stereotyping of theirs, and on whom power and privilege is bestowed — not just because of their race, but also their class and gender. Seeing race is essential to changing the system. (The Guardian, “Why I’m No Longer Taking to White People About Race”)
A couple accounts to follow to keep learning:
- @renireni — Author of the triple award winning WHY I’M NO LONGER TALKING TO WHITE PEOPLE ABOUT RACE
- @rachelcargle — Academic exploring the intersection of race and womanhood
- @novareidoffic — Diversity campaigner, speaker & culture change consultant
Insiders in the News!
- Dr Lydiah Bosire, founder of 8B Education, argued that “the truly worldwide nature of the Covid-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to directly compare response capacities across all countries, and makes a strong case for massive investments in critical segments of human capital across Africa” in a recent Bloomberg Opinion.
- Noon Academy, an educational technology company in Saudi Arabia, has raised $13 million in a funding round led by Riyadh-based venture capital fund STV (Reuters)
- Mohammed Aldossary, co-founder and CEO of Sary, a Saudi B2B ecommerce marketplace, joined MENAbytes Live for an interactive Q&A session.
- Yasmin Kumi, CEO of Africa Foresight Group, argued that “Africa needs talent networks instead of more consulting companies” in a recent Daily Maverick piece.
Resources we are tracking
- SOCAP Resources to Support Social Entrepreneurs During the COVID-19 Crisis
- Amid the unprecedented Coronavirus outbreak, DPI is sharing its Africa CEO Checklist, highlighting the key 6 themes that will make a difference through this crisis
- Vital Capital recently announced a $10 million Vital Impact Relief Facility, offering critical funding for African companies — providing loans to promising businesses in sub-Saharan Africa to help them get through the coronavirus pandemic
- Invest in Africa (IIA) COVID-19 survival programme for SMEs across Sub-Saharan Africa. The toolkit includes webinars, practical guides, solutions and recommendations to help African SMEs get through the many challenges covid-19 represents.
- Africa Foresight Group released a nuanced perspective on covid-19 in Africa, mapping out sector-specific opportunities across the continent.
- Tony Blair Institute for Global Change developed a guide for African governments, concerning how they can use technology to drive economic recovery through a high-benefit-low-cost approach that supports economic recovery plans. Technology solutions should not be seen as a burden for African governments in this Covid-19 crisis; rather, they should be exploited because they can make the economic recovery process faster and easier.
We’re here to support you and please get in touch if we can help in any way during this period!