3 Days, 3 Cities, 3 Companies in Kenya

Site visit youtube videos

I’m back from 12 days in Kenya. That included two days speaking at Sankalp Africa, two days facilitating conversations with the bizi of Africa Eats, and three days driving across Kenya visiting a different company in a different city each day. I’ll save you the long drives, bumpy roads, odd hotel rooms, along with the very long flights and instead give you three highly edited video...

Keeping busy in 2022

The big shift I’ve seen in 2020, 2021, and 2022 is that the default mode of business (in impact investing) is meetings on Zoom vs. meetings in-person. The new normal for my workday is spending a few hours talking to people around the world via Zoom, with 99% of those meetings set by All those people have the option of a phone call, and maybe once per month someone choose a...

Why Foreign Aid Doesn’t Work… and What Does

The Problem with Foreign Aid

The following video does a great job of quickly summarizing the typical problems with foreign aid… So… if that doesn’t work, what does? For-profit capitalism. That may sound backwards, but it truly does work, when implemented correctly. I’ve seen this first-hand, as this is what I do as my main job. I find overlooked entrepreneurs in Africa whose work alleviates hunger and...

Milestone by milestone growth (in Africa)

Cohort analysis

Over at Africa Eats we typically tout growth based on aggregate revenues. Growing from under $1 million to over $16.8 million in seven years is worthy of touting (see below). But this week I started looking at it another way, and that is even more interesting. This week the question came up… how many of the companies are small, medium, and large, and how has that changed over the past few...

The power to grow

Electricity in Africa 2022

Growing an economy takes power, especially electricity. One major piece of infrastructure missing in most Sub-Saharan countries is a ubiquitous electric grid. Only South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, and Gabon have 85% or better access to electricity, and while I don’t know first hand what the electric grid is like in all four of those countries I do know that while the Kenyan electric grid is...

The (coming) East Africa Federation

East Africa Federation map with flags

I’m publicly bullish on Africa (1, 2, and 3). I foresee the continent being the next big economic growth story after the Asian Tigers, China, and India. On the path are some major continental-scale efforts, including the potential creation of the East African Federation, a political union of the existing East Africa Community trading group: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and...

Africa’s public markets are in the noise

Africa's public markets

Before spinning Africa Eats out of Fledge last year, I spent a lot of time digging into the public stock markets of Africa, understanding what it means to be public on an exchange in an emerging market country. I’ve been buying and selling shares on public stock markets since the 1980s but only companies listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ. This week I can across this infographic, showing the...

A handful of stories from Africa Eats

Africa Eats header

There are so many incredible stories to share at Africa Eats, the investment holding company spun out of Fledge in 2020. Here is a sampling of the type of solutions we’ve invested in. Homegrown, for-profit solutions with measurable impacts lessening hunger and poverty across Africa. For more stories, listen to The Opportunity is Africa, a podcast brought to you by Africa Eats And a note to...


Kalahari Honey header

Some entrepreneurs stand out, clearly destined to turn their vision in reality. Some entrepreneurs succeed despite the myriad of unjust hurdles of world puts in front of them. Hurdles like being born a women. A black woman. In Africa. In one of the many countries no one outside that country cares about. Start off any entrepreneur in those circumstances and 99 out of 100 will end up no better off...

Neither Unicorns nor Zebra, but Elephants


Zebra’s may fix what Unicorns break, but that hasn’t stopped the investing world from their focus on hunting unicorns. Maybe a little in the impact investing space, but there the world of young companies is split into “startups” and “SMEs” with the latter still looked upon as potential unicorns and the latter often derided as unworthy of investment. Rather than...


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