Category: Case Studies

  • 12th April, 2024
  • 3 min reading

In the last decade, Africa has seen an unprecedented increase in the number of scalable ventures and entrepreneurial activity.  This rise is being driven by a new generation of innovative entrepreneurs who are leveraging technology to drive growth and make a significant impact across the continent, as well as attract more investors who are interested in Africa’s potential.  

According to Africa the Big Deal, by Q4 of 2019, funding raised by African startups hit $0.7bn, surging to $1.8bn in Q1 of the 2022 financial year, with a total of 125 startups making up this figure. In 2023, African startups raised $2.9 billion in funding, with the big four (Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, & South Africa) retaining their position as the top investment destinations in Africa. As of February 2024, startups across Africa raised a total of $217 million, representing a 182% increase when compared with January. 

Image Source: Moove. The African startup offers vehicle financing for mobility entrepreneurs


Though the investment landscape in Africa offers many opportunities for investors and startups, finding the right partner remains a challenge for investors and small businesses across the continent. Identifying suitable firms or trusted partners is one of the obstacles for investors looking to invest in African startups, while entrepreneurs face the challenge of attracting the right investors to their businesses.  

In today’s complex business environment, where even some of the most recognised names compromise on integrity, it has become important for investors and business owners to have the right partners for growth and investments. While it is critical for investors to know the health of the company they intend to invest in, entrepreneurs seeking financing should study potential investors for any red flags.  

But what does it take to build a fruitful partnership between African founders and investors looking to invest in African businesses? During our recent webinar on “Fostering Institutional Investment in Africa,” Anthony Osijo, Group CFO of Bboxx, gave valuable insights into how both investors and entrepreneurs may build fruitful partnerships in the dynamic African market.  

Image Source Bboxx: Bboxx is transforming lives and unlocking potential by connecting consumers and deploying innovative energy solutions across Africa.

Key insights include:  

For African startups and businesses:  

Understanding Investors’ Interests: Understanding that different investors have different interests is key to attracting the right investors. The investment goals or interests of traditional institutional investors, like private equity and venture capitalist firms, differ from those of development finance institutions and impact investors as well as sovereign wealth funds. Your investment proposals must be tailored to align with the interests of different types of investors. A recent Morgan Stanley report reveals that more than three-quarters (77%) of global investors are interested in sustainable investing.  

Value Proposition: Clearly articulate the value your business brings to the table. Your value proposition should be clear, concise, and compelling. It should be easy for investors to understand what your business does and why it is different from other businesses in your industry.  

Long-Term Perspective: Seek investors who have a nuanced understanding of Africa and are committed to long-term partnerships. Pitch for investors looking beyond the temporary market trends in Africa and fusing on the fundamental values and growth potential of the business on the continent. This will help you avoid making impulsive moves toward investors for your business. IMF Global Financial Stability Report, which looked at the underlying drivers of investment decisions by institutional investors, found that this type of investor usually have a long investment horizon, with obligations that often stretch out over decades.  

Image Source: Apollo Agriculture Kenya-based agritech Apollo Agriculture, helps farmers access farm inputs, financing, and markets.

For potential investors in Africa:  

Resilience: There are obvious barriers associated with investing in Africa, including governance and regulations. Investing in Africa requires resilience and staying power due to its unique challenges and opportunities. However, there are huge benefits for investors who look beyond the short-term benefits.  

Local Expertise: Partner with entities that have a deep understanding of the African market and its nuances. Before partnering with an investor, ensure their values and vision align with yours. A shared vision and core values create a strong foundation for a successful partnership.  

Considerations: Focus on companies that have a history of revenue growth and a promising future growth trajectory. Assess growth potentials, returns, and financial propositions when making investment decisions.  

Navigating the dynamic African market to form effective partnerships requires a deep understanding of its complexities and nuances. ETK’s due diligence services help bridge the gap between potential investors and African startups, making the journey more streamlined and focused. By aligning interests, articulating value propositions, and creating long-term strategies, entrepreneurs can attract the right investors, while investors can leverage local expertise and resilience for sustainable growth. In this ever-evolving landscape, developing partnerships based on shared values and visions paves the way for mutual success and impactful contributions to Africa’s business ecosystem. 

  • 12th January, 2024
  • 3 min reading

Recently, while sharing valuable tips on mastering adaptability in entrepreneurship and navigating career transitions on the BLACK RISE Podcast Series with Flavilla Fongang, ETK Managing Director Bolajo Sofoluwe emphasised that success is a marathon, not a sprint.

The same could be said about doing business in Africa. If you are a company trying to enter the African market in 2024, our advice to ‘newbies’ is to treat doing business in Africa as a marathon, not a sprint.

Do you need a crash course on entering the African market? Our FREE Market Entry Guide will teach you all you need to know, from picking the right partners to selecting the suitable market for your product and service, promotion, and finding your African client base.

Doing business in Africa is a marathon; if you aren’t physically fit, don’t start. African marketplaces require a significant amount of discipline, attention, time, and investment. The goal is to cross the finish line, and whether you’re first or last, the real achievement is getting started and earning the “medal” of success.

