EMPOWERING YOUNG COMPANIES

Projected to raise funding

TakaFull is a mobile application in Morocco that allows citizens to donate money to young entrepreneurs who find it difficult to acquire the appropriate funding for their projects.
TakaFull is a mobile application in Morocco that allows citizens to donate money to young entrepreneurs who find it difficult to acquire the appropriate funding for their projects. PHOTO: L'ECONOMISTE

MOROCCO • The meteoric rise in crowdfunding projects, which allow an entrepreneur to raise funds from the donations of private individuals, has taken many countries by storm.

Two young Moroccans finishing their master's degrees in finance have set up their own such project, under the name TakaFull. It is, in essence, a mobile application that connects contributors to young entrepreneurs who find it difficult to acquire appropriate funding.

Users select one or more projects from a menu and read the detailed descriptions and funding history.

Once the choice has been made, the contributor sends an SMS converted into monetary value to fund the project. This text messaging service has a unit value of about €1.50 (S$2.30). Half the amount goes to the selected entrepreneur, about 8 per cent goes to TakaFull, and the rest to the operators and service providers.

TakaFull's co-founders Omar Tolai and Mohammed Yassin Kamel decided to capitalise on a combination of digital opportunity, the high number of cellphone users in Morocco and the growing demand for self-employment. They had barely started their campaign when they were spotted and offered support for their endeavours.

Last year, they were fourth in the Solve For Tomorrow competition, organised by Samsung Electronics Morocco and Enactus Morocco, an event aimed at encouraging ideas for improving people's lives and the development of solutions by young entrepreneurs using infocomm technology.

Today, they are working on their graduation project, leaving the TakaFull application on standby.

"We have everything we need to get started, supplier contracts and mentors, but we are still looking for a developer who would like to get involved in this adventure," said Mr Tolai, who added that the team's objective is to finance 410 projects in three years through the application, according to their "most conservative estimate".

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2017, with the headline 'Projected to raise funding'. Print Edition | Subscribe