Many entrepreneurs in Africa find it difficult coming up with a profitable business idea for Africa. Our surroundings are filled with ideas that if developed can be very useful. Many entrepreneurs in Africa use their imagination on a daily basis to come up with great ideas that will make Africa a better place in the world.
Africa is no longer only a source of raw materials but haven for investment. The market is there and the investors are flowing in from all over the world just to get a piece of what this great continent can offer. It’s left now for you reading this to see how you can contribute to Africa’s growth.
One of the ways you can do this is to start an entrepreneurial activity. Many people find it difficult to get business ideas. In fact, many people come to me saying they want to start something, but they have no idea on what or how to go about. There’s no secret – open up, learn, think and act out-of-the-box.
There’s actually no formula on how to come up with a profitable business idea for Africa. However, let me share with the below tips on how to come up with a profitable business idea for Africa.
The first thing I ask people when coaching is “What is your passion?” You need to find something you love doing. If you are so passionate about that thing, you will grow as well as your business.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”, Confucius.
Once you can identify what you are passionate about, it is now left for your to find out ways of monetizing or making money out of it.
Take for instance, someone who loves traveling can become a travel blogger / writer? You can write and sell the content to travel blogs or websites to travel websites. You can also start your own travel or tourism blog where you can monetize to make money for yourself.
The greatest business ideas come from solving problems. Imagine you are faced with a problem and you get the solution. You need to find out if the solution is sellable. How do you do that? First thing is for you to find out if others have faced or facing similar problems. If yes, then you look for ways to market the solution.
Whenever you solve a problem, a reward comes. It maybe a thank you, a reward in kind or in cash. Almost every business you find out there is out to solve a problem. People by nature have never been happy when they have a problem. As an entrepreneur, you can dig into this problem, look for a solution and sell.
Africa still has a lot of problems that need solutions. It is now left for us entrepreneurs to do our part by looking for solutions to these numerous problems. Entrepreneurs see into these problems opportunities to whereby they get solutions and sell.
It’s easy as ABC. People will gladly pay anyone if a solution to their problem is gotten.
In fact, someones problem becomes an opportunity for another to make money. Some years back, I discovered that very little information on tax, company registration, etc was available online for those who want to do business in Cameroon. The solution for this was this platform, OpenHub Digital, where you can start, run and grow your business in Cameroon.
Opportunities always come from changes and trends. If you are smart enough to identify the general direction in which certain things change, then you can use it as an opportunity to start a business. Smart entrepreneurs will see change as an opportunity for them to develop profitable business ideas.
There are entrepreneurs who depend on what is trending to make their money. Those in the fashion sector are great examples. They invest in what is en vogue and by the time others are coming, they were introducing another. Smarter ones even go to the extend of creating their own fashion trends and making it go viral.
Fashion inspired from Africa is trending now in Africa and the world at large. I can see bill-boards of multinationals portraying the Togho and Ndop prints. This trends and changes should be closely watched by entrepreneurs since they are good leads to new business ideas.
Everything we find today is either an innovation or a copy of another. It seems innovations have taken over inventions. It is legal to copy a business idea that is already in existence. However, if you have to copy, make sure you bring in some innovations. Don’t copy a copyrighted business model in the name of “if you can’t find one, copy another”.
You need to be very tactful when copying another’s business idea. The African market is so big and identical in such a way that what works in one country can also work in another. Copying an existing business is the easiest method of starting your own business. Just like i said, always do so with some innovations.
India and China have done this and today they are great economies. We have cheap phones from these countries thanks to them intelligently copying from developed countries.
Look for a business idea (it could be a product or service) that is already successfully implemented elsewhere, study it and look for ways to implement in your own community. Things to note:
Doing it this way is called innovation.
Caution: Make sure you don’t use copyrighted ideas. Don’t steal or infringe on ideas that have a patent or copyright. It can land you into trouble!
What I have discovered is that ideas are developed from doing something. Do something, do anything. This is the fastest way you can get an idea. The first attempt may not be successful, but don’t give up. Several attempts might help. Don’t be afraid of failure because it may just be what you need to startup a business idea.
Try. Fail. Just go ahead and start now as you are reading. Do something, do anything. Go online and research on your sector related or entrepreneurship communities. You can travel or just move around. There are great ideas out there in the world that you cannot find inside your small cubicle.
Great business ideas are not exclusive for successful people only. It is available to everyone and can be used everywhere. Use these tips to come up with you own business idea for Africa. It may be just what will put food on your table, revolutionize a sector or even change the world.
Do you have a business idea? If yes, don’t hesitate to share with us how or where you got the idea of starting your business in the comment section below.
Image Credit: Dazzle_Jam