Published Date: October 6th, 2018
The following is a quarterly synopsis of what we have been up to and where we intend to go, with the aim of giving you an inside look into what we at Prairie Crossing are all about. Questions and comments are all welcomed, and can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This past quarter we began our micro-lending service and we are proud to state that we have provided debt financing to two businesses in two very diverse but essential sectors of the Nigerian economy. One in the fashion industry, and the other in oil & gas industry.
Consistent with our focus on youth development, both firms are run by vibrant young entrepreneurs and their target market are mostly millennials, ages ranging from early 20’s to late 30’s. As we learn more and build capacity in the micro-lending service, we see ourselves providing loans to more small businesses in Q1 2019.
Aspire Digital Labs (@AspireLabs) remains our only equity investment to date. Established in January 2018, as a result of seed capital provided by Prairie Crossing. AspireLabs was created to boost the ICT learning experience for students in Primary and Secondary schools, thereby developing human capital through childhood education. The company currently manages the ICT program for two schools in Aba, Abia. Prairie crossing presently holds a 60% stake in the firm.
There seems to be growing awareness of the Prairie Crossing brand. This is partly due to our public relations and marketing efforts, and relevance of the financial services we offer. Our deal flow is growing steadily. We expect to make our second venture investment early next year and it will likely be within our area of focus: education, entertainment, consumer goods, and sports.
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SERVICE
Our main goal at Prairie Crossing is to help businesses perform better. From our foray in the venture capital world, and assessing founders, we realized that management skills are just as (if not more) important as access to capital. So we decided to start Prairie Financial Management Service (PFMS). With PFMS, we essentially take up the role of a CFO to small and mid-size businesses that do not have such expertise. It’s been fun so far, we dialogue with a lot more business owners these days and see economic activity from a different lens.
We had a huge honor of being part of “Lucid Lemons” annual event, this year’s third edition was called “Lemon Curd 3”. Lemon Curd is an event that showcases young talents in music, technology, art and food and promotes youth resilience.
At our section of the event, we hosted a GuysWhoCook competition, Wings Eating Contest, Advanced Virtual Reality Gaming and a Date Auction where the proceeds from this event, a total of fifty thousand naira, was donated to Food Clique, an organization that provides food for kids in disadvantaged schools.
Prairie crossing was also a part of the just concluded Atide Project Big Giveaway. ATIDE is a social enterprise that partners with select entrepreneurs and helps them increase not only sales but local and international awareness of their business and craft—in turn, a portion of sales goes towards a social cause.
This year ATIDE focused on renovating two low-income primary schools in Bariga, Lagos. Prairie Crossing was glad to be part of this event as donors, and volunteers. Between the 29th and 1st of October we along with other volunteers repainted both schools, cleaned the classrooms, set up a playground, and made gift packs for each student containing writing materials and books.
The third quarter brought about the activation of 2 new arms – Lending, and PFMS. We have been working on them for a while, and are glad we were able to begin both this past quarter. Our first two charity events also took place in Q3. Investors sentiment on the economy seems to be bearish. Our reserves, which have played an important role in keeping our exchange rate stable, are on downward trend, currently at $43.9 billion from a high of 47.8 on the 7th of May 2018. The All Share Index is down 15.2% YTD. Rising crude oil prices and steady production remains a bright spot. We will continue to carefully craft and fine tune our new operations, so as to deliver exceptional services to both investors and clients.