How African Startups Can Connect with the Diaspora

African Diaspora

The worldwide collection of communities descended from native sub-Saharan Africans or people from Sub-Saharan Africa,

The Diaspora have been coined Africa’s ‘secret weapon’. By leveraging their skills, experiences and resources, they are uniquely positioned to contribute to boosting economic growth in Africa.

Plus, with the celebration of African cultures and identities at an all-time high what often remains the barrier to engagement is awareness of opportunities to invest in, contribute to and become advocates for. Simply, for an African business looking to tap into the diaspora market the time is now.

Here are 3 ways businesses could connect with a diaspora audience:

  1. Transparency

Curiosity amongst the diaspora is at an all-time high. One of the key barriers to active engagement lies in the matter of trust. As with any investment, transparency, as well as clarity, is key. For African businesses, there is also the challenge of long-standing negative narratives surrounding doing business in Africa, political and economic uncertainty as well as personal stories shared by relatives and loved ones. These concerns are very real and entirely valid. Entrepreneurs already working in Africa need to openly share their knowledge and experiences more generously and more authentically than ever before. What’s your story? What has gone well? What have been your key learnings so far? My experience blogging and creating content for the diaspora for over 3 years has taught me that authentic stories are the key to engagement; hearing about the gory details and inspiring anecdotes generate the most interest and are key to making long-lasting connections.

Iyinoluwa Aboyeji Co-Founder of Andela and former Managing Director of Futterwave is a formidable example of a transparent founder. Iyin has shared valuable insights throughout his entrepreneurial career and has an impressive knack for storytelling. In addition, he has launched the Future Africa Community which is engaging Africans worldwide.

Simply, for an African business looking to tap into the Diaspora market the time is now.

2. Collaboration

When thinking about how to grow your business, strategic partnerships can be key to tapping into a diaspora customer base when you have limited resource. A partner is an organisation or business with whom you join forces to bring greater value to an offering, more than would be possible working independently. Who are some parallel communities in the diaspora that you could leverage to connect with the niche audience you want?Who are some prominent founders in the diaspora with access to your desired customer base?

In the UK, communities like Foundervine and YSYS are home to diaspora founders with extended networks of engaged audiences.

3. Engage

Amongst all, positioning your business in the right places to target an engaged audience is crucial. For over 3 years I have built a diaspora focused platform and community of curious individuals, bridging the gap between the diaspora and Africa by telling the stories of African founders globally. Across a multimedia platform, I have an audience of over 10,000 and growing active listeners providing business owners with a gateway to an ever-engaging consumer base. Like WEKA an early-stage impact investment platform for the diaspora whose marketing strategy I designed and implemented for its pilot launch and Lingua54 an African languages startup who sought the promotion of their services. My content led to over 200 sign-ups to the platform.

If you would like to promote your business, grow your community or gain further insight into your diaspora focused marketing strategy… Get in touch with me today — info@annetteabena.com

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