One of the most popular posts on my blog was one titled: 5 Profitable Africa Business Ideas For the Diaspora. And I stay committed to empowering Africa’s special ‘nation’, the Diaspora. You may have heard about the brain drain philosophy that has been extensively discussed in the context of Africa’s future. It basically describes the emigration or flight of well-educated or skilled individuals from Africa to find a better life elsewhere, usually the UK or the US. This has resulted in a loss of ‘skill’ in Africa. However, now analysts are speaking about a kind of reverse taking gradually place, as many of those in the African Diaspora who have been educated abroad, are returning home.
I think we can see a clear trend of this happening in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Ethiopia.
In today’s post I want to make you aware of the power you really have as someone from the African Diaspora, in particular if you have maintained links to your culture and home country while residing outside of Africa. Having an in-depth understanding of both worlds is a huge advantage, and frankly you can turn that into cash.
Let me show you how.
1. You are already positioned between two markets – now build on that
Africa wants to trade with the West, and the West wants to trade with Africa. You can step right into that dynamic and you have a natural ‘authority’ as someone from the Diaspora, because both sides trust you for being part of their world and respect you for knowing the other. No-one else is better equipped and positioned than the African Diaspora to create, facilitate, or organize related PR, communication, business and partnership deals, marketing, or networking links. Go for it!
2. You are exposed to ‘old ideas’ – now turn them into new ideas in Africa
Many of the products and services we are used to in the West, could be of great interest to certain markets or population segments in Africa. The beauty is that you are exposed to a lot of fabulous products and services and your probably don’t even take notice, because you have become so used to them. But if you take just a few quiet hours to yourself and you run in your mind through your daily routine in the West, you think of popular business services, the wonderful conveniences you enjoy, or the products you find in your local supermarket – you will quickly find that you are actually tapping into a treasure of ideas and resources. Which one of those could you pioneer successfully in Africa, so consumers or businesses would thank you for it?
3. Global competition – you can cash in serving and transforming African companies
African companies will need to become more competitive if they want to win international partners, clients, and customers and many local business owners are very well aware of their shortcomings in this regard. There is a clear need and will to step into foreign markets, but that is usually hindered by a lack of knowledge, guidance, connections, and resources. The ways in which you can come in are manifold and powerful. In fact, the more you manage to serve African companies in this regard and they see an increase in profits as a result, the more your own value in the market place increases. Companies will start seeking you out.
4. Step into the power of African export
African governments are keen to decrease the trade deficit, which means that they hope to cut down on imports and significantly increase local production and exports. Almost every major market on the globe will be interested in importing certain raw products, food, and other goods from Africa, and we can expect a significant increase in that in the coming years. Facilitating exports from Africa into other countries you are well accustomed to is another way of making the most of your Diaspora nature.
5. Use the influence of who you are to drive your business forward
Doing business in or with Africa as someone from ‘tribe Diaspora’ has many advantages running your business in various industries. In Africa, you can adjust to the locals applying higher standards and abroad you can blend in with your country of residence, offering your Africa links and expertise when need arises. If you actually recognize this as a strength and really master that aspect, you can set yourself apart from the business crowd within your own industry in both markets by developing the best of both worlds into clear advantages for your business.
Now, remember: don’t just be someone from the Diaspora starting a business – recognize your Diaspora background, proudly own it, and USE it smartly and strategically to your benefit!
It’s your turn: Do you think it is of benefit to belong to the Africa Diaspora these days when doing business or may you even have experienced major disadvantages? Let’s start the conversation, dear Africa Business Jumpstarters!
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