nicky khaki on finding impact

FIP 011: Raising Early Stage Finance with Nicky Khaki

In this episode, Nicky Khaki talks us through early stage finance. He runs the EWB Venture fund that specifically targets early stage businesses and provides them with high-quality professionals to provide expertise to drive them forward. Nicky Khaki started out as an investment banker on Wall Street before working in Kenya for a year setting up small scale water shops in urban areas. He went back to University to study international development and then connected with Engineers without Borders Canada who were looking to formalize their investment offering for early stage businesses whilst providing professionals (or “talent”) at the same time.

  • Some of the things you’ll learn on this podcast include:
  • What the landscape of finance probably looks like for social entrepreneurs in Africa.
  • What EWB Ventures looks for in a business to potentially invest up to $100k and specifically at what stage.
  • Why EWB Ventures provides talent for 1-2 years when they make an investment into a company.
  • We talk about their talent screening process and what the talent can expect when they get placed with a company.
  • Recommendations for early stage entrepreneurs to cultivate investor relationships, including sharing a monthly update on progress.
  • What an early stage enterprise should have ready when approaching an early stage investor, and why a financial model is not expected at this stage.
  • We discuss common pitfalls Nicky’s seen with pitches to his organization, including (a) know your audience and making sure your presentation responds to that audience; (b) include what problems you’re facing and what do you need help with; (c) not interviewing the investor, to ensure they’re aligned with your style and approach; (d) talking about a major expansion in the pitch – which is crazy to do, even before you’ve reached revenue.
  • If Nicky was setting up a social enterprise, which sector he would go into.

Resources:

Connect with Nicky:

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