Are you African and well-educated? Check, check. Well, Bandeka has a social network for you. Bandeka means “to connect” and in some respects is reminiscent of Facebook in the early days where only Harvard students were allowed to join.
What sets this social network apart is that the site encourages it’s community of Africans to meet both on- and offline. It also encourages matchmakers to join to connect the singles in their lives.
It was my pleasure to interview Afua Entsuah, PR Coordinator of this hot startup.
Me: When was Bandeka established and how did you come up with the idea for this company?
Afua: Bandeka was founded in 2011 by two Harvard Business School alumni, Tunde Kehinde and Yaw Boateng. The idea was birthed after Kehinde and Boateng recognized that their friends and classmates shared a common frustration with their dating options, and we were looking for a way to consistently meet like-minded African singles outside their immediate social circles.
Me: Who is your target audience, and how can they benefit from using this social network?
Afua: It targets successful African professionals around the world. From graduate students to entrepreneurs, we aim to attract Africans who have attended the best schools and work for the most prestigious organizations.
Once on the site, members can expect to be connected to new exceptional Africans who they are compatible with. The potential benefits from this are endless—including new friendships, relationships, and business contacts.
Me: How can new members join Bandeka?
Afua: As an invite-only community, the only way to become a member of Bandeka is to be invited by someone who is already a member. We have structured Bandeka in this manner to ensure the site’s integrity and to increase the opportunities for matching making (through mutual contacts).
If you do not know anyone on the site, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about yourself.
Me: Who are your competitors, and how are you unique relative to your competitors?
Afua: There are a number of interesting sites that try to connect Africans in various ways and through various platforms. However, we try to focus closely on what we are doing, concentrate on providing a great user experience, and not worry too much about our competitors.
Bandeka is unique because we are focused on connecting well-educated Africans on- and off-line in formats they are comfortable with. Our aim is to get you meeting new amazing people in the real world as fast as possible. We have had great success with our social mixers in 10 cities across 3 continents. Additionally, access to our site is by invite-only which allows us to ensure a quality and secure member base.
Me: What do you have planned for Bandeka in the future?
Afua: Bandeka’s vision is to be the premier platform where exceptional Africans around the world can connect to make new friendships, form new business contacts, or date.
We know Africans around the world want to connect; our goal is to offer frequent opportunities for Bandeka members to discover and interact with other amazing Africans in a fun and relaxed way. We have a lot of exciting things planned to make our vision a reality, so be a part of the journey by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter!
Me: Thank you for the interview Afua!