Category: startup

Esther Dumbiri, Managing Director, SHTL Publishing, Nigeria

Esther Dumbiri put her talent with words and colors to good use by starting a publishing firm over a decade ago, a firm that has grown in leaps and bounds.

Could you introduce your company?

With a keen eye for spotting errors and a passion tell people’s stories, I founded a Prints and Publishing firm over 12 years ago, where our love for pristine quality editorials, designs, prints and satisfied authors keeps me going back to work every day.  SHTL Publishing is an imprint of Sapient Hadassah’s Touch Limited and we offer Editorials (Editing, Writing, Proofreading, Ghost Writing, Content Development, Transcriptions, Translations), Brand Expressions (Designs, Brand Conceptualization, Website Creation, T-shirt Branding, Workplace Branding, Banners and Stickers), Publishing (E-books, Hard Copy Publishing, Magazines) and Prints (Diaries, Calendars, Notepads).

We are working to become the first choice of publishing for authors by redefining the reading culture through high quality output and technology. 

Where is the company located?

We are currently at Office Block, Salami Bustop, Shasha, Lagos State, Nigeria

Who are your clients?

Our clients cut across all sectors, from Religious institutions, hotels, NGOs, manufacturers to Academia, and of course private individuals. We have also offered our services to authors based in the United States and in the United Kingdom and ship their books to them.

What are the USPs of SHTL Publishing?

We are a one-stop shop for authors and we place them on both local and international platforms. We deliver world standards locally as all our vendors are proudly based in Nigeria. We need people to see that Nigeria has a chance to compete on the international space. Through the use of Artificial Intelligence like AR and VR, we deliver reading and presentations in more exciting ways.

How is the company funded?

I founded the company as a student, and have been fortunate to have had investors come in along the line. The first angel investor fund was done in 2013 by The former GMD of NNPC, Engr Afolabi Oladele. Since then, the company has grown organically working with over seven employees at different periods and over 20 vendors.

How has the market in Nigeria responded to your services?

Up until now, SHTL has never spent money directly to acquire clients (No PPC, no ads, just content uploads, strong referral network and one book event). However, our services speak for us in different quarters. Our work is our pride. Over the last 4 years, we have experienced a 250% growth in our revenue.

What are the growth plans of the company? 

To us, every deal we seal is considered an investment into achieving the goal of improving the reading culture in Nigeria. Through the engagement of Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality and Virtual Reality, we are changing the game of play. 
With partnerships growing in the UK, Spain and Slovenia, we are bringing the world to Nigeria as we make reading and learning fun again.
Our current expansion plan includes offices in Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt, South Africa, Kenya, UK and the US providing our services to people across sectors.

Specifically for 2019, our Book Discussion events will commence and our deployment of AR/MR/VR solutions for education through our partnerships with the three firms in the UK, Slovenia and Spain.

What does SHTL Publishing need to further thrive?

We have been able to grow our capacity over the years and can currently handle more than we are grappling with. So we need more referrals, more large scale projects plus Government partnerships to deliver digital education to children across the country.

Andrea Ayemoba, Africa Business Communities 

Peter Mwangi: CEO, Konectify Technologies, Kenya

 

Peter Mwangi is the CEO of Konectify Technologies a startup providing cloud-based solutions in Kenya

Can you please introduce your company?

Konectify Technologies Limited is a Kenyan startup specializing in software engineering and development of custom web and mobile solutions with a key focus on cloud-based web solutions.

What would you say gives your company a competitive edge?

Instead of focusing only on digital marketing as many other firms do we strive to create products that offer all-round practical value to our clients. Towards this end, our team comprises of a lawyer, a digital marketing strategist, a UX/UI front-end developer, back-end engineers and cloud engineer. And we combine the expertise of all these professionals to offer holistic services.

Who are Konectify Technologies Limited clients?

  • Entrepreneurs/innovators looking to launch innovative digital/software solutions but do not have programming and development expertise.
  • Organizations looking for custom solutions to unique challenges such as donor/volunteer management for an NGO or a secure communication and file sharing channel for corporates.
  • Organizations that want to migrate to the cloud to improve the performance of their web applications, enterprise systems, websites etc.
  • Organizations in need of enterprise systems to automate their operations, fully custom websites, mobile apps etc.

What are the ambitions of the company going forward?

To become one of Africa’s premier technology conglomerates with our own software and web solutions for different sectors. We are currently working on three innovations, Popin: a solution for event organizers, eateries clubs and restaurants, Malkia: for the wedding industry, and KonfrenceMe for businesses).

How has the market responded to your technology products and services?

The market has responded positively, as we have realized many organizations have unique challenges that they don’t know can be solved by using modern digital technologies.

