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Sonvela Progress Update

Q3 2020

· Social Impact Invest

This is the first update about the progress of the Social Impact Investing project of Sonvela. These updates, published for anyone to read, are written to inform you about everything that's happening within this unique concept. I'll be writing one every quarter so you can read about the project's development, and how I'm working towards the goals I have.

It's very important for both participants and others interested to be well informed about the project, to know what we're working on internally, and to understand who our partners are and how we're investing money. There will be a difference in future updates, with updates for participants and investors being more specific and detain financial details.

In the months of March and April, during lockdown in Italy, I started working on the Social Impact Investing project. I'd already made the decision that Sonvela needed to change the way it worked for the future, and that it no longer would be a traditional charity.

In January of this year, I wrote a blog post called 'Shifting from donations to investments' to clarify these ideas about the future of Sonvela for myself and to be able to share it with people. I started to understand the importance of our tech & startup scene during lockdown, and began to see how this group could be involved in making important changes in our country.

In a Tweet that I posted in July I shared, for the first time publicly, what my plans are for the coming 20 years with Sonvela:

  • The first syndicate/club for Angel investors in Cape Verde
  • A Startup Generator/Incubator
  • Fund for micro- and small businesses
  • The University and Company of the future for innovation

Help solve Cape Verde's biggest problems.

A very important step because the project became real as soon as I shared that Tweet. I'm using Twitter a lot to learn from others, such as people from Silicon Valley, and I get to share my ideas with the Cape Verdean community in the US.


I've published two articles which explain my ideas and motives for the Social Impact Investing project in more detail. One is the earlier mentioned blog post titled 'Shifting from Donating to Investing', published in January. It follows my first thinking about this new model.

The second article, Why we need to invest in Cape Verdean tech & startups, was written while I was in the middle of doing the interview series with young Cape Verdean entrepreneurs. It served as my answer to criticism from the community around foreign investments in the Tourism industry.

Read more here:

In this first fase of the project I'm focusing on the interviews with talented founders. For us all a great opportunity to get to know this interesting group of ambitious young people, and the challenges they face. I've published 10 interviews in the last couple of months, with entrepreneurs from different islands and different sectors.

I'm currently setting up a new series of interviews, in which I hope to speak to entrepreneurs/founders from the islands of Maio, Sal and Boa Vista. It might not be with people from the tech & startup scene, but in my opinion still is very important to feature other islands in this series as well.

I've created an interview overview so you can easily search for the interview you wish to read, along with a short intro. I will be adding the next series of interviews to this overview as well.

Read more here:


The time I've spent on Twitter in the last few months have had a very positive effect on the project. The 'build in public' approach has helped me to do the following:

  • A few very interesting conversations with entrepreneurs and investors
  • Two Zoom meetings with an investor and founder from the US and UK
  • Two Zoom meetings with people from the Cape Verdean community in the US
  • Applied for a mentorship program of a South African entrepreneur

The interviews I've published with entrepreneurs/founders have led to a few follow up meetings:

  • Follow up with Hilaria Jesus – Gestagrosystem. This meeting gave us a change to get to know each other better, and to understand exactly how her business is doing at the moment. Hilaria is currently doing the Unitel Creative Camp incubation, and that's why we will plan another meeting within the next few months.
  • Follow up with Alvinio Gomes – Alvis Fotovoltaico. A meeting we planned to discuss how I can help Alvinio get to the next fase in his business. The meeting also served as a way for me to gain much more insight into what he is building, and where he wants to go.
  • Follow up with Erico Pinheiro – Prime Botics. Meeting will take place somewhere in October. Looking forward to learning more about Erico and his business.

Thank you so much for reading this first ever quarterly update of the Sonvela Social Impact Investing project. Please subscribe below if you would like to receive future updates directly in your inbox.