Ann Brown, 11:52 am AFKI Original
Starting a fashion business in Cape Verde didn’t make much business sense. Cape Verde has a subsistence economy and Cindy Monteiro’s fashion brand targets a luxury segment. But the Cape Verde native has built a celebrity following. “You end up doing it more for your own pleasure than for the return,” she told AFKInsider. What fashion style do women in Cape Verde want? They want to look sexy, Monteiro said. “And for me sexy is about self confidence and power. Powerful women are sexy.”
Ann Brown, 5:28 pm AFKI Original
The entire African tech startup community was shocked in June 2014 when Carey Eaton, co-founder of the largest online classifieds company in Africa, was murdered. A month earlier, Eaton had acquired a stake in BuyRentKenya, which has grown into one of Kenya’s most popular property listing sites. BuyRentKenya co-founder Jamie Pujara talked to AFKInsider about his relationship with Eaton and how BuyRentKenya is doing.
Ann Brown, 9:37 am AFKI Original
Namibian Beata Mandy Shemuvalula predicts youth development in Africa will be one of the top five profitable businesses. “We are always looking to evolve new ways to monetize old business models,” Shemuvalula told AFKInsider. Her company, Youthia, aims to empower youth entrepreneurs. It is not a charity. “How could we just talk about entrepreneurship? We had to do it ourselves,” she said. Shemuvalula was part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative.
Ann Brown, 8:53 am AFKI Original
Power, transport and payment infrastructure are some of the challenges to building a successful business in Nigeria. Overcoming those challenges ensures that the few who do, survive and grow. Because it’s so hard to conquer the Nigerian market, doing so is almost a built-in security against future competition. Ogunlana Olumide and Chukwuwezam Obanor passed the test. The prize? Claiming market share.
Ann Brown, 5:02 pm AFKI Original
Startups are daunting. It’s an uphill battle finding funding, convincing others to believe in your dream, and taking it from idea to reality. A partnership between Tiphub, an Africa-focused accelerator, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, hopes to give African entrepreneurial dreamers in the diaspora a helping hand. You may qualify if your company is in Africa, focused on Africa or has a founder from Africa, the African diaspora or of African descent. The application deadline is Aug. 31. Here’s the best part. Participants will be able to pitch their idea to potential angel investors, venture capital and impact investors.
Ann Brown, 8:52 am AFKI Original
Many ingredients for cooking Nigerian meals are not produced or packaged in Nigeria. The owners of the OmoAlata brand want to change that. “Seeing Nigerian food ingredients in ethnic stores in the U.K. and U.S. with ‘made in Ghana’ labels ignited a longing to change the narrative (that) nothing good comes out of Naija,” said Kasope Ladipo-Ajai in an AFKInsider interview. OmoAlata takes the labor out of chopping and prepping pepper, tomatoes, and onions for soups or stews from scratch. The company parboils and packages soup and veggie mixes.
Ann Brown, 9:53 am AFKI Original
Finding suitable accommodation in Ghana can be difficult. The founders of online platform meQasa claim to make it easier, acting as a sort of go-between for prospective tenants and buyers with owners and sellers. They won the confidence of some deep pockets. The Meltwater school invested $90,000 in the startup. Soon after, classifieds-focused Frontier Digital Ventures invested $500,000 in meQasa.
Ann Brown, 12:20 pm AFKI Original
South African Ntuthuko Shezi’s entrepreneurial spirit landed him a spot on Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. The initiative should continue, Shezi told AFKInsider. The U.S. “has been very involved in Africa for many years with various aid programs, but I think the past model was a bit flawed,” he said. It didn’t really recognize that (Africans) can build their own own roads and clinics. “What we need is to be empowered with information and support,” he said. “This is where Obama has got it right with YALI.”
Ecobus Runs On Vegetable Oil. It Also Runs On Time, Something Other Cabo Verdean Minibus Operators Find ThreateningBy Ann Brown, 12:01 am AFKI Original
In the capital city of Cabo Verde, transportation can be disorganized, even chaotic. Fáron Peckham, a transplanted New Yorker, saw a business opportunity. He began his Ecobus taxi company on the island of Santiago to try and bring some order to the chaos. If you’re a taxi company, using free renewable energy while running on schedule sounds like a great idea that solves several problems. But some of the other taxi operators didn’t like it.
Ann Brown, 11:11 am AFKI Original
Amaka Nwaokolo believes innovative building technology can help lower rental rates. Her idea earned her a spot in Obama’s coveted Young African Leaders Initiative. Nwaokolo had 6 weeks of entrepreneurship training at Yale University. She found the leadership sessions particularly empowering and useful back home. “They focused on developing me as an individual,” she told AFKInsider. But sometimes there was a disconnect between U.S. and African realities. “It was shocking to see how little was known of Africa. It felt good changing and shaping perceptions.”