Entrepreneurship in Ghana and Africa has taken on a new twist in the last couple of years with a growing ecosystem of young Africans ready and willing to make a living and employ their peers. I have always said that entrepreneurship is the only way to develop and empower young Africans to help in contributing to the economic development of their countries.
Entrepreneurs are of two kinds, those that just have that innate ability and those who acquire the urge along the way of the professional development. One important attribute though is that all entrepreneurs must have a certain set of skills to enable them maximize their potentials and operation. In this article we will try to identify some of these and hope you will later identify some more based on your own peculiar circumstances.
As an entrepreneur communication is a must. When you have a small team, you assume communication is not a big deal but it’s very important for all associated with you and your venture to know clearly what and where you are taking it to. Poor communication skills can lead to decreased productivity with your staff, as well as low morale and opportunity for them to make more mistakes if they don’t understand your instructions.
You will need to maintain clear communication with your customers. How do you reach them and they reach you? Email or phone? In the current culture of Social Media, you need to keep an updated facebook page, twitter handle as well as a website and other social-media profiles per the one you want.
As you communicate watch out for tell-tale signs as to how people react to you and what you are saying and whether or not you’re reaching them and give people the opportunity to ask for clarification. Branding is a form of communication which speaks often higher than words. Your brand is placing value on yourself and company before you communicate, it leads the way on how you will be accepted and received.
2. Branding (personal and business)
For many entrepreneurs, the distinction between self and business is often difficult to make and hence striving to brand your business or looking to establish yourself as an expert in your industry, knowing how to do so online is essential to your success. Your branding now starts with being active on social media and is made through what you publish or communicate.
If you put up insulting, discriminatory or gender sensitive contents on your social media platforms, it will surely lead to negative branding. It’s important to know how to deliver content and resources that your target audience wants and will find valuable.
If you want to build yourself up in the world of entrepreneurship look for influencers, they are the people whom you can learn from.
Author: Alain Gbeasor, an entrepreneur and CEO of Gesus Group of Companies, an industrial chemicals company.
Also the Chairman of Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs.
And Chairman of the Millennium Investment Group, a fund investment company.
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Source Beauty is pushing the boundaries of Egyptian e-commerce
Egyptian e-commerce: the county’s digital drive has not yet gotten to the growth typically seen in European countries and North America. However, as businesses have started shifting online, customers are now following suit, resulting in the gradual development of the digital eco-system.
Innovation, such as digital marketing, is reinventing the consumers’ path to purchase. The Egyptian e-commerce market is expected to grow at a rate of 33% annually to approximately $3bn by 2022, according to Oxford Business Group.
Source Beauty and disruption
The increase in e-commerce comes from rising internet penetration rates, driven by connected and digitally savvy millennials. Several platforms, both locally and internationally, such as the direct-to-consumer beauty platform Source Beauty, have disrupted the beauty industry in the region to drive their growth by truly connecting with their customers.
By being aware of the changing consumer behaviour trends in the e-commerce landscape, service providers like Source Beauty are continually fostering customer engagement with a community they have created. The customer service team, along with the editorial and marketing teams, respond to each comment and direct message, making customers feel listened to.
Lydia Schoonderbeek, the founder and CEO of Source Beauty, said:
“Egypt has traditionally been a price-driven market. After devaluation and high inflation rates, people have become much more price sensitive. People are consuming less and are shifting away from imported products due to price, accessibility and inconsistency in supply. As a result, they’re looking for local alternatives.”
In line with its digital transformation and financial inclusion agenda, the Egyptian government has set in place directives to raise the limit for electronic payments for individuals via mobile phones to EGP30,000 (USD1,905) per day, and EGP100,000 (USD6,350) per month, since March 2020. Traditionally, 70% of online purchases were cash on delivery, which has proven to be a major challenge to e-commerce growth throughout the region. This preference has changed to credit card payments, increasing to 30% from 16% due to the spread of Covid-19, but it remains to be seen whether purchasing behaviors will be affected in the long term.
The CEO of Source Beauty further added that, the company had seen substantial growth thanks to the COVID-19 global pandemic, with existing and new customers wanting to limit in-person beauty services and adhering to social distancing and mask-wearing requirements. Beauty customers, she says were changing spending habits, moving towards products that allow them to recreate the salon experience in their homes and protect them from the potential impact of an increasingly digital lifestyle. Finally, she believes they have seen customers prioritising skincare and haircare purchases over makeup.
The question is, ‘Is anyone in Egypt going to buy beauty products online?’. Who thought people would buy books on the internet from a website called Amazon! Well, the answer seems to be YES. Consumer spending in Egypt on non-essential goods has reached EGP 3.90bn in 2020 and is set to reach 8.81bn in 2021, according to FitchSolution’s 2021 Report.
According to the Egyptian e-commerce beauty company, Source Beauty, it believes that the world is in an era where consumers are looking to associate with brands and not products, to make their beauty purchasing decisions and this is where homegrown brands like theirs will doubtlessly lead to economic growth in Egypt.
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