It is near impossible to make a living today in Africa despite the continent being home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
On top of its abundant resources, Africa has a remarkably young population, both prerequisites for rapid economic and social growth.
A good example of this is in the agricultural sector.
Farmers today still face century-old problems such as access to market, pricing transparency and capital. Their hurdles can be linked to other cadres of potential economic producers, which face a huge gulf between having resources and earning a living from them.
These hurdles are unique and contextual, but some cut across the board. Capital is, for example, inaccessible, if you are not an existing business with a good credit history — whether or not you can prove there is a ready market for your goods or services, which is a key reason why most entrepreneurs seek angel investments rather than going through the credit access bureaucracies to kick-start their business.
Does this always need to be the case? There are valid reasons why financial institutions are risk-averse to new enterprises, yet the history of modern commerce is awash with financially solid individuals wagering large bets on those with the knowledge to transform an opportunity into more money and earn a living while at it.
However, many factors keep widening this gap for any individual intent on building an enterprise and earning a living from it. One is that even with the right resources, there is still a lot of information to process so we can make the right decisions.
Teachers and mentors, in an educational or professional setting, are key to the closing of this information gap — especially, in nurturing future professionals and entrepreneurs to think about solving local problems from a global perspective.
Part of the work in building an enterprise is in knowing what not to do, which can be learnt from experience or benchmarking on best practice. To start asking the right questions, would-be entrepreneurs need to have the basics of how things work, how they can be improved, and how others have done similar things.
Entrepreneurs can also help by building tools, through technology, and make things easier for the would-be entrepreneurs uncertain about how to access a market for their offerings.
If there was no Internet, many companies would not exist, and if they did, not at the kind of scale they are on today. Tech-driven companies like Amazon have enabled many would-be entrepreneurs to sell their products to a market they would otherwise have struggled to access.
Our company, Sendy, was built on a similar premise — bringing truck owners into a logistics framework that gives them the chance to earn a living without having to jump through the hoops they would have to if they tried it alone.
These tools have closed the gap for many people. They offer a straightforward solution to using the resources available to make money.
Not everyone needs to, or desires, to control the entire value chain of a product or service.
With technology, earning an honest living from what one owns, knows, or can do, should be much easier.
Mesh Alloys is the founder and CEO, Sendy Ltd