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What I Learned Scaling Across Africa

  • Vula Mobile's Willam Mapham

  • Dabadoc's Zineb Kaitouni
  • Kytabu's Tonee Ndungu

What You Need to Know Scaling Across Africa


Emmanuel Etim, an active investor across East and West Africa, advises entrepreneurs to consider all the stakeholders and groups that need to buy-in to the business idea to ensure it is adopted and sustained. His top advice:

1. Know the specific community’s appetite for risk. The best way to get their buy-in is to empower them to help you in the business.

2. Leverage all influencers: cultural leaders, religious leaders, local media, women’s groups, among others. Incorporate a Stakeholder mapping workshop to track your marketing plan.

3. Franchising can reduce risk and speed up your roll-out. Donors are more likely to adopt a franchise model and local communities are less likely to stop something they hear is working nearby.

Lyne Landry, an impact investor and entrepreneur has scaled across Southern, Western and North Africa. She encourages entrepreneurs to test their hypothesis to reduce mistakes and risk as they scale into different regions. Her top advice:

1. Always spend time testing your pricing and client strategy. We all have great ideas – but they need to be tested to learn and refine.

2. Customers and governments (who often have to authorize your business) need solid evidence to be convinced. When you are testing your idea, track the results so you have solid evidence.

3. Many entrepreneurs must do viral marketing campaign to gain a critical mass for the market adoption. If your business requires that, make sure you know how to do that in your market.

Matt Troniak, an active investor across North and West Africa, advises entrepreneurs to know their sectors and access publicly available resources for funding. His top advice:

1. Know the show-stoppers. For example, if you are in the health sector, you must master the regulatory issues that are critical to marketing and accessing markets.

2. Know the donors and development finance institutions operating in your country and industry. You will find investors who could fund you and case studies that will help you improve how you explain your scaling plans to investors.

3. Create two business plans: one for your local/national market and one for your export market. Use the internet to research export requirements to ensure you price your products right in the exported markets – the business plan for your local market just won’t work in the export market.

Ethan Musolini, a successful entrepreneur in East Africa, shares from his own experiences. His top advice:

1. Think version 1.0, launch it quickly, test, get feedback and launch version 2.0 based on the response…that’s the model that successful companies use. A good example is Windows. Think progress rather than perfection.

2. If you have actually piloted your idea, share the results.

3. Use testimonials from actual clients…if it’s on video, the better. Use the case study of your current successes to demonstrate the need for extra support to move higher.


African women and men entrepreneurs are creating jobs and impacting lives through entrepreneurship.


Global Mentors Mentoring Entrepreneurs




The Mentoring Journey

In Round 3, you will outline the financial projections of your business, your leadership team, your advisors, and your barriers to success in Africa. Global Mentors who are experienced entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from countries all over the world will guide you on your journey.


The Journey 2017

Mentoring Makes the Difference


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