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Africa Is Open For Business
Make Money By Starting a Business In Africa
Business Ideas and Success Stories That Will Inspire the Entrepreneur in You!
Africa is a land of amazing business opportunities. The success stories in this article prove
there are many ways to make money in Africa.
But Africa is classified as a poor continent. How can it be? Everywhere you look, there are
opportunities to make money that don’t even exist or are easily overlooked in other parts of
the world. However, it’s still surprising how many people are blind to the gold mine of
opportunities in Africa, including Africans themselves.
Fortunately, there is a growing number of entrepreneurs who are already exploiting the
lucrative business opportunities on the continent. The key to their success is that they see
things quite differently from the rest of us.
Where there are problems, these entrepreneurs see potential and opportunities. While we
complain about the challenges we face everyday, these entrepreneurs are creating
solutions that make money. In this article, I’ll share with you a few success stories of
entrepreneurs and businesses in Africa that started from scratch and have achieved
These inspiring success stories prove that there are many ways to make money in Africa,
and if you’re determined enough, you too can write your own life-changing success story!
Let’s explore some of the interesting, tried and tested ways to make money in Africa.
1. SoleRebels (Ethiopia)
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, 34, grew up in
Zenabwork, a poor village in the suburbs of
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She came up with her
business idea after she noticed most of the
artisans in her community, who made beautiful
footwear, remained jobless and poor.
Today, her company, SoleRebels, is one the
most popular and fastest-growing African
footwear brands in the world! It sells its ‘eco-
friendly’ brand of footwear in more than 50
countries including the USA, Canada, Japan and
SoleRebels’ footwear is unique because it is 100
percent made by hand using locally-sourced
and recycled materials like old car tyres and
hand-loomed organic fabrics. A few years ago,
SoleRebels became the first footwear company
in the world to be certified by the World Fair
By using local craftsmen, Bethlehem has built a global brand and a hugely successful
business that has created jobs and improved livelihoods in her local community.
Bethlehem started SoleRebels in 2004 with less than $10,000 in capital she raised from
family members. Today, the company has more than 100 employees and nearly 200 local
raw material suppliers, and has opened several standalone retail outlets in North America,
Europe and Asia.
Despite its very humble beginnings, and $1 million in sales every year, with Bethlehem’s
projections and expansion plans, the company could be making up to $10 million in sales
Africa Is Open For Business
African Flavor Magazine.Com
2. Africa Felix Juice (Sierra Leone)
Africa is one of the largest producers
of fruits in the world. However, due to
poor processing and storage, a huge
portion of the fruits harvested in
Africa every year is wasted.
In some countries, this situation is so
bad that fruits and concentrates are
imported from overseas despite their
For example, did you know that Nigeria, which produces oranges in large quantities, still
spends over $140 million to import orange concentrates for its fruit juice industry? In West
Africa, a company in Sierra Leone is already exploiting the lucrative potentials of fruits.
Africa Felix Juice is a Sierra Leone-based company that produces juice concentrates from
mangoes and pineapples that are harvested across the country. The company buys
mangoes from more than 4,000 small farmers in Sierra Leone. It collects the fruits and takes
them to its processing facility where they are processed (sorted, washed and crushed) into
juice concentrates, the main ingredient for making fruit juices.
By buying fruits from small farmers, the company is creating value from millions of mangoes
that otherwise rot away and go to waste every year. The company’s mango and pineapple
juice concentrates are mainly exported to Europe where they are used to make fruit juices
and flavorings for the food industry.
3. SimplePay (Nigeria)
Compared to the rest of the world, payment
systems in Africa are largely ‘old school’. Most
transactions are still done in cash, which can be
Simeon Ononobi noticed that it costs merchants
in Nigeria almost $3,000 to be able to accept
online payments. At that time, Paypal, the world’
s biggest payment platform was still unavailable
to users in Nigeria, and most of Africa.
So, in January 2013, Simeon launched SimplePay, a web and mobile wallet that allows
users to easily pay for up to 150 different services like mobile phone recharges, PayTV,
taxes, school fees, church donations etc. The SimplePay platform costs $1 to sign up and
significantly reduces the hefty costs of payment gateways and the unsafe exposure of
personal debit card details on multiple websites.
Today, SimplePay is being dubbed the ‘PayPal of Nigeria’. It currently has more than 10,000
registered users (who are mostly merchants) and over 30,000 unregistered users. In a
country with the ninth largest population of internet users (over 60 million), the growth
prospects for SimplePay are breathtaking. It’s no wonder that a string of local and
international investors are outdoing themselves to have a stake in what is likely to become
Africa’s biggest payment platform.
Shortly after the company was founded, it raised $300,000 from Seedstars World, a Swiss
venture capital firm, to support its growth and expansion plans.
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