Africa isn't just a hotbed for cultural and creative growth. It is the next frontier in business, and Gen A wants to help our clients enter the African market equipped to win and to do so in a sustainable, equitable manner that encourages diversity. Read more as we share what the Gen A Vision is for businesses globally looking to succeed in the growing African market!
What is often overlooked is that Africa is home to some of the fastest-growing economies globally. The population is projected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030 with rising incomes across much of the continent, generating new business opportunities in the consumer market. Annual spending by African consumers and businesses is to reach $6.7 trillion by 2030. Therefore, Africa’s fast-growing population and markets present important opportunities because the world needs new supply chains away from China.
Furthermore, a report published in 2020 by the Overseas Development Institute shows that British companies made bigger profits investing in Africa than in any other region in the world! This has encouraged more businesses to seek profits rather than seeing Africa as a place to do charitable work.
Gen A’s core business is therefore to provide strategic consultancy, coaching, mentoring and training to startups, growth phase businesses and corporations anywhere in the world, with a particular focus on those businesses that are interested in putting Africa on the map. We believe in collaboration as the central facet for creating added value and integrating international business with African opportunities. We have worked with clients from the UK, Ireland, the USA, South America, the Middle East, Hong Kong and several European and African countries. Since 2021 Gen A has provided bespoke support to over 50 SMEs and has worked with larger institutions to support their Leaders and Entrepreneurs in training.
In the Southwest of England alone, Gen A has delivered one-to-one business coaching and advisory services to several entities operating in the region, from high-tech to low-tech businesses in the region. We pride ourselves on the strong and reliable relationships built with partners in the UK as well as the various African countries we have engaged. Through these relationships, Gen A is able to facilitate the development of an ecosystem of interconnected stakeholders from universities, business incubators and accelerators, entrepreneurs, government entities, investors and professionals on both sides of the continent.
In June of 2023, Gen A Consultancy was invited to apply to be the Content Delivery Partner on the START Programme, a new and exciting pilot programme for the West of England region, delivered by a consortium of four universities: The University of the West of England, Bristol, The University of Bristol, The University of Bath, and Bath Spa University. The START Programme was set up to support and develop 150 start-ups and early-stage businesses across Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and Northeast Somerset. What has made this opportunity exciting for us, is the focus on addressing the underrepresentation of Tech founders across the region, including women, disabled, and those from Black, Asian, and ethnically diverse backgrounds.
Nowadays, we speak so much about Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in the world of Entrepreneurship and work, however, we often ask ourselves what that actually means for leaders determined to embrace the concept. In our view, allies are amongst the best of us and they realise that it is not about them, it is about the communities they support. Diversity wins now more than ever and being an ally that promotes inclusivity is simply the right thing to do. Our focus is building that pipeline of entrepreneurs from wherever they are, providing the opportunity for them to collaborate and co-create solutions on a global scale, facilitating a win-win situation. Through a combination of needs identification, the co-creation of optimal solutions and leadership support, we believe we can drive these ventures forward through training, supporting long-term partnerships and the collaboration efforts that grow from there.
It is our hope that as the pipeline of innovators and creators grows across the Southwest, and so will the follow-on interest in exploring strategic partnerships in international markets, particularly in Africa. Although it is widely accepted that Africa is the last frontier and an exciting ‘blue ocean’ of opportunity as the major source of growth for the world, some of the concerns we often address with some of our Africa-facing clients are:
Is it safe to do business in Africa?
Do I have to travel to Africa to find partners? and
What about risk?
Many businesses have not been able to expand internationally because they have never been able to shift from the fear that holds so many people back when it comes to making major decisions for themselves and their businesses. Ultimately, business needs to be informed and to understand how the so-called barriers to expanding into Africa have opened up in order to reduce risk.
As a starting point for any business thinking about exploring Africa as a destination for growth, we would highly recommend researching a country you are somewhat familiar with or have some level of connection to. If neither of these conditions apply, then start by considering the African countries higher up on the ‘Ease of doing business’ index, such as South Africa, Kenya and Mauritius. Either way, strategic partnerships can make the process of internationalisation smoother for your project or venture.
To find out more about our work or if you are interested in learning more about new markets that you could tap into in Africa, please feel free to get in touch either via the website or directly via our email at firstname.lastname@example.org
To your success!