Traditional aid and microfinance platforms have good intentions, says Ghanaian investor Sangu Delle, but they largely haven’t worked. This TED Fellow proposes a different way: investing in pan-African entrepreneurial titans. Through Golden Palm Investments, the investment company he founded, Delle focuses on supporting smart businesses in Africa with big ambitions. GPI focuses on high growth industries and has funded promising startups like SOLO Mobile in Nigeria, mPharma in Ghana and Stawi Foods in Kenya. Because instead of lending small amounts to 500 farmers who’ll each make a small percentage more as a result, he’d rather lend a huge amount to one world class company with the ability to employ 500 people — and perhaps many more. Africa has a market of one billion people and, with more high-impact businesses, could quickly outpace other emerging economies, he says.
Sangu is the author of the upcoming book, Seeding Growth: Africa’s Youngest Entrepreneurs. He is also the co- founder of cleanacwa, a non-profit in Ghana that supports water and sanitation as basic human rights, and that is currently serving about 120 villages. In 2014, Delle was named one of Forbes magazine's “30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa.”