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Ignite Investment Inc., a U.S. registered company with subsidiaries in Ethiopia, has launched an equity crowdfunding platform that connects Ethiopian entrepreneurs with equity investors from the diaspora.

Equity crowdfunding is a methodology for entrepreneurs to raise funds from a large number of small amount investors by offering equity (or shares) in their company.

Ignite aims to address the lack of access to funding Ethiopian small businesses and startups face due to collateral requirements of banks, restrictive regulations, a lack of capital markets, and the nature of investment required by small businesses, which are typically smaller than the current offering from the private equity market.

Akofada (DFS Ethiopia)

Through its equity crowdfunding platform, Ignite provides an innovative strategy to mobilize international and domestic capital for viable, scalable, and sustainable businesses. With the initial focus on Ethiopia, Ignite envisions scaling up to other African countries.

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Founders looking to raise funds can create a profile of their business on Ignite that includes a pitch deck, business summary or teaser, and business plan including financials and other documents.

After doing the due diligence, Ignite posts the profile, promotes the business to its community of investors, and facilitates all investment processes and deal closing.

Ignite compiles the many crowd investors into one investor, simplifying the process. Even if there are thousands of investors in total fundraising, Ignite assembles them into one shareholder in the company.

The Ignite fee structure follows a successful fee-based model, which is agreed upon with the business owners during the initial stage of the crowdfunding process.

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Kaleab Girma, an Addis Ababa-based reporter and researcher, with over six years of experience in the field. He currently serves as Shega's Editor-in-Chief and specializes in reporting on small businesses, innovation, technology, and startups in Ethiopia.

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