It takes a lot more than a good idea to develop a successful manufacturing venture. You need to know where to find the resources, both financial and technological, and you need to find the right people with the right skills to do the job. Knowing where to look for these resources can save you precious time and money, and earn you some valuable partners in the process.
Africa today is on the verge of its own industrial revolution. Across the continent–from Dakar to Mombassa, and from Cairo to Cape Town–African business men and women are launching ventures in the wake of recent economic reforms. In many cases these projects begin modestly, with startup capital of between $20,000 and $200,000. What makes these productive ventures different from other businesses (such as services) is the critical component of acquiring and maintaining equipment.
Demand for locally produced goods in Africa is bound to grow rapidly as we enter the next millennium with larger and more educated populations. In the future, it will become less economical for African countries to import all their manufactured goods because of the high costs and the need to employ and integrate young, technically trained professionals into the economy.
African entrepreneurs and their partners abroad can play catalytic roles in promoting industries in Africa. Potential venture partners in the US can offer much needed technical and financial support and, equally important, access to relatively inexpensive but critical technology and management expertise.
This article will guide you through five important steps to take in pursuing a manufacturing project in Africa.
Step 1: Identify the Project
It is not too difficult to find good projects in need of investment or other assistance. However, if you are starting from scratch with no leads, there are resources you can query to help you identify potential manufacturing ventures.
- African Embassies in the US. Often, the Commercial Attach