Want to Build a Global brand? How ready are you?

Do you have a global mind set? When you started your Business/Brand, what did you have in mind? Did you see your brand beyond the shores of Africa? Did you envision your product on international supermarket’s stalls/stands? To build a global brand, it starts from the planning stage and inception of your vision. You cannot have a local vision and mind-set for your brand and expect globalisation to happen. It just will not happen. However, if you start your vision with a global mind-set, everything you do would be on a global level. It all starts from your mind and your vision.

 

You cannot have a local vision & mind-set for your brand and expect globalisation to happen. Cliquez pour Tweet

Here are some pointers on building a Global Brand

 

  • Know your numbers (deep understanding of your chosen international markets, sales data, market research)

How well do you know the international market you want to go into? Have you done your research? How intensive is your research about the market? Do you know if your product/service sells well in this particular market? You need to conduct a research and audit of your Brand to gain better understanding of the market you are about to enter. Always think from the customer’s perspective.

  • Audience/customer Knowledge

How well do you know your target audience? You primary target audience might not necessary be the same in a different country due to different culture, lifestyles etc.

  •  Uniqueness of product/service

How unique is your product/service? Bear in mind that your service/product might be unique in your home country but note that it might not be in another. So research well and see how you can leverage on the differences. How can you improve or upgrade your service/product to differentiate itself in the global world yet meeting the standard requirements.

  •  Quality control

Quality Control is key! If you want to be global, the quality of your product/service has to speak for itself!!! You are not competing with local champs anymore. If you want to sit with the big leagues of the industry, then work on your QUALITY! Consult experts in this industry to find out what Quality is required in the territory you are about to enter.

  •  Consistency

YES! Don’t be hot today and cold tomorrow! Stop it! You need to consistently bring your A Game!!!! You cannot afford to be playing lukewarm. Due to the high competition in the market today, customers take time to build loyalty to new Brands so once they notice you’re not bringing it, they find the next best thing to satisfy their needs. To have loyal customers, you have to be consistent with everything from your quality, customer service, customer experience and the list is endless.

  •  Competition

How well do you know your competitors? Watch what they are doing well and what they are not. Leverage on these things and make it work for you. What is missing in their formula that you can leverage on? Find it and use it! Use these secrets to beat their standard so they begin to look up to you for inspiration. Be the first to lead your league not the last to react.

  •  Media Presence

In these times, the best way to reach a diversified audience is through digital media. Ensure you have your presence online well branded from your website to social media to images of your product/services to online communities etc. There are so many ways to create credibility for your brand. Be consistent across all platforms and focus on your target audience.

 

ISOKO AFRICA means African Market in the Swahili Language and our vision is to influence your habits to Shop Africa every moment. We deliver to you the best and most authentic of Africa's Brands from Pan-African Companies ranging from Startups, Tech, Products, Services and Marketplaces that are dominating the Local Market with the niche to compete globally. Discover Stories, Podcasts and Marketplaces on our platform and join our community @isokoafrica on every social media.

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Flutterwave is Tackling the Challenge of Digital Payments in Africa

Overview

A 2015 research from the International Trade Center on International Ecommerce in Africa shows some of the difficulties with international banking transactions. It highlighted the restrictions placed on the amount that can be transferred across borders, the inability to use foreign credit cards in certain African countries and the lack of requisite foreign bank accounts to allow an integrated payment solution. All these and more are a concern, considering we are in the modern age with improvements in technology, where digital payments are considered basic in more developed countries.

The founders of  FlutterwaveIyinoluwa Aboyeji and Olugbenga Agboola– thought about these challenges and how to make the modern payment system available and accessible to African countries. But how do you tackle such a challenge when only about 3% of Africans reportedly own a credit card?

 

Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Founder of Flutterwave
Iyinoluwa Aboyeji
Olugbenga Agboola, Founder of Flutterwave
Olugbenga Agboola

In an interview with CNN, Aboyeji has this to say “We’re peering 15-20 years into the future and saying, ‘What do we have to do to save the world?’ When you have a situation where a majority of people who live in the world are excluded from the new prosperity of software, that’s not good for the future of the world.”

