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Nine Days’ Wonder Threat to Many African Entrepreneurs

In 1553, Lady Jane Grey became the Queen of England. Unfortunately, nine days after her enthronement as a queen, she was dethroned. Accused of treason, she was beheaded a year later. It was from that incident that the idiom “a nine days’ wonder” was coined – meaning, in brief, “something that makes people excited for only a short while.”

What an apt way to encapsulate the error of this present age!

Regrettably, many people are riding on the delusive wheels of various nine days’ wonders. From the street boys and girls that take in hard marijuana, to the urbane ones in the offices that inflate a little here and a little there of project costs. From youths that postpone the call of responsibility, to the adults that explain away such call. From employees that bring no tangible value to the table but get a paycheck in return, to entrepreneurs that hoodwink unsuspecting clients just to make a sale.

From flash in a pan to the out-of-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire ambitions, the syndrome of the nine days’ wonder is now trendy in the business space, leaving many entrepreneurs intoxicated and tainted through the pathway of building an enterprise.

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The truth is that, as entrepreneurs, we all face the ploy of various nine days’ wonders. There are times when we get so blindfolded or consumed by the short-range razzmatazz of our desires or actions to scale our business that we fail to project into the future to see the bridge that it holds.

We hit a home run in our business like magic and then we begin to ride non-stop on the euphoria of such fleeting wonder, thinking that that’s the only way the cookie crumbles. And by the time the whole hoopla is over, we are surprised and pained that it doesn’t last after all.

So what’s the point?

Well, the point is very simple, loud, and as plain as the nose on your face.

Don’t be a victim of a nine days’ wonder!!!

As an entrepreneur, don’t be in the league of those who get overwhelmed or distracted by the immediate, soothing, short-term gratification of their ambitions, decisions, or actions. Rather, as an entrepreneur, you must learn to see beyond the now, project into the future, and stick to what truly lasts.

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Have a soul, buddy.

Let’s always remember that whatever we are building as entrepreneurs is not for us alone, but also for both posterity and progenitors. And they will gather some day to hold us accountable. Because if truth be told, when all is said and done, a nine days’ wonder isn’t ‘wonder-ful’ after all.

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Source Beauty is pushing the boundaries of Egyptian e-commerce

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.

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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.”

Egyptian e-commerce
Founder of Source Beauty, Lydia Schoonderbeek

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.

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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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