Business Opportunities for SMEs in the East African Community

A training part of the Enterprise Uganda's Business Recovery Series that was put in place with the goal of encouraging and guiding entrepreneurs on how to recover from the economic challenges caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic. It is a series of courses taught by business leaders and shakers that will assist you in rebuilding your business following COVID-19. The weekly 1-hour online courses will provide entrepreneurs with actionable advice that they can implement right away.
Mary
Odongo
7 Jul 2022

Business Opportunities in East Africa

East Africa is a hotspot for business opportunity due to its robust economic growth and burgeoning middle class.

When expanding your business to the East African Community, Kenya is a natural starting point for the entire region. Thanks to its highly skilled workforce and diversified business environment, it offers interesting opportunities in industries such as energy, ICT, telecommunication, healthcare and infrastructure.

Companies that offer cost-effective solutions should see the East African Community as a growth opportunity. Goods and services that help local businesses to increase their efficiency have great potential to gain a significant market share. There is also a major need for investments in infrastructure, healthcare, and in a variety of projects that are financed by aid, development banks and donor organisations.

Africa’s fast-growing population and markets present important opportunities for business in an environment of slowing global growth. At the same time, greater innovation and investment from business is essential to meet Africa’s unfulfilled demand for goods and services, close the gaps in its infrastructure, create jobs, and decrease poverty. Here, we describe the extent of the African business opportunities in key sectors and suggest steps investors can take to translate that opportunity into profitable, sustainable enterprises.

There are many business opportunities in sectors like tourism, trade, and banking.

If you have a knack for sustainable energy, a solar power business might be a good business idea for you. Spotlighting opportunities for business in East African Community and strategies to succeed in the world’s next big growth market Given this brief tour of issues the question now arises: what the East African Community can do to develop its tourism potential?

If you’re planning to expand or start your business, East African Community is a great place to do it. Here are some of the most profitable businesses you can consider: Africa’s fast-growing population and markets present important opportunities for business in an environment of slowing global growth. At the same time, greater innovation and investment from business is essential to meet Africa’s unfulfilled demand for goods and services, close the gaps in its infrastructure, create jobs, and decrease poverty. Here, we describe the extent of the African business opportunities in key sectors and suggest steps investors can take to translate that opportunity into profitable, sustainable enterprises.

This makes the automobile business an ideal in Africa. Moreover, the need for auto services such as auto parts or repair services could also increase. With more migrants are flocking into the urban sector, there is a pressing demand for affordable housing options. While the government is doing all they can to provide affordable housing, there’s still a need to build more houses to cater to all migrants. This need opens a door of great opportunities for business owners. You can start a real estate or housing company to supply this demand.

Local entrepreneurs can tap into these opportunities by setting up their businesses in appropriate locations.

Developing Strategies to Harness the Power of Parallel Entrepreneurship in the East African Community. Then decide: Should you work around your target country’s institutional weaknesses? Create new market infrastructures (for example, your own in-country supply chain)? Or stay away because adapting your business model would be impractical or uneconomical?

You can start a business of co-working space in the big cities of Tanzania as many medium and small entrepreneurs are unable to or do not have an office. You can offer sitting arrangements, computers, printers, scanners, and internet facility along with a conference room in your co-working space based on rents. Renting the space to multiple clients will get you a good income.

Successful companies develop strategies for doing business in emerging markets that are different from those they use at home and often find novel ways of implementing them, too. What is your main recommendation for the hustling entrepreneurs out there? Medium and small industries need manpower on regular basis and often the laborers quit the job and the employer faces great difficulty. You can fulfill this requirement by starting your business as a manpower agency. Your agency will have its team of manpower with various skills and specializations and you will provide them with the contact of the employer and settle their fees with the employer. Your income will be commissions received from both ends.

This presentation shared a list of the top invest sectors for business actors to consider and the different markets (members of the EAC) are growing in demand for these services these included;

Agriculture and agro-processing.

Manufacturing.

ICT opportunities.

Infrastructure.

Tourism.

Energy

Mining amongst others.

The conversation also highlights the major challenges anticipated and impeding entrepreneurs' entry into these markets, emphasizing the importance of involving marketing, standards, and quality of locally produced goods, and stating the government and UNDP's goal to assist entrepreneurs by building a strategy market.

In conclusion, the focus areas of the presentation were;

Trade and investment opportunities

How can the opportunities be accessed?

What challenges exist in accessing the opportunities?

Which partners can be approached to break into the EAC market?

What support exists from government?

You can watch the full interview on the Enterprise Uganda YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/GCI6rSBpGxU

Note: The Enterprise Uganda Business Recovery Series Zoom Sessions are conducted every Thursday of the week. 

 

Mary Odongo

Acting Managing Director | GEN Uganda

Mary is the Acting MD responsible for establishing GEN Uganda. She is a fellow of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants UK. She has … More