Press Office: 101 Ways to Make Money in Africa
Dr Harnet Bokrezion and John-Paul Iwuoha are Africa business consultants and co-authors of the book ‘101 Ways to Make Money in Africa’. They met online in 2014 through a shared passion for Africa business blogging. In their pursuit to empower the masses of Africans who are still wondering how to get their business aspirations off the ground they decided to write a book together that contains practical guidance for start-ups. Six months and three hundred pages later, ‘101 Ways to Make Money in Africa’ was launched. We are meeting up with the authors to ask how the book provides solutions to aspiring entrepreneurs in Africa and those looking to invest for the first time.
Dr Harnet and John-Paul, why did you write the book and who is your audience?
Dr H: We wrote the book to make our own humble contribution towards Africa’s renaissance. At last, Africans are taking pro-active responsibility for the development of their continent. They want a peaceful, just, and prosperous Africa and the new emerging generation of African entrepreneurs across the continent will be the main drivers towards this vision. They find solutions for some of the continent’s most chronic problems, they create jobs, they improve Africa’s skill-set, competitiveness, and image while collectively and genuinely caring about accountability, social justice, and the environment. They are Africa’s biggest hope.
But we have to accelerate the number of these entrepreneurs manifold. To achieve this, we need to address the masses of Africans both in the diaspora and on the continent. And the truth is that the masses are not pro-actively taking part in the Africa rising narrative. The masses are not visiting fancy Africa business conferences or applying for accelerator programmes. The masses of Africans with both great potential and will are tied up in jobs they don’t like doubting their abilities to pull it off. The masses are getting stuck in traffic jams, wondering if their idea is the right one. The masses are sitting at home contemplating what to do or how to get started. As a result they never move or make bold business decisions. We wrote the book is to reach and empower them.
What are the solutions you are providing in your book? Let’s say I wanted to start a business in Africa – how would your book concretely assist me with this?
J-P: You see, everybody says Africa is brimming with opportunities and amazing potential. But what ‘exactly’ are these opportunities? In which ‘specific’ industries and countries can you find them? Which business should you start and how do you get started? How can you avoid the pitfalls and common mistakes? Which business concepts work in Africa and why are some concepts smarter than others? How do you start on a shoestring budget?
These are the questions on the mind of anyone who wants to start a business or invest in Africa. Africa business information that we find access to online is for the most part macro information. There is a lot of talk about million dollar investments, but you will hardly find the small stuff: The ‘how to’, practical tips, and advice. This is exactly how our book fills a gap and assists your ambitions.
What information can I find in your book that I would be unable to find online or elsewhere?
J-P: Dr Harnet and I have been actively involved in the African business environment for several years. Both as consultants and as professional bloggers. We are concerned with the average man and woman in Africa and the diaspora, those who start with not much information or capital in hand. We have poured that knowledge into the book. This information cannot be found in such compact format anywhere else; online or offline.
Second, and more important, there is an immense convenience this book provides. If you had to browse the internet and do the ground work to find and gather all the information contained in this book, it could take you several months and then you would still need to get your head around it all. You can read a book in a couple of weeks – it’s convenient and saves you lots of time and effort.
What has the feedback been so far, and how do you reach out to more Africans? Where would they be able to get it?
Dr H: The feedback we have received so far has been fantastic across the board: People on the continent felt as inspired and empowered as those who reside in the diaspora. One of our readers in the US who was interested in investing in Africa from afar said she has not read a book so fast in years. It is wonderful to see genuine appreciation and to be able to help people get unstuck.
Right now, the book is only available as an e-book on our designated book site, also because the whole logistics of shipping it around the world exceeds our capacities. But we have affiliate partners for a wider outreach, although we are looking for many more in various countries. We will feature the book on events such as the Africa Business Conference in Boston, and frankly, we try to win the attention and interest of Africa’s educational institutions such as universities, business colleges, academies, business hubs, and diaspora networks.
Click to buy ‘101 Ways to Make Money in Africa’