“There’s a burgeoning ecosystem of African entrepreneurs that wants to make products for the community. They want to see upliftment amongst their friends and family,” says Murray Legg, the accelerator director of Founders Factory Africa.
In 2007, Chuck Slaughter launched his new social enterprise, Living Goods, in Uganda, “borrowing from the Avon playbook.” But instead of going door-to-door selling lipstick and hand creams, Living Goods’ community health workers arrive on local doorsteps offering medical services, health education, medicines, and health products.
Lelemba Phiri, the Chief Marketing Officer for mobile payment platform Zoona, says many African businesswomen prefer to simply grow their companies to a “subsistent” level, because if their businesses get too big, they are seen as “not being marriage material.”
Nichole Onome Yembra is the CFO of the Lagos, Nigeria-based Venture Garden Group and the managing partner for Greenhouse Capital, VGG’s investment arm.
This past September, AWS Global Startup Evangelist Mackenzie Kosut visited South Africa to learn how African Startups are solving regional entrepreneurial challenges. These include an unstable Internet, low bank penetration, limited smartphone availability, lack of access to education, informal to formal transportation, legacy insurance options, and even mailing logistics in areas with no established postal systems.