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In this Q&A with Licínio Chissano, project and investment manager at Renew Capital you will discover the creativity and vibrancy of the people in Mozambique, a country renowned for its beautiful weather and beaches. Expand your knowledge about this amazing country.

How I See My Ecosystem: From Sunshine to Startups

By Renew Capital Marketing and Communications Team | Fri Aug 11 2023
Unleashing Mozambique's Entrepreneurial Magic!
Mozambique is renowned for its captivating landscapes, pristine beaches and rich cultural tapestry. In this interview with the project and investment manager at Renew Capital, Licínio Chissano, we delve into Mozambique’s entrepreneurial landscape and the promising industries that are driving its growth. Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the innovative ideas and projects spearheaded by Mozambican entrepreneurs and how their efforts are shaping the trajectory of their nation's future.
Q. Briefly tell us about your background in investment/career.
A. I come from a diverse background in the investment and finance industry. I started my career in social investment consulting and later joined a commercial bank in Mozambique. Working in Maputo, the dynamic city that never sleeps, was an exciting change for me. However, after five years, I wanted new challenges and considered opportunities abroad. Then, I received a job offer from Renew Capital, a firm with experience across the continent. I enjoy helping entrepreneurs at different stages of their businesses and it's fulfilling to contribute to the country's investment landscape.
Q. What makes Mozambique unique, why should someone visit? 
A. Mozambique is a beautiful country that boasts over 1,500 miles of stunning coastline, as well as picturesque mountains, waterfalls and rich biodiversity. However, what truly sets Mozambique apart is its people, who are hardworking, spirited and welcoming. From the bustling streets of Maputo to the tranquil provinces, their energy is infectious and they are always eager to learn and create. When you visit Mozambique, you can look forward to a warm welcome and plenty of sunshine. The country's rich culture and friendly people will leave a lasting impression on you and the cuisine is sure to delight your taste buds. Whether you're dining at a restaurant in Maputo or exploring beyond the city, you'll find a delicious variety of dishes.
Q.What are the main industries and economic activities in Mozambique?
A. Agriculture remains a significant pillar of the economy, with many provinces engaging in agricultural activities. However, the logistics sector is rapidly growing, with strategic investments in ports, railways and transportation infrastructure. The government recognizes the country's geographical advantage and aims to accelerate regional trade, making Mozambique a key player in commerce and transportation within the region. Additionally, commerce plays a vital role in people’s livelihoods. Given the dispersed population living outside major cities, e-commerce platforms have gained popularity, allowing people to buy and sell goods without the need to travel long distances to urban centers. This helps to bridge the gap between rural and urban areas, making commerce more accessible. 
Q.What’s excited you about the Mozambique ecosystem in recent years?
A. What excites me about the Mozambique ecosystem in recent years is the growing potential in the fintech sector. While there are some fintech present in the market, most are not locally owned. This creates a unique opportunity for local entrepreneurs to step in and fill the gaps in financial services tailored to the Mozambican community. Despite facing challenges with regulatory compliance and securing investments, many startups are eager to provide innovative fintech solutions. These startups are responding to high demand for services not adequately offered by established players like telecom companies and traditional banks. One example is the lack of efficient digital platforms for the popular "ti ti" savings groups, which are prevalent throughout Mozambican society. Furthermore, the government and development partners are making efforts to facilitate the growth of the private sector and encourage startups. Initiatives like incubation programs in public universities and the establishment of science and technological parks show promise in nurturing homegrown talent and innovative ideas. 
Q.Why are you passionate about startups and entrepreneurship in Mozambique?
A. Mozambicans are incredibly innovative and creative, always coming up with ideas that have the potential to transform into businesses. However, they often face challenges in accessing funding and resources to bring their ideas to life. Many startups struggle because they lack the necessary resources and support. This is where my passion lies – in connecting these talented entrepreneurs with opportunities and providing them with the guidance and assistance they need to thrive. I am also inspired by the honesty and openness of the entrepreneurs in Mozambique, who are not afraid to seek help and collaborate with others to grow their businesses. Their energy and determination motivate me to be a part of their journey and support them in any way I can. I firmly believe that the young generation in Mozambique has great potential and by supporting them and their ideas, we can contribute to the growth and prosperity of the country as a whole. 
Renew Capital is an Africa-focused impact investment firm that backs innovative companies with high-growth potential. Renew Capital manages investments made on behalf of the Renew Capital Angels, a global network of angel investors, foundations and family offices who seek financial returns and sustainable social impact. For the latest on investing in Africa, subscribe and follow us at our social links below.

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