The largest businesses in the world today such as Google, Facebook, Alibaba, and Tencent, are businesses built using the Internet and mobile phones. Even older businesses that continue to thrive such as Apple, Samsung and Microsoft have re-designed their business models to integrate themselves into the Internet and mobile phones.
Here are four examples of what young entrepreneurs in Africa (including my own daughter) have been doing:
# Twiga Foods:
There’s no industry which can’t be developed using the Internet and mobile phone systems. When I was in Tanzania, I showcased an agri-business started by young people in Kenya called Twiga Foods, one of the fastest growing businesses in that country.
This “business to business” company supplies and delivers agricultural products like bananas, tomatoes, and potatoes (and more) direct to retail vendors like market stalls and kiosks who place their orders via mobile phone. http://twigafoods.com/
A group of young entrepreneurs in South Africa have launched a mobile-based venture called Sendr, which uses motor bikes driven by a “personal concierge” to help individuals and all kinds of businesses pick up and deliver letters and small parcels, taking them from here to there, asap. A smartphone App (kind of like Uber) helps make the whole process fast and safe. http://www.sendr.co.za
# Simba Education:
One of my daughters and her co-founder have started a social enterprise called Simba that leverages mobile technologies to help kids get access to quality early childhood education, and helps teachers, too. I’m so proud of her because she left her job at an international organization in New York to start this “not-for-profit” company. They started working on it when they were Master’s students. https://www.simbaeducation.com/
One of my favorite ventures is a company called Cellulant, started by Nigerian and Kenyan entrepreneurs. These guys built the “E-Wallet” platform which, among many E-payment services it offers, helps the Nigerian government pay smallholder farmers! When I first learnt about what they do, I asked them to come and see me in London. I was truly humbled to learn about how they met and what inspired them to start building this type of business. http://cellulant.com.