Always Keep Your Eye Out for the “Next Silicon Valley”
The next big startup hub might not be a trendy metropolitan area like Silicon Valley. In fact, if you ask Mark Zuckerberg, the growing startup community in Lagos, Nigeria is one to look out for.
The founder of Facebook recently visited the sub-Saharan country for the first time to see the vibrant developer and entrepreneurial ecosystem there. The city already boasts several up-and-coming startups and has some financial potential for international companies as well.
However, inconsistent access to both funding and internet could threaten to slow the area’s startup growth. Those are a few of the issues that Zuckerberg hopes to tackle with his work in Nigeria. Of course, Zuckerberg’s efforts don’t come without potential benefit to Facebook. Nigeria is the company’s largest market in Africa.
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By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah
Nigeria will be one of the most attractive and easiest places of doing business in the world by 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari has assured.
Speaking at a plenary session on “Dialogue with the Private Sector” at the ongoing sixth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD VI), in Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday, President Buhari, said his administration was implementing policies and measures to create the right environment for investors and businesses in Nigeria.
Nigeria is currently ranked 169 out of 189 countries by the World Bank according to the Bank’s 2016 Ease of Doing Business report.
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Nigeria has quickly grown to become a leading hub for African e-commerce startups—a testament to the potential size of the market as businesses jostle for access to Nigeria’s 180 million-strong population. It also speaks to the resilience of Nigerian entrepreneurs—and the patience of customers—because the market has never had a stable and ubiquitous technology platform to enable easy payment for goods and services.
But things are changing rapidly. In just two years since PayPal launched in Nigeria, it has seen the country rocket to its third largest mobile e-commerce market in the world with transactions of some $610 million in 2015 via a phone. PayPal says it’s on course to hit $819 million this year. However, most of PayPal’s business in Nigeria to date is focused on Nigerians purchasing internationally and not on small local merchants. Therein lies a big opportunity for local players
[Read more…] about Nigeria’s Tech Startups Are in a Race to Become the Hub of the (Multi-Billion Dollar) African e-Commerce Industry
In August, Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola, a chirpy 23-year-old Nigerian disc jockey who goes by the moniker ‘DJ Cuppy’, embarked on an eight-city tour across Africa. During the ‘Cuppy Takes Africa’ tour, she visited Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg and Dakar, where she ‘turned tables’ for audiences ranging from snooty middle-class revelers in swanky nightclubs to destitute orphans at schools in impoverished neighborhoods.
Her mission was simple: To share the eclectic sounds of African nations with fellow Africans and to offer charitable support to girls’ schools and NGOs in every country she visited on the tour.
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Chatting with Simdul Shagaya (Harvard MBA Graduate) is like an intense, super-charged colloquy on doing business….in Africa. “We are the custodians of the dreams of the middle-class of Africa,” Shagaya emphasized repeatedly, as he talked about his fast-growing e-commerce company, Konga.com, that he founded just 2 years ago, July 2012.
With his ambitious goal of making Konga.com ’the engine of trade and commerce in Africa’, the e-tailer’s dynamic founder and CEO is betting big that Africa is poised to be the next frontier for online retail.
These startups were would eventually enable the Harvard M.B.A graduate to pioneer the online industry in Nigeria, particularly e-commerce retailing. “Konga, through hard work, innovation and an all-consuming desire to better the lives of this society through technology, leads the field in Nigeria today in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV),” said Shagaya, who also launched a sprawling e-commerce platform, Konga Marketplace in 2014 with the aim of becoming a provider of e-commerce infrastructure services for all e-commerce market participants.
[Read more…] about Sim Shagaya (Harvard Graduate): On Building The Next Big Thing, ‘Konga’, Africa’s Version Of Amazon/Alibaba | Forbes