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African Innovators Should Look East, Not West, For Business Model Inspiration - Business - Nairaland

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African Innovators Should Look East, Not West, For Business Model Inspiration by bestphones: 8:19pm On Jun 23, 2017
Interesting article on Afridigest.com about why entrepreneurs in Africa(/Nigeria) should look for business role models in India and China instead of the US. Read the full thing: http://afridigest.com/african-innovators-should-look-east-not-west-for-business-model-inspiration/?ref=nl

Here's the start of the article:

It’s common for (aspiring) tech entrepreneurs around the world to look at and try to learn from leading & emerging tech companies in the West: Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Airbnb, Slack, etc.

But the reality is that, unlike counterparts in the West, African founders across many countries have to deal with scarcity in several forms: lack of capital, inadequate infrastructure, lower levels of literacy/educational attainment ‎among both the workforce and customer base, and more. This isn’t to say that there’s any scarcity of ingenuity, determination to succeed, or hustle, however.

While Western ventures often receive attention and emulation from entrepreneurs in Africa, tinkering with (established) business models to align with realities on the ground is perhaps more important to successful tech entrepreneurship in African markets than merely importing the latest technologies.

Comparing African countries like Nigeria with more developed markets, there are a number of reasons why innovative and unconventional business models may be necessary (and natural) including:

Different values, expectations, and preferences of African consumers (as compared to Western counterparts),
Immature distribution channels,
Underdeveloped infrastructure, and
The arbitrage challenge/opportunity of leveraging what is comparatively abundant and cheap locally (e.g., labor)

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