Before you get started, it’s crucial to outline your market entry objectives when considering expansion and entry into the vibrant African markets. Whether you’re eyeing Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, or any other country on the continent, consider these key points:

Business Objectives for Africa Expansion
It is critical to define your African expansion goals and how success will be judged. Set precise targets to help you track your development and measure your triumphs as a starting point. Measuring progress and determining whether your strategy is performing as anticipated can be challenging without clearly defined targets. This must be in line with the goals of your firm. For example, if you are expanding into a new African market like Ghana, your objectives could include increasing your customer base, increasing revenue, or enhancing brand visibility.

Understand your Sales Value or Volume
Rather than monetary profit, your targeted sales volume reflects the quantity of products you need to sell in your chosen African market. While it may appear that sales volume is less essential, this is not true. Africa’s growing population presents significant prospects for retail and distribution expansion. As a result, your sales volume is an important sign of the health of your African business. It enables you to monitor the effectiveness of marketing initiatives, assess the efforts of sales personnel, and select the ideal sites for real stores.

Identify Relevant Product or Service
If you have considered direct sales or exporting as your main entry options into your chosen African market, the overall success of your export business in Africa will depend strongly on the products and markets you have chosen to export to.
The right market can give you a competitive advantage and the chance to expand your business. On the other hand, picking the wrong market can lead to low sales, higher expenses, and legal difficulties.

Define your Target Market or Markets
When expanding into Africa, one of the major areas to consider is market size. While most African countries can boast of a sizeable population, a market worth targeting should be sizeable enough to be profitable, have growth potential, not already be swamped by competitors, be accessible, and fit with your firm’s mission and objectives.

Allocating Resources for Project Success
Funds and resources play a vital role in the success of your expansion into African markets. You might have a great idea to compete in the sustainable energy market in Africa. However, it is a business that is capital-intensive. What this means is that you will either need a lot of money or must be able to raise funds. The question then is: does your organisation have the resources to do business in Africa?

Is your business eyeing economic opportunities in Africa? Our team of African business expansion experts is ready to guide you in achieving your African market entry goals.

  • 20th October, 2023
  • 3 min reading
Diving into the vibrant African market?

Here are some essential tips to pave your way into this diverse continent with a growing middle class and an abundance of untapped potential.

Embrace Cultural Diversity:

Africa, the world’s second-largest continent by area and population, is unique with national and regional differences.

With this kind of diversity, it’s understandable that each African country also has its own unique identity, culture, and way of life. Although Africans have diverse cultures, they share common ground.

By taking the time to immerse yourself in the local culture and learn about their day-to-day #business practices and business etiquette, you can overcome some of the challenges that are faced when expanding into Africa.

Find Your Niche:

Finding the correct target market for your products or services is the key to effective African market expansion. Africa’s growing economies provide great potential for B2B and B2C expansion.

With around 1.3 billion consumers now and an anticipated increase to 1.7 billion by 2030, the future of retail and consumer spending seems promising. However, African income levels have not been increasing at a steady rate since household expenditure on the continent has remained largely static.

While studies demonstrate that African consumers are sophisticated and loyal to brands, the vast bulk of consumer purchasing on the continent currently occurs in informal, roadside marketplaces, even in countries with well-developed retail and distribution industries.

A well-defined niche in Africa will benefit from less competition and will produce significant commercial growth while using fewer resources.

Phase Your Entry:

Market expansion can be a daunting task; doing things carefully and strategically is essential. When entering new markets, and not just Africa, you may as well test the waters with one foot. Rather than incurring the risk of fully establishing a company, developing strategic alliances with local enterprises that are already taking the risk and navigating the market can be a wonderful strategy with fewer risks. Consider a staged approach to entering the African market.

This will allow you to adapt and alter as needed, as well as test different ideas and approaches before committing to setting up in a specific location.

Leverage Import-Export Opportunities:

When considering expanding your business in Africa, you have several options available to you, each with its own set of advantages and problems. From marketplaces to local sales reps, local branches, subsidiaries, or joint ventures, there is something for everyone.

Similar to how businesses in other markets search to export or import from different markets, #African businesses look for strategic import-export prospects both within and outside the continent. Strategic collaborations can give your product or service access to new markets, such as Africa, as well as shared expertise and reduced resource expansion.

Establish Local Roots:

Having a solid local presence and focusing on your expertise can give you the confidence to extend your company into African markets. Local knowledge can assist businesses in better understanding the legal and regulatory environments of emerging markets, such as Africa.

African countries, like the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States, have legal systems. What is legal in the United Kingdom may be illegal or strongly regulated in another country. Businesses that lack local knowledge may find themselves in violation of these restrictions, which can result in large penalties and legal action. Having local experience in the form of legal advice or #consultants can thus be quite beneficial in assuring compliance with local laws and regulations.

Harness the Power of Connections:

In the dynamic African market, relationships matter. Building strong ties not only keeps you ahead but also streamlines your supply chain and product availability. Cultivate these connections to stay competitive and enhance your market penetration. Cultivate these connections to stay competitive and enhance your market penetration.

Remember, the African market is as diverse as it is promising. Embrace your uniqueness, find your niche, and nurture relationships—these are the building blocks for your success. Here’s to thriving in the heart of Africa!

