Building a successful startup in a third-world country like Nigeria can be very daunting. Despite the challenges faced by these startups, the number of startups has been on the rise. The number of startups in Nigeria has risen from 101 in 2019 to 144 in 2021. Sectors like health tech and ed tech have particularly seen an increase in the last few years. Nigeria boasts of some of the most successful African fintech unicorns like OPay, Chipper Cash, Flutterwave, and Interswitch even in the face of these challenges.
Major challenges faced by these startups include insufficient funding, poor internet connection, challenging regulatory policies, a lack of an enabling environment like transportation and electricity costs, and poor infrastructure. With the presence of seven unicorns in Africa and five emerging from Nigeria, it is easy to see that through tasking it is possible to build a sustainable and successful startup in a third-world country.
Here are 3 things that equip you for success.
HAVE A CLEAR VISION
Africa has problems that need solutions. Identifying the problems to solve, developing an action plan, and executing that plan are the keys to success in emerging markets. Success is almost guaranteed for Nigerian startups seeking to solve people’s problems. These opportunities exist in several sectors like healthcare, education, and finance. Hence, why it’s important for tech entrepreneurs to have a clear vision of the problems they are looking to solve. With a strong vision in place, entrepreneurs can attract, engage and retain the best talent as team members. Hardworking, dedicated, and motivated employees are more likely to work for and be invested in a company that has strong values and objectives. It’s also important to engage team members in their work to help them stay motivated. Relating a vision statement to individual goals can show an employee that they share a common purpose.
UNDERSTANDING THE TARGET MARKET
Organizations don’t have the time or resources to reach everyone with their message. Identifying a target market allows marketers to focus on those most likely beneficiaries of their message. Limiting the population funnels research and budgets to the customers with the highest profit potential.
Although it may be time-consuming up front, determining a target market allows you to focus your marketing efforts in the most cost-effective way possible. Begin by clearly defining your product or service and then defining the person or business that will want to use what you have to offer. Understanding the needs of consumers and their problems is essential. You can often discover exactly how you can meet consumer needs through careful market research including running a focus group, scanning industry reviews, or doing a market survey.
It is said that collaboration is a new competition. It is essential for entrepreneurs to collaborate with their skills and resources to improve and fast-track their growth.
Indeed, partnerships between governments, the commercial sector, and civil society are required for a successful sustainable development strategy and growth. At the global, regional, national, and local levels, inclusive partnerships based on principles and values, a shared vision, and shared goals that prioritize the equitable governance of people and the environment are required.
Collaboration between entrepreneurs must include a well-defined, mutually beneficial connection with the goal of achieving common objectives. A commitment to mutual goals and relationships, a jointly designed framework and shared responsibility, mutual authority and accountability for success, and resource and reward sharing are all part of what partnerships entail. The Sustainable Development Goal 17 – Partnership for the Goals – promotes the spread of information and communication technology and global interconnectedness to accelerate human progress, bridge the digital divide, and develop knowledge societies, and these goals are a good starting point for telecommunications and technology companies which seek to work together.
Africa is a promising technology market. Its homegrown startups have an advantage if they can cope with infrastructural challenges. And if offer the solutions the people want and avoid the pitfalls.