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Africa is Ready for You. Are You Ready for Africa?

Listen to the land of blue oceans

· Africa

The sub-Saharan African growth story is REAL. There is a reason sub Saharan African (SSA) countries are attracting 500 thousand-dollar to billion-dollar investments from Europe, China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and many other “non-traditional” investors. This region south of the Sahara Desert is one of the most dynamic in the world.

Despite our troubled global economy, African economies have proven to be resilient. The size of the sub Saharan economy has more than quadrupled since 2000, and it has sustained remarkable growth for the past ten years, despite the 2008 financial crisis (African Economic Outlook 2018). By 2030, GDP per capita is expected to reach the level where emerging Asia is today. Consumer expenditure is expected to grow from today’s nearly $1 trillion to $2.1 trillion by 2025.

Sub Saharan Africa is a vast, varied and exciting region. Its demographic dividend, growing affluence and rapid and spreading access to internet and mobile phones makes it the leading social, economic, and business and investment powerhouse of the world today. As the region’s economies lessen their dependence on commodities and foreign aid, their dynamically entrepreneurial private sector is increasing productivity levels and creating jobs.

SSA economies will be the ones leading the world economy on a path to more inclusive, sustainable and robust growth. They will be the ones stewarding development emphasizing responsible enterprise development, collaborative business development, private-sector driven collaboration with the public sector, job creation, and human welfare.

I hear you. A majority of so-called experts say that big money investors and large funds have better access to what they consider as hard-to-reach markets. Not so! Africa South of the Sahara is a land of blue oceans, untapped new market spaces ripe for growth or waiting to be unlocked by micro and very small businesses. Do you want to miss out?

Don’t you want to expand your present market reach to create a new market space that will make your competition at home irrelevant? Doing so has little to do with the traditional way most small business development centers in the U.S. focus international trade.

It’s not about exporting goods and services. It’s about exporting solutions that can address local needs and contribute value to market evolution. It’s about thinking without a box by leveraging the beauty, flexibility and agility of being small. It’s about the ability to align your value, people and profit propositions in a context-specific way. It’s about having a holistic understanding of what market space is, of how to create, capture and dominate that space and of how to define a strategy that will build sustained success.

Opportunities in Africa abound, and they are growing for micro and very small businesses with know-how, processes and technologies that can address the needs, demands and aspirations of a 1.7 billion people market. SSA markets are characterized by what may be the most creative and resilient entrepreneurs in the world, by savvy and loyal consumers, and by entrepreneurial vendors who are a key asset for value and distribution chains.

SSA markets are calling for micro and very small businesses that can provide solutions in manufacturing, agricultural production and food processing, commercialization, off grid energy, water and waste management, market infrastructure, transport and logistics, health and wellness, and data capture, access, collection and communication. But are you listening? If you are and want to know more, contact me at astrid@upboostllc.com, to find out how your business can join our collective impact business and investment consortium.

Astrid Ruiz Thierry, Principal, Upboost LLC

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