An insight into how African entrepreneurs are leveraging the Internet

April 16, 2024, by Etienne Nyamilandu

An insight into how African entrepreneurs are leveraging the Internet by Etienne Nyamilandu

Entrepreneurship is rapidly growing in Africa more than ever before in this contemporary age. With the increase in access to startup capital, business education, new policies, laws, and most importantly the advancement of technology, facilitating the increase in the number of internet users. Research by World Bank in 2022 concluded that the Internet has provided a dynamic space for African entrepreneurs in a way that has led to unprecedented access to both local and global markets, cost-effective advertising, and funding opportunities. In 2022, it was noted that there are several startups and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) taking advantage of the Internet to expand their market base, do their daily operations, and also increase their revenue.

One of the primary ways in which entrepreneurs in Africa are leveraging the Internet is through. Online marketplaces such as those provided by Jumia, a Pan-African technology company founded in Nigeria, in 2012, whose parent organization is Rocket Internet.

Konga is another e-commerce company as well and Takealot which is based in South Africa and is regarded as a main retailer. All these e-commerce platforms have become increasingly popular in many African countries, allowing entrepreneurs to sell their products to a wider audience without the need for a physical store. This has been particularly beneficial for entrepreneurs, especially in urban areas, and a few from rural areas who have always depended on traditional retail outlets

Social Media
The majority of entrepreneurs are leveraging the Internet through social media according to statistics from datareportal. Interactive platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter plus Tik-Tok have become important marketing tools for African businesses, allowing entrepreneurs to reach various customers and build their brands without the need for costly advertising campaigns. Numerous entrepreneurs have also found success through influencer marketing, partnering with popular social media personalities to promote their products and services.

Online payment platforms
In addition to e-commerce and social media, several African entrepreneurs are also taking advantage of online payment platforms such as:

  • Paystack is a technology company solving payments problems for ambitious companies.
  • Flutterwave is a Nigerian financial tech company that provides a payment infrastructure for global merchants and service providers across the continent.
  • Paga and Airtel money has also built an ecosystem that enables people to digitally send and receive mobile money. These platforms allow businesses to easily accept payments from customers, without the need for expensive point-of-sale systems or traditional banking services.

As a final point, reports indicate that entrepreneurs in Africa are leveraging the Internet with the aim of accessing funding and mentorship opportunities. Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have become increasingly popular in Africa, allowing entrepreneurs to raise capital from a global audience.

Besides that, various accelerator programs and incubators are now offering virtual mentorship and support services, making it easier for entrepreneurs to access the essential resources needed to successfully build their businesses. Despite this fact, there are still challenges on the ground, such as limited access to high-speed internet, the high cost of tech equipment, and a lack of digital literacy in some areas. The internet is having a huge impact on entrepreneurship and this is a promising sign for the continent’s economic future because the internet has significantly helped to break down the barriers that previously hindered progress.

You Might Also Like