Your address will show here +12 34 56 78
The most of 2020 was a perilous time for most businesses on the African continent, particularly for small and medium scale enterprises. Despite the challenging year, some businesses did not only survive the pandemic but thrived in it, rethinking business models and quickly positioning themselves to take advantage of a negative situation.

Based on a resilient 2020 and the opportunity/ potential to tap into an entire industry, and in no particular order, we take a look at the top 10 small businesses in Africa to watch out for in 2021.

10. Fairafric

Africa loses millions of dollars in potential income by exporting raw material (non-value-added commodities) such as unprocessed cocoa and coffee beans. Africa then spends millions of dollars in importing chocolate and cocoa beverages from chocolate and beverage making companies from the Americas and Europe.
Africa is thus losing out on an industry that is said to be over US$171 Billion industry by 2026. Most cocoa farmers in Africa still living in abject poverty.
Graciously, this narrative is gradually witnessing a new chapter with the establishment of Fairafric, a chocolate-making company that is focused on making made in Africa organic chocolate bars from cocoa beans harvested and processed in Ghana. FairAfric’s chocolate bars are largely targeted in Europe with a varied range of organic chocolate brands.
In 2018 alone, the business made and exported over 250,000 chocolate bars, and raised about €50,000 from investors on Kickstarter.
Thanks to the crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, and the German development finance institution, Fairafric has established a solar-powered factory in Suhum, in the Eastern Region of Ghana. The plant has a maximum production capacity of almost 4 million chocolate bars per month.

9. Sendy

Sendy is a Kenyan on-demand platform that connects clients to drivers and vehicles for the delivery of goods in Africa. The company had over 30,000 business customers, including bigger brand names like Unilever, Toyota, and DHL by the early months of 2020.
“Using Sendy’s technology, businesses have been able to lower the cost of logistics by up to 40% and dramatically shortened the time it takes to deliver products to their customers,” says CEO, Meshack Alloys.
The company raised US$20 million in funds to expand its reach in other countries in the West African sub-region.

8. mPharma

mPharma is a Ghanaian startup that was founded in 2013 to improve access to medicines by providing innovative financing and inventory management solutions to hospitals, pharmacies, and patients. It is the companies mission to provide safe and affordable medicines across the African continent. The company is currently operational in 4 other African countries namely: Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
The company has been able to raise funds over the past years to expand its distribution channels.
In January 2019, the company raised US$12 million in funds, US$13 million in January 2020, and an additional US$17 million in May 2020. Since its inception in 2013, the company has helped over 400,000 patients gain access to quality drugs which they could otherwise not afford.

7. Swipe

Swipe, a small business in Africa, is all about creating easy access to credit. Swipe is like having a bank account, without fees, limits, or waiting in line. You can get an account number, routing number, and credit cards within minutes. Swipe offers small businesses to better control their spending, manage payroll, among other things. The company has offices both in Ghana and Nigeria.

6. Sokowatch

Sokowatch, a small business in Africa was launched in 2016 in Kenya to enable informal retailers order their products at any time via SMS or mobile app, and receive free same-day delivery to their store. According to the company’s website. “this makes it easier for shopkeepers to source goods and helps manufacturers ensure that their products are consistently available to consumers.”
The company raised US$15 million in February to expand its services to include analytics for smaller businesses in Africa as well as credit services. Sokowatch is a must-watch in 2021.

5.Helium Health

Helium Health provides healthcare providers with cutting-edge technological solutions that are dedicated to managing all aspects of the healthcare delivery system such as providing Electronic Medical Records, and electronic billing.
The company is trusted by 5,000 health professionals, who manage over 165,000 patients monthly. The company raised US$10 million to expand its reach in its current markets, Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia. The funds raised is also to take on new territories in North and East Africa.

4. Flutterwave

Flutterwave enables businesses to make and receive payments from anywhere in the world. Think of Flutterwave as Stripe for Africa. Paystack which is like Flutterwave was acquired by Stripe in October of 2020 for US$200 million.
This speaks volumes of the possibilities investors are beginning to see in the African FinTech space.
In January of 2020, Flutterwave raised US$35 million in funding.

3. Smile Identity

Smile Identity is all about ID verification via an Application Programming Interface (API). The company provides Identity (ID) verification and Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance services for Healthcare institutions, banks, telecommunication companies, among others.
This is one company to watch out for in 2021.

2. Crop2Cash

Small-scale farmers are constantly faced with the challenge of accessing financing from banks due to the banks wary about mismanagement of the funds and inability to pay back borrowed money. Crop2Cash founded in 2018 is a small business startup in Nigeria that is seeking to bridge that financing gap between small-scale farmers and the banks.

“Crop2Cash started up as a supply chain management system, typically digitizing the supply chain for food processors. It was tough for the farmers that supply the processors to get access to credit and financial services. Based on the insight gained from the data of our customers, Crop2Cash started exploiting how to make financial services available to farmers early,” founder Michael Ogundare said.

Cash2Crop is one of the few startups in Africa selected for the #Africa4Future 2020 cohort.
This startup company is a must-watch.

1 XY Analytics

XY Analytics is an agri-tech start-up from South Africa that focuses on herd management tool. The services enable the monitoring of health, movement, reproductive status, and location of livestock. XY Analytics is working to capture cash in what the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) says to be a projected USD 1 trillion agriculture economy in South Africa by 2030.

The post Top 10 Small Businesses in Africa to watch out for in 2021 appeared first on Ghana Talks Business.

