Other people, see things and . . . say ‘Why?’ . . . But I dream things that never were– and I say: ‘Why not?’ – George Bernard Shaw
This has shown in my 30+ year career repeatedly. Most recently a few months ago, when pondering the “Missing Middle” of capital for startups in general, and SMEs in Africa specifically. Why? Why is it taking so long for the people and institutions with capital to discover that they can solve real problems and make money investing in Africa?
And why are we waiting for the private capital to flow first, when modern corporations 400 years ago instead started by selling shares to the public. Why is it so hard here in the 21st Century for everyday people to use their money to solve hunger and poverty and make money in the process?
With that, a few months ago I put aside the Why? and picked up the Why Not?
If no one else is making this happen, then I’ll do it. Not alone, as this isn’t a problem one person can fix. But it’s an opportunity one person can envision. That quickly turned into the Africa Eats team saying “lets go”. Then a stock market in Africa. Then a few others who know more about public equity than we do. Now lawyers and investors and investment bankers and others all saying Why Not?, all headed toward making this happen in 2024.