“We need to empower [African] people economically,” said Beninese entrepreneur Vital Sounouvou. From a distance it really seems that simple, but in retrospect it’s quite complex and intricate. When you think of African entrepreneurs the first thing that comes to mind is sky-rise buildings with young professionals running empires from their state of the art smart phones; people like Ola Orekunrin of Flying Doctors, Patrick Ngowi of Helvetic Group EA, Jason Njoku of iROKOtv – who all had access to the necessary technology and extensive networks to build their empires. No one ever thinks of the farmer, fruit seller by the road –who are entrepreneurs in their own right. How can they expand their businesses without access to technology or influential people? Vital Sounouvou founder of Exportunity is answering that question.
Inspired by a college professor Vital Sounouvou started Exportunity, an online hub platform for African buyers and sellers to come together and make each other’s lives much easier. It has the ability to reach those without smart phones which is the majority of the African entrepreneur population. Not only itis bolstering trade across African borders but across continental borders as well. Above and beyond that Exportunity provides due diligence services so consumers know what they are getting into, and intermediation among parties. It gets down and dirty with credible farmers and vendors to ensure fair rates for all those involved. Additionally Exportunity is engaged in the actual exporting and importing of the product in question, meaning that if I wanted to sell my goods to someone in South Africa not only would Exportunity put us in contact but it would also facilitate for the exchange of the product.
There is really nothing bad to say about Exportunity. I make a lot of noise about how African’s need to reach out to each other instead of foreigners and Exportunity is on the right track to revolutionize trade across African borders. Besides that it is empowering those who need it the most, showing them that you don’t need an Iphone to do business on your phone.
Photo Credits: npr.com, exportunity.net