Ghana Talks Business

The post Top 10 Small Businesses in Africa to watch out for in 2021 appeared first on African Media Agency.

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)


Today, digital marketing has evolved into the primary marketing medium for all sorts of businesses. Marketing is becoming digital rapidly as it is predicted that there won’t be a physical interaction between a marketer and a prospect after five years.

Digital marketing has its step-by-step process in turning a prospect into a customer. Chatbots possess the potential to carry out these activities without human aid and at high accuracy. This has resulted in the rise of companies using chatbots in their marketing strategy. Here we break down on how you can capitalize on chatbots and upscale your business.     

The Conversational Tool   

In 2020, brands are primarily keen on initiating a conversation with their prospects. This is because brands have begun to believe that they could have a better understanding of a prospect by starting a conversation with him. Subsequently, they can know about customer expectations and frame their marketing strategy accordingly. Chatbots have the potential of building an effective conversation with a prospect. Today, social platforms have turned into a business- happening place as all the top brands are promoting their products through it. Recent surveys have noted that leading B2B brands will have nearly 65% of their total sales through social platforms by 2025. People have started to rely on social applications to know about a product before making a purchase and to sort out their queries regarding it. Since all the brands have their official social media pages, people raise their queries on these pages. Moreover, customers are expecting an instant reply from their service provider. Companies are using chatbots to perform this task. 

Chatbots are capable of providing instant reply to customer queries and can handle any number of customers at a time. So, you can cut down the cost of employing a customer service associate to respond to people. Notably, chatbots can function round-the-clock. Digital marketing experts have said that chatbots could give an appropriate reply to around 65% of customer queries. For instance, if you are willing to know about the status of an order you have placed, chatbots within a minute will check into it and come up with comprehensive detail about the status of the order. In such a manner, chatbots can provide a better customer experience. Trollishly, one of the social media service providers, is known for uplifting many companies’ business on social platforms.

Manages Data Effectively  

Social media marketing is entirely driven by data. Leading brands have their own social media analysts. The job of these people is to find customers for their brand. They will conclude whether a person could become their customer based on the data they collect about him. They will analyze and evaluate the data to determine which stage the prospect is present in the sales funnel. Thus, social media marketing entirely relies on the data collected and how you manipulate it. Today, billions of people are present on social applications. Instagram alone has around 1 billion monthly active users. Hence, these analysts are unable to process the huge chunk of data about every single person. Thus, chances are high for you to be unable to recognize your potential customers. 

Chatbots can be used to fill this void. They have the capability of collecting data about a large number of people. Moreover, it can analyze them effectively and will let you know who could turn into your customers. So, you can promote your product to those people and increase your social sales. Marketing experts have noted that chatbots analyze a prospect by collecting various data such as his purchase history, social media activity, interactions, etc. Thus, chatbots can uplift your social sales by driving leads to you effortlessly.   

Works Best For Personalization Marketing   

Recent studies have highlighted that brands that give importance can only achieve higher sales in the coming years. Customers’ interests have been rapidly changing with time. They get to know enormous information through the internet. Since they are very well aware of what they are going to purchase, they want their products to be personalized according to their wish. So, personalization is an essential factor to stand apart from the crowd and drive people towards you. Eventually, this had made personalization marketing to be crucial. Chatbots can be utilized in crafting effective personalized ads. 

For instance, let us consider a person has landed on your website and signed-off without making a purchase. Chatbots will provide insights about him, such as the product he looked at, his purchase history, his email id, and other data about his other internet activities. Based on these, you could have a better understanding of him and approach him with personalized advertisements. Consider that a person who landed at your e-commerce website has viewed your product and left in the mid-way without taking action. The chatbot will inform you about it. Hence, you can approach the prospect with a personalized ad stating that you can give the product at a specific discount. Chatbots will also scan your competitors’ social media handles and websites and let you know about people who could turn into your prospects. For example, if a person has commented on any of the posts of your competitors’ Facebook page that he has dissatisfied with a specific product, the chatbot will let you know about it.

Moreover, it will also provide possible data about that person. Thus, you will come to know what the person has been longing to have. So, based on the data offered by the chatbot, you can reach him out with a personalized message.   

Incorporate Chatbots Into Messaging Applications  

Adding chatbots into messaging applications will avail enormous benefits to you. Studies reveal that, on average, people spend 20 minutes on messaging platforms every day. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat have a considerable user base. Messenger is home to 1 billion users, which is anticipated to rise further in the future. H&M, one of the leading apparel brands, has scaled up its sales through its Messenger Chatbot. Once you land into the chatbot, you will be greeted with a welcome message ‘Happy to have you as a customer’, following which it will showcase collections. It also shows the various color combinations available for every apparel. If you are not pleased by a collection, it will immediately drop a message ‘Sorry for the inconvenience sir; please try this out’ and come up with a new recommendation. People who purchased through chatbots have stated that chatbots can come up with relevant suggestions matching their interests. Thus, chatbots have the potential to convince a person to buy a product on its own. Many have also noted that the conversational tone of chatbots has given them a better shopping experience.    

Wrapping Up   

Due to their capability to carry out various tasks with accuracy and fast pace, chatbots are expected to gain an indispensable role in digital marketing in the coming years. However, it is pertinent to notify that chatbots are still in their development stage, and researches are into it. 

Author: Claire Divas

The post Chatbots – Why brands should use them in 2021 appeared first on Ghana Talks Business.

Ghana Talks Business

The post Chatbots – Why brands should use them in 2021 appeared first on African Media Agency.

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)