How is the competition in the mobile app and web design space? How are you insulating yourselves from the competition?

The mobile and web design space is quite competitive especially since there are many freelance developers who are cheap and use third-party web builders such as WordPress, Joomla, Magneto etc. We have positioned ourselves as a company that invests in Research & Development to build digital solutions with practical business value as opposed to developing generic web and mobile apps for just for the sake of having an online presence.

Africa has many talented programmers, database engineers, and developers because computer science was once a high priority in some educational systems. But the design and web-based side has been neglected for too long, and often, why is that so and is that still the case?

In our experience most talented programmers who mostly work as freelancers have poor design and UX/UI skills and are best suited to back-end engineering, thus most neglect the design and UX/UI aspect.

What are some of the cloud-based solutions you develop for your clients?

  • Custom Internal communication and file sharing platforms
  • E-commerce solutions
  • Custom Content Management Software

What is the latest news from your company?

In partnership with another startup, Three Dots Financial solutions we will be launching an event ticketing and table reservation platform dubbed Popin on Feb 14th 2019.

Nixon Kanali    Africa Business Communities

Akosua Afriyie –Kumi’s Weaving Designs Tells A Unique Story.

AAKS was founded by entrepreneur Akosua Afriyie-Kumi with the goal of introducing the world to her favorite weaving techniques done by the women of Ghana while also creating and igniting sustainable jobs within Africa. Handcrafted in Ghana, AAKS creates bags in styles that maintain the spirit and durability of their ancestral counterparts characterized by bright exuberant colors. The essence of AAKS design philosophy is a complex combination of thoughts, design element which come from a critical attention to craftsmanship, authenticity and ethical values in their production; while having a strong sense of identity and quality. Each collection silhouette is unique and tells a different story through detail, color and shape. Akosua is connected to every stage of the design and production process to oversee and ensure that the end result is imbued with the spirit and soul worthy of the AAKS stamp. 

The AAKS Spring/Summer19 Collection of exciting accessories includes:

COMO BLOOM – An elevated take on a summer essential, our Como Bloom bag is crafted in a rectangular silhouette with contrasting soft tones of reds and pinks. It features an interior pocket and topped with dual handles.

PELKA – An elevated take on a summer essential the Pelka clutch bag has a fold over silhouette which comes in a natural colour with orange and navy with a tribal edge. It comes with a long shoulder strap that can be detached and double up as a clutch bag.

SINSI NATURAL – The Sinsi Natural is your new ‘must have’ for the summer. This perfectly sized bag is crafted in a two tone stripe detail of natural and navy. The effortless shape will keep all your little essentials in place.

Sharing my story behind AAKS is always exciting and hearing sound advice and feedbacks from people with different backgrounds is a real bonus. I also had the chance to chat with the other designers and entrepreneurs invited to showcase their work. Telling our stories as African women entrepreneurs and being allowed to do so in front of a receptive audience is genuinely beneficial. They say the future is female, don’t they?

Other Products



Liquid Telecom appoints Mohamed Abdel Bassit as Regional CEO for West Africa and Middle East

Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom has appointed Mohamed Abdel Bassit as its new Regional CEO for Middle East and West Africa (MEWA), effective January 1, 2019.

Based in Cairo, Bassit will oversee the group’s expansion further into MEWA following the recent news that it is investing US$400m in the Egyptian market and has completed the first fibre network to stretch all the way from Cape Town to Cairo.

Bassit will also explore new market opportunities in West Africa as Liquid Telecom begins expanding its service offering into the region.

The Regional CEO of MEWA is a new position within Liquid Telecom, and forms part of the group’s wider digital transformation strategy.

“The MEWA region is home to some of the fastest growing economies in Africa and we are delighted to bring on-board Mohamed Abdel Bassit to help accelerate our expansion into these markets. He is a highly experienced telecoms executive with extensive local knowledge that will help guide us to success in these regions,” said Ahmad Mokhles, Group Chief Operating Officer, Liquid Telecom.

Bassit brings more than 20 years of experience in the ICT industry spanning sales, business operation and product development, outsourcing and establishing partnerships.

He joins Liquid Telecom from Orange Group, where he served as Regional Director for voice, data and mobile services in the Middle East for the past year. He previously served as VP of operations for Gulf Bridge International, and prior to that spent 10 years as Managing Director for Middle East and North Africa at Belgacom International Carrier Services (BICS), where he helped establish the company as a leading regional voice and mobility services carrier. Bassit holds a master’s degree in marketing.