Photo by kurt arendse and  pius quainoo on Unsplash

  • 2nd October, 2023
  • < 1 min reading
Our Group Managing Director, Bolaji Sofoluwe, recently spoke to Boason Omofaye on ARISE News about how Africa fits into the UK government’s ambitions to increase UK exports to £1 trillion a year by 2030. She also spoke about how African businesses can maximise opportunities to export to the UK.

The UK’s Department for Business and Trade announced earlier this year that it is working with businesses across the country to encourage them to export for the first time or expand their existing international sales to support its mission of reaching £1 trillion in annual exports by the end of the decade.

As a UK Export Champion, ETK Group believes strongly that Africa’s economy can benefit greatly from this trading relationship, and we are committed to supporting businesses in the UK and across Africa to maximise the opportunities that are available.
You can watch the full interview here:

  • 20th August, 2021
  • < 1 min reading

Client Overview

Our client is a 100-year-old, £180M turnover company that applies the best of engineering and technology to help solve complex challenges. They do this for clients in a wide range of disciplines and sectors, both in the UK and around the world.

Today, they’re pushing established boundaries – searching for new, exciting and sustainable ways to solve the engineering challenges of the modern world.


Summary of Requested Service(s)

The client approached us for one of our market entry services to enter the Nigerian market. The Nigeria market entry involved ETK supporting them in setting up a subsidiary in Nigeria, registration of company, identifying office space, application for Tax Registration, opening a company bank account, marketing and market entry strategy.


Service Execution/Results

ETK commenced the Nigeria market entry service by supporting them in setting up a subsidiary in Nigeria. ETK engaged with local lawyers to provide legal advice before, during and after successfully setting up the company in Nigeria. We used an experienced accountant to advise on incorporation, business tax, payroll, VAT and repatriation of profits. Sourced suitable and secure office premises, implemented their office set up and worked on their marketing and market entry strategy, providing much needed market intelligence and partner identification. Created a launch plan and timetable to monitor and review progress, which has helped them hit the ground running.

ETK is currently working on growing the clients operations and brand across Africa and is proud to have been involved in the establishment of the subsidiary.

  • 16th June, 2021
  • < 1 min reading

Client Overview

Established in 2002, with headquarters in the UK our client is a dynamic and innovative wine supplier with winemaking partners and collaborations in Italy, Australia, Portugal, Germany and the USA.

Summary of Requested Service(s)

The client approached us for one of our market support services (Scam investigation) to verify the authenticity of the agents handling the registration of their wine products with NAFDAC – The Nigerian federal agency that oversees and regulates the registration and statutory licensing of edible products.

Service Execution/Results

ETK commenced thorough expert investigation on the supposed agents, discovered and provided evidence of fraud. The agents were fraudsters who had forged NAFDAC registrations documents and gave impressions that the process was ongoing whilst there were no existing records at the agency. The agents had billed the client quadruple of the total of the required registration fees. ETK initiated legal prosecution, provided the client with the approved, verified and authentic billing fee from NAFDAC and successfully concluded the registration of 12 product varieties through our trusted licensing/registration custodians in NAFDAC.

After the successful conclusion of the scam investigation, ETK was further engaged by the client to help them secure Distributors/Agents in Nigeria for their wine products. A viable wine dealer was secured, followed by extensive local market and field activities. An ongoing process for shipping-in the products into Nigeria is already underway.

  • 16th June, 2021
  • < 1 min reading

Client Overview

With over 50 years of business operation, this ETK client is an acknowledged leader in the development and manufacture of measurement and control solutions for industrial processes, playing a dominant role in the food, bulk and tobacco; film extrusion and converting; cable and tubing; and metals industries.
Headquartered in the USA, with operational facilities in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and China, a network of Sales and Service distribution channels in more than 60 countries around the world, and a financial portfolio of £3billion.


Summary of Requested Service(s)

The client approached ETK, requesting to get into Nigeria through one of our market entry services (Distributor/Agent Selection) to enable them secure credible Distributors/Partners for their wide range of precision measurement equipment, as part of their business expansion strategy into West Africa.


Service Execution/Results

ETK carried out extensive local market research, and shortlisted viable/credible partners for the client in Nigeria. Further advisory services were provided to them and the most viable partner – a major distributor of measurement equipment in Nigeria was selected. ETK successfully launched the company into the Nigerian business space, marking a major milestone for them to establish themselves as a key player in one of Africa’s largest machinery/equipment markets.

  • 16th June, 2021
  • < 1 min reading

Client Overview

Founded in 2011 with presence in over 7 African countries, and also becoming a recognized brand in Africa, our client’s products are manufactured to international standards and customized to different environmental conditions and for people of colour.

Summary of Requested Service(s)

The client approached us to help them establish their business presence in Africa and globally using our market entry services

Service Execution/Results

ETK provided expert marketing strategy, and shortlisted leading distribution channels that the client could work with, to sell their wide range of beauty products – all which matched their criteria. ETK helped the client’s brand to successfully launch its business operations into Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania, and are currently working to launch the brand’s global coverage with entry into the UK.