The Story So Far…

Since its inception in 2016, Flutterwave has grown to be one of the best digital payment platforms in Africa and has partnered with over 50 African banks and 1,200 developers that build on the platform. They have also processed $2.5 billion in payments, 100 million transactions and have raised over $20 million in investments. 

Beyond these figures is how much Africans have been able to benefit from it, especially through their products,  Rave and Barter 

Rave was founded in 2017 as an easy way to make and accept payments from customers anywhere in the world, with secure and reliable tools. Rave allows businesses to accept a range of payment methods in their local currency from customers across the world. 

flutterwave rave
A chart on how Rave by Flutterwave works

Barter was founded in 2019 to help clients focus less on how to spend, send and borrow money. With Barter, you can easily send money to friends near you. An illustration is seen in the image below:

flutterwave bartar
A simple illustration of how Barter by Flutterwave helps you connect with friends around you.

The focus for Barter is on personal and small payments across African borders and within countries. It makes international payments easier globally. 

flutterwave Bartar app
The Barter app

Some other popular payment service providers served by Flutterwave include Paywithcapture, Paystack, AmplifyPay and many more.

Flutterwave supports payment methods such as Visa, MasterCard, ApplePay, Verve, American Express, Android Pay and others.

How Flutterwave is Bridging the Gap Between Africa and International Transactions

Flutterwave currently serves 5 African markets, including Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, and recently South Africa that was launched earlier in June this year. This enables African countries to easily connect to the global economy by introducing payment integrations with a simple API. 

The RAVE payment platform helps businesses across Africa to thrive by maximizing digital payment options in the easiest and fastest way. When this platform was launched, Flutterwave held an event with the theme “The Business of Growing Customers”, to help empower local digital businesses with growth tools. 

The businesses involved in this launch had the opportunity to learn about how to grow communities, create viral content, storytelling, maximizing digital payments and more. 

The commitment to ensuring the progress of African-owned businesses with digital transactions is evident in Flutterwave. 

Does Flutterwave Stand a Chance in the Global Economy?

flutterwave team
Source: TechCrunch

Short answer: YES.

Flutterwave started with an office based in San Francisco before setting up one in Lagos Nigeria, and in other countries where it is established.

In a release on Flutterwave’s blog, the company mentioned how it was about time they connected Africa to the world and just within African countries.

This led to a partnership between Flutterwave and Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba’s Alipay and according to what Olugbenga Agboola- the co-founder- told TechCrunch, “This means that all our merchants can accept or install Alipay as a payment type to accept payments from its billion users”. This partnership simply helps African merchants accept payments from Chinese customers with no hassle. 

With Alipay integration, Flutterwave merchants now have access to over 1 billion Alipay users.

The Bottom Line

Flutterwave is fast becoming a top digital payment solution in Africa to help businesses thrive and easily make transactions. This is one platform every business owner in Africa should embrace and with time, the challenge of digital payments in Africa will be resolved. 

Agrocenta is Giving African Farmers Pre- and Post-Harvest Autonomy

Agriculture has always been a major mainstay in Africa. From the early times when individuals practiced sole subsistence farming to the times when markets were built for the sale of agricultural produce, and of course, modern times when we desperately need farmers to plant and rear a vast majority of the food we eat. In recent times, however, agriculture in Africa has not been able to adequately plug the gaping holes that our growing population needs, hence, we have to resort to importing both agricultural produce and processed food. The implication of this is a massive reduction in the GDP of African countries and a general loss of revenue, both to the government and individuals involved in the overall process of food production.

Successive governments have tried to combat this problem by using various schemes to incentivize farming and making attractive enough for more people to come in. Ultimately, this will yield results, but one vital part is constantly left out: The link between the farmers and their markets. And this is the heart of what Agrocenta, a Ghanaian technology startup, is working actively on.

