DHL Launches Free Workshops for Africa’s SMEs

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – As Sub Saharan Africa continues to emerge as a major growth market, so will the continent’s attractiveness for business expansion. The World Bank has predicted stable economic forecasts for the region, which, when coupled with a booming e-commerce sector has significant prospects for innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In South Africa the demand for online retail is growing rapidly, with opportunities to create cross-border e-commerce partnerships throughout the continent. An Ipsos report on behalf of PayPal and FNB, revealed that the majority of South African online shoppers could be cross-border shoppers in coming years, and that up to 46 percent already shop outside of South Africa. It also highlighted that 30 percent of Nigerian cross-border shoppers (online shoppers who have made purchases online from another country) have purchased goods from South Africa in the past 12 months.

However, while local entrepreneurs are identifying expansion across Africa, many simply do not know how to capitalise on the opportunities. Many SMEs here do have a plan to grow their business internationally, but battle to turn their plans into a reality. These SMEs are the lifeblood of the continent in stimulating continued economic activity, and by empowering them to seize the numerous possibilities available, the African continent will continue to flourish. 

Taking up this mantle to help support SMEs is DHL Express, which has been shipping across the globe since 1969 and operating in Africa since 1978. The company will be launching its Growing Beyond Borders entrepreneurial training program in Sub Saharan Africa, specifically designed to help SMEs understand the economic potential of international trade and the subsequent benefits to their businesses. The program will be launched first in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Mauritius this October, followed shortly by efforts in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Uganda. The program will be expanded to a further 16 markets across Sub Saharan Africa before the end of the first quarter of 2016.

DHL has witnessed the continent develop into the emerging economic powerhouse it is today through continued foreign and local investment in the region. The company understands what is needed to assist SMEs to grow and connect here. The Growing Beyond Border’s workshop is unique and free. It will explore how to import and export in new markets, guide on how to find key geographical opportunities for the business’ specific products and services, including how to identify different marketing avenues and ways to build long-term relationships with their target customers for long term success.

The workshop is based on the same model as the DHL Express Certified International Specialist (CIS) programme – an internal learning and development platform that has seen nearly 4,000 DHL employees in 51 countries in Sub Saharan Africa and 100,000 employees globally, receive comprehensive training on the fundamentals of international shipping. CIS equips its employees with the specialised knowledge they need to do their job competently and confidently. Similarly, the Growing Beyond Border’s workshop seeks to pass on this knowledge, giving Africa SME’s the expertise to grow their business across borders.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia