Entrepreneurs, like yourself, start out with a boat load of self confidence. You feel you possess the know-how and passion to bring a novel product or service to market. You are sure investors will compete for your attention and customers will fill your doorstep, virtually or otherwise.
It does not take long for the reality to set in that investors nor customers will flock to you just because you have developed a hot, new technology.
Sometimes the lack of response is due to the fact that what you have to offer is not meeting a need, it is just a novelty. Novelties may impress your aunt Mary, but not customers. To impress potential customers you must understand the culture – worldview. You have to know what they want – what challenges they face daily. Your new product has help them overcome those challenges.
It might well be that you find it difficult to get your product to market because you keep discovering new government regulations that require you to fill out the umpteenth form and pay another unforeseen fee. You had no idea that you would have to jump so many governmental hurdles and each one you clear takes more energy and passion out of you.
Like it our not, culture effects your business. Further, your lack of cultural understanding may well set you up for discouragement and ultimately failure. There are three distinct cultures that will affect your business: your culture, your potential customers’ culture, and the local business culture. The Prezi above introduces you, the entrepreneur, to some cultural variable you will face. Understanding these variable will help you know what cultural knowledge you need to acquire in order to increase your chance at having a successful business venture in Africa.
You may well be able to think of other cultural questions that you will need to answer. Please raise them in the comment section below.
At Africa Mentor, we specialize in orienting entrepreneurs and investors to African culture. See the services we offer.