Agrocenta’s solution. Source: Agrocenta website

Agrocenta

Agrocenta co-founders, Francis Obirikorang (CEO) and Michael Ocansey (CTO). (L-R). Source: Agrocenta Website

Agrocenta is a technology company focused on solving market linkage and financial inclusion problems in the agricultural value chain. It was founded by Francis Obirikorang (CEO) and Michael K. Ocansey (CTO) in 2015. Their aim was to tackle two critical areas of importance to the farmers: access to a viable and profitable market, and access to finance and credit facilities. They decided to solve these problems by leveraging on technology through three outlets which they developed: AgroInfo, AgroTrade, AgroPay, and the Truckr app.

This is how these technologies work individually and in synergy: Imagine a small farmer in rural Ghana, for example. We’ll call him Sam. Let’s say Sam has a small farm that grows beans. An Agrocenta agent approaches Sam and signs him on to the Agrocenta platforms. Within the process of farming – planting crops and tending before harvest – Sam gets updates on the weather, how the micro-climate might affect his crops or turn out and more through Agrocenta’s AgroInfo platform. Based on the information he has obtained from AgroInfo, Sam plants his crops and takes precautions and safeguards that eventually make him have a great harvest.

Agrocenta staff and agents. Source: Agrocenta Website.

Before his contact with Agrocenta’s agent, Sam would usually sell his products to one middle man – who had little or no competition – from one of the major urban centers. But now, all Sam has to do is notify the agent that he has produce in stock, and his information is updated on the AgroTrade platform, which is a virtual marketplace that links farmers to potential buyers. All of a sudden, Sam has different people calling him to buy his products. He eventually sells to the highest bidder.

Agrocenta, through the Truckr app, also helps farmers get their goods to their intended destinations in a very short time. Agrocenta partnered with the Ghana Private Road Transport Union, who has a horde of commercial drivers that can help to transport farmers’ products on short notice. Sam quickly calls a transporter on the Truckr platform and in very little time, his goods are on their way to the paying customer.

If Sam needs to expand his farm, or boost productivity in a particular stage of production, by obtaining a loan from the bank, then AgroPay is the answer. Because banks would usually need to know that the farmer can pay back his loan in due time, they usually require a paper trail of the transactions that he has made through his business – the farm. Sam’s former transactions with middlemen were mostly cash-for-produce, and there was no established paper trail, except, perhaps, whenever he went to put money in the bank. With AgroPay, however, all his transactions can be re-traced and used as a verifiable history of transactions to be presented to the banks.

Agrocenta’s metric. Source: Agrocenta website.

Agrocenta’s work is cut out for them, and they’re doing it well. Currently, over 12,000 farmers are registered on the platform and the number is growing. More than ever, Agrocenta is giving more autonomy to the African farmer – a move that helps him to make a better decision as to where, how and at what price his produce is sold. The exploitative middleman is one less problem to worry about now, which ultimately means more money in his pockets.

To find out more, you can visit the Agrocenta website at Agrocenta.com .

 

Olawale Onibata creating bespoke footwears

Olawale Onibata is an indigenous African brand providing the market with quality premium footwear that speak to individuals’ specific needs. The shoes are made in Nigeria to supply a growing market and demand!

About the company

Established in 2011, Olawale Onibata Inc. was first created out of the love of shoes. The Nigerian born Creative Director, Olawale Olukunga says, “While I was in school I found myself knowing names of different shoes everyone around me was putting on. From there it just became part of me. I started of with selling designer shoes and I did that for three years (with the nickname olawale footlocker). After school, during my NYSC period, I learnt the process of shoe-making”.

The O.O brand – as it is fondly called – is known for bespoke leather works ranging from shoes, slippers, sandals to boots and loafers. Onibata provides customized solutions for customers, taking into consideration the customers’ needs and style and matching products that meet the customer’s budget. By now they have served over a thousand customers and have established a strong supplier network to always ensure customers’ needs are met.