“I am excited to be a part of Liquid Telecom’s expansion into new markets across the Middle East and West Africa. There is enormous potential to connect many of these countries to our extensive pan-African fibre network, bringing new competition and helping to develop the local telecoms ecosystem,” said Mohamed Abdel Bassit, Regional CEO, MEWA, Liquid Telecom.

Source: Africa Business Communities

 

[caption id="attachment_80" align="alignnone" width="1440"] Emotional discomfort, when accepted, rises, crests and falls in a series of waves.

Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.

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Business trends shaping Africa in 2019

The progress of Africa’s economy over the last decade has been remarkable. In 2018, six African nations – Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Djibouti – feature in the fastest-growing economies in the world.

The World Bank estimates economic growth in the Sub-Saharan regions to bulk out to a 3.6 percent average in 2019-20.

Global management consultants, McKinsey & Company report the region is showing the same signs as China before its explosive growth. Rapid urbanization and business-friendly reforms are helping to fuel economic growth.

With consumer spending expected to hit $25 trillion by 2025, Africa’s emerging markets present excellent opportunities for international trade, mergers and acquisitions.

There is certainly cause for optimism and as key industries drive economic growth, create more jobs and reduce poverty. African nations can look forward to improved infrastructure, better housing and a higher standard of living.

African Agriculture

Agriculture is powering the economic transformation across the Sub-Saharan continent. The United Nations forecast Africa’s thriving agribusiness will be worth $1 trillion by 2030.

Africa’s capacity to be a global powerhouse for agriculture is long overdue. The continent boasts 60 per cent of the world’s unused arable land and a favourable climate for growing fruit, vegetables and grain.

With the introduction of new technologies and “crowd farming” business models, landowners have the means to upgrade slow and outdated farming methods and produce bigger yields.

The growth in agribusiness with create a surge of jobs within the supply chain and subsequently help to pull thousands out of poverty and starvation.

Relaxed Borders

The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) will make import and export easier throughout Africa. To date, 44 countries have signed up to allow the free movement of trade and more are expected to join.

It is anticipated that the free flow of goods from Cairo to Cape Town will help to maintain economic growth and promote the impetus to develop cross-border infrastructures thus further expanding Africa’s emerging markets.

Focus on Manufacturing

 

Africa’s revitalized manufacturing industry has aided the emergence of a growing middle-class and created 14 million jobs. The manufacturing industry is expected to scale-up exports and double to $1 trillion by 2025.

As a result, commodities will be more affordable to a wider group of consumers and enable governments to further diversify economies and develop long-term resilience.

Affordable Housing

As the demand for jobs emerges in cities, more people are moving to urban areas which has increased the demand for accommodation.

To date, the majority of Africa’s housing development has been focused on premium segments and the growing middle-classes.

Authorities are now having to refocus their attention and provide housing for workers with limited capital arriving from rural areas. The latest innovations include converted shipping containers to significantly cut the cost of building homes.

Automotive Africa

The mass migration of people moving to cities and the growth of internet shopping has created a growing demand for transportation.

With household brands including Mercedes, Volkswagen and Toyota setting up assembly plants across the continent, the number of vehicle sales is projected to surpass 10 million units per annum in the next 15 years.

Fintech

Africa’s financial services are largely underdeveloped. Only 34% of African populations own bank accounts or have access to formal financial services.

Subsequently, access to financial products is slow and inflexible. However, the spread of internet connectivity is helping to provide financial access that bypasses typical obstacles.

Africa’s emerging fintech industry is powered by groups of entrepreneurs that provide innovative solutions to help businesses issue bills, create bulk disbursements, manage merchant payments and many other financial transactions that banks do not offer.

The future looks bright for Africa. As economies continue, there will be more scope to improve transportation networks, roads and housing. This will create more opportunities for entrepreneurs and skilled workers in key industries and raise living standards across the continent.  

www.worldbank.org

The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same

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Emotional discomfort, when accepted, rises, crests and falls in a series of waves.

Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.

Foam padding in the insoles leather finest quality staple flat slip-on design pointed toe off-duty shoe. Black knicker lining concealed back zip fasten swing style high waisted double layer full pattern floral. Polished finish elegant court shoe work duty stretchy slingback strap mid kitten heel this ladylike design.

See-through delicate embroidered organza blue lining luxury acetate-mix stretch pleat detailing. Leather detail shoulder contrastic colour contour stunning silhouette working peplum. Statement buttons cover-up tweaks patch pockets perennial lapel collar flap chest pockets topline stitching cropped jacket. Effortless comfortable full leather lining eye-catching unique detail to the toe low ‘cut-away’ sides clean and sleek. Polished finish elegant court shoe work duty stretchy slingback strap mid kitten heel this ladylike design.