Business Development Services (or BDS) is a cross-cutting sector that aims to contribute to the improvement of the business capacity of ELAN RDC’s partners. We do that by offering direct or indirect business support to our partners. Direct support could be giving advice on what to do to be more successful, or arranging introductions to possible business partners, such as clients, distributors. But we also help our partners find financing, as this is frequently a bottleneck for their growth. Indirect support is support given through training providers, incubation centers or other platforms. You will find examples of our work below.
The work that has been done so far with ELAN :
Ad hoc consulting support for a number of ELAN partners: advice on how to be more successful, introduction to potential clients, distributors, financing options
Bootcamp: a series of short business skills trainings for ELAN partners, coupled with on-site coaching
Provide information for entrepreneurs through the free Vodacom shortcode 42502 nationwide in 5 local languages on how to run a business successfully (see short write-up and B-one talk show)
Provide useful resources for entrepreneurs through the website CongoBizUp.com
Improve the capacity of Ensemble Pour la Difference in Bukavu to provide more and better service to their portfolio companies
Support the startup ecosystem of DRC by assisting in the creation of Ingenious City, an incubation platform for DRC, as well as support for Seedstars events and hackathons in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi (see Seedstars video and knowledge management piece)