Their Mission

Making these bespoke pieces involves a lot of work, scrutiny and attention to detail. The materials come from the leather market in Lagos and its environs. It is very important to them to source locally and to satisfy a growing demand for their goods. On top of this O.O wants to be a trendsetter, creating new looks and offering people a wide variety. Currently there is a range of 12 products available. With a growing youth population this is sure to expand in the future as they aim to fill a gap in the market. “We have the best of workers. People that are ready to learn and improve and they constantly raise the bar in the area of hard work. We work from the creative director’s home for now”.

The O.O brand boasts of a good delivery process, which ensures that shoes are delivered within 2-3 working days after the order has been placed.

What’s more, they seeks to address the popular narrative that not everyone can afford genuine leather bespoke work. With as little as 8,000 Naira ($23), Onibata’s bespoke creations are affordable for a broad range of people. Other products cost between 18,000 Naira to 23,000 Naira.

Challenges faced

Some of the biggest challenges the shoe makers face are availability of the different types of leather, logistics issues and a prompt delivery process. People tend to place orders for shoes within a day. This means the team often has to work overtime in order to meet up with such demands. They are constantly working to address these issues and offer customers the best service and products possible!

The O.O brand can be reached via their social media platforms:
Website: www.olawaleonibata.com
Facebook:  Olawale Onibata
Instagram:

Savanna Chocolates, Natural Handcrafted Premium Chocolates For Your Tastebuds

Savanna Chocolates  is a premium bean-to-bar chocolate brand based in Lusaka Zambia and founded by Chiinga Musonda and Lynn Musonda Phiri. They make chocolates that are handcrafted from local cocoa beans, without preservatives or artificial coloring and flavors.

Savanna Chocolates have a mission to:

  • Create African luxury artisan chocolate both at home and abroad
  • Change the narrative that premium chocolates are made in western countries

About the Founders

Chiinga Musonda and Lynn Musonda Phiri are sisters who, despite not having an entrepreneurial background, were able to create a premium chocolate brand born out of their love for chocolates. Chiinga has an MBA from the Havard Business School and a BA in Economics and in Computer Science from Smith College in the USA. Lynn, on the other hand, is pursuing an MBA in International Business and has a BA with honors in Business Studies with Marketing from the University of Greenwich. These two sisters have a tracked record of different previous work settings, but nothing beats the passion which drove them to produce chocolates. The pleasure they derived from eating chocolates right from childhood and also the joy on the faces of loved ones when gifted chocolates were enough to fuel their passion and kickstart the journey. Today, we have Savanna Chocolates because two sisters in love with chocolates decided to recreate the standard in Zambia.

Products

The Savanna Chocolate Products are in different categories:

  • Chocolate Bars

This comes in different variants including White, Milk, Coffee Milk, 70% Dark, Chilli Dark, 90% Dark, Ginger Milk, Nibs & Milk, Coffee Dark, Ginger Dark, and Pint Salt. All are priced at ZMW40, except for the White bar which is ZMW50.

  • Chocolate Letters, Thins and Truffles

This comes in Mini Letters (120g) which can be personalized at ZMW10 per letter. Also, in Large Letters (200g) at ZMW100 per letter. The Chocolate Thins (96g) are ZMW60 for 24 pieces and the truffles come in two variants; ZMW70 for Box of 4 and ZMW130 for Box of 8. The truffle flavors also come in different flavors to suit your cravings.

  • Bakers and Chocolatiers Products

This comes in different variants all at 200g:

    • Roasted Cacao Beans: organic at ZMW135 and natural at ZMW120
    • Roasted Cacao Nibs: organic at ZMW150 and natural at ZMW135
    • Cocoa Butter: ZMW170
    • Chocolate Liquor: ZMW150
  • Birthday, Anniversary and Kitchen Party Gift Hampers

You can order chocolates for your events in small and medium sizes.

In addition to all these, you can also rent a chocolate fountain for your events and make customized chocolates for corporate events and meetings.

To place an order, simply click here to fill a form  on their website.

