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From Local Business To International Brand

Small businesses are a significant contributor to the economic growth of any nation, especially in developing countries. However, for African entrepreneurs, the journey from being a small local business to becoming an internationally recognized brand can be challenging due to unique challenges such as limited market access, inadequate infrastructure, and lack of access to capital. Despite these challenges, some African entrepreneurs have successfully transformed their small local businesses into globally recognized brands.

This article examines the strategies employed by successful African entrepreneurs to transform their businesses into internationally recognized brands, using relevant case studies.

Case Study 1: The Rise of Jumia

Jumia, a Nigerian e-commerce company, was founded in 2012 by Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara. Jumia started as an online platform for selling and delivering books and has grown into a leading e-commerce platform in Africa, offering a wide range of products and services. Jumia has successfully expanded into more than ten African countries and has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 2019.

One of the key strategies that Jumia employed to become an internationally recognized brand was focusing on customer satisfaction. Jumia provided its customers with a seamless online shopping experience by offering a wide range of products at competitive prices and providing timely delivery services. The company also introduced a pay-on-delivery option, which increased customer trust in the brand.

Jumia also leveraged technology to track customer behavior and preferences, allowing them to offer personalized product recommendations. The company invested in logistics technology, which improved delivery efficiency and reduced the cost of logistics.

Case Study 2: The Success Story of M-Pesa

M-Pesa, a mobile money transfer service founded in Kenya in 2007 by Vodafone and Safaricom, has revolutionized the financial sector in Africa, especially in countries where access to banking services is limited. M-Pesa enables users to send and receive money, pay bills, and purchase goods and services using their mobile phones.

M-Pesa’s success can be attributed to the company’s ability to meet the needs of its target market. The service was designed to cater to the needs of the unbanked population in Kenya, providing them with an affordable and convenient way to conduct financial transactions. The company also employed a partnership strategy by collaborating with local businesses to expand its reach and offer a wide range of services.

M-Pesa invested heavily in security measures, ensuring that customers’ financial information was protected. The company also partnered with reputable financial institutions to provide backup services, further enhancing customer trust in the brand.


Jumia and M-Pesa’s success in transforming their small local businesses into internationally recognized brands provides valuable insights for African entrepreneurs seeking to expand globally. These successful African entrepreneurs focused on meeting the needs of their target markets, leveraging technology, building trust and credibility, and employing partnership strategies.

African entrepreneurs can also benefit from focusing on customer satisfaction, investing in logistics technology, and partnering with reputable businesses to expand their reach. With the right strategies and support, small local businesses in Africa can become globally recognized brands, contributing to the economic growth and development of the continent.

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