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How To Make It In Africa

This is easier said than done, since a business model can not be transferred to another market without taking into consideration the local needs and behaviours of customers, but it is a pretty good way to start.

The more countries interact with each other, the more they influence each other. It explains why we are increasingly living in a homogenic global society where simple needs like food, transportation, housing or clothing are very similar all over the world.

Now consider the fact that you know your country and therefore its demographic better than anybody from the outside, and you will see that you are off for a good start. Do your research, look at cultural and societal trends. What are the tendencies on a global scale? Wherever a problem has been solved, how did they solve it? Look at the big picture, the needle on the success barometer points towards a sharing economy, mobile payments, the rise of the gig workforce, all or most of those business models are probably coming to your country sooner or later.

You are in a very good position to understand how to implement them. Here is a list of things to do and consider.

#1 Play the same game, but better:

Replicate a popular business model from your own country.

You are young and tech savvy, take the outdated local service or product that people have been using in your country, probably since independence and upgrade it to 2.0.
It just needs to be better, simpler, faster or cheaper. Ideally it should be a combination of all the above.
As you start to gain traction your financial returns will be pretty much guaranteed.

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#2 Leverage your country’s weak currency and low labour costs.

While competing with rich countries, cheap labour and a weak currency can be a big advantage, people in rich countries are accustomed to pay more for a service you probably can provide for less. Look into a field in which businesses in developed countries are looking to cut costs and create a remote workforce providing the same or better services for less money. The low currency in your country is probably enough to undercut them and still return enough profit to make it in Africa.

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#3 Serve your people

You might find needs and industry niches that don’t exist in the rest of the world. Look at how to turn those problems into opportunities.
It might not be easy, but if you want to solve a problem, follow the needs.

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#4 Bring Over A Trend

Find a trend in the world which has not penetrated your market yet and implement it in your own country. Do it by respecting the local pop-culture in order to give it the personal touch that foreigners would not understand if they would try to export the business mode themselves.
Around the world, people respond more or less to the same needs, services are the easiest to start since they usually don’t demand big upfront costs. Digitizing and streamlining a service trough an app is a pretty straight forward road to success.
If the big multinationals try to enter your market you will always have a considerable customer base forcing them to acquire you or struggle to compete and start from scratch.

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