How Savanna Chocolates Promote Africa

Image source: Lionesses of Africa
  • The goal, according to the  website  , is to pioneer premium quality chocolates in Africa while supporting the economy and farmers.
  • They buy cocoa directly from farmers to improve their income by by-passing middlemen.
  • They use single origin cocoa bean to help you experience real chocolate and its unique flavors. This also helps preserve the flavors of the country of origin.
  • Chocolates are made from natural ingredients devoid of preservatives and artificial flavors or colors.

Contact and Connect with Savanna Chocolates

Savanna Chocolate is located in Lusaka, Zambia and in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. They also have their products in different stores in Zambia. You can check the website at savannachocolate.com and also connect with them via their social media platforms including Facebook  , Twitter   , and Instagram  . Or send a mail to savannacacao@gmail.com  .

Asoriba aims to put your entire church experience in your hands everyday and everywhere.

Four Ghanaians met at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST Africa), a technology incubator, and hit it off immediately. The reason; besides the fact that they are all technology enthusiasts they are passionate believers in their religion – Christianity. Each of them was also actively involved in their respective local churches.

The end product of this meeting is Asoriba, a web-based management platform for church administration. It was primarily birthed from pooling their collective experiences about the problems African churches face and trying to solve some of them with technology.

The brains behind Asoriba: Nana Agyeman-Prempeh (CEO), Saviour Dzage, Jesse Johnson and Patrick Ohemeng Tutu called the app “a tool/ platform that allows churches to effectively manage, engage and connect with their members”.

The Asoriba Team

 

 

Century old problems, 21st century solution

Religious institutions characteristically come off as archaic and rigid. Rightfully so too, as some of the core tenets are entrenched in century old customs and technologies. Time and time again; apologists, skeptics, adherents and bystanders have had debates about whether these tenets should evolve with time and technology. Or stay rigid and retain their orthodoxy. It is a tough nut to crack.

In one such discussions an acquaintance told me that the idea of churches using Point Of Sale (POS) terminals as a means of collecting tithes and offerings was rather desperate. But given the rise of technology and the diversification into cashless economies, isn’t ensuring that churchgoers can give their offerings easily, in itself, an act of service?

Asoriba’s creators, by making the app, seem to share my opinion – or at least a variant of it.

church administration

The Application

The heart of this web and mobile application is giving a technology based solution to some of the African church’s problems. These include: managing membership data and finances, easy communication with members and real time information about events and programmes.

As a church member you can download your church devotionals from the app, watch a live stream and download services. You can give tithes, offerings and pledges, receive event notices, send prayer requests and communicate with other church members. This last feature is perhaps the most impressive of all. It allows Christians to talk about sensitive issues bordering on life, money, health, sex and spirituality. Topics they might feel self conscious about and unsafe to say elsewhere. Kind of like a Christian-only Facebook.

some app features

As a church administrator or leader you can manage and monitor member data, church finances and attendance. You can receive notifications on member birthdays and special functions, track prayer request history. There are also features to manage the different branches under your church by transferring workers to other branches or groups, give out instructions in real time and do follow ups on new members.

The platform is basically a virtual assistant.

Get on the wave

All you have to do is go to the website at Asoriba.com, register your church and urge your members to download the app and connect. It is as easy as that. For churches with 100 members and below it is even free!

The app is available at the Google Play Store, the iOS store, and the Microsoft Store.

 

Service to humanity

Every business thrives on profit and needs money to survive, but beyond that there is a deeply inspiring ideology to the App. Nana described Asoriba as “a Christian technology company setup to win more souls, using technology as a tool”. Showing the company as sincerely service driven, with very serious religious undertones.

“We want to be able to know people came to Christ through our tools/ platform and we want to be able to account for the number of these people who got to know Gods word through us”, he said. Maybe that is where religion needs to be – in a place where it encourages technology and doesn’t see it as a competition of sorts.

The team at Asoriba ultimately believe that “Church should go beyond the typical Sunday service” and they want to “put your entire church experience in your hands everyday and everywhere.”

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