Why Online Marketplaces Are Ideal For African Women


Compared to other regions of the world, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest number of female entrepreneurs. These women are mostly owners of small businesses and local community shops serving the unmet needs of their homes and consumers.

Unfortunately, women lag behind men in technology adoption owing to the high costs of acquiring and maintaining new technologies, as well as the lack of information and training. If they are unable to adopt new technologies, women may be prevented from expanding their businesses.

This is why we at Zimba Women are passionate about market systems development through E-commerce and the use of social media.

The number of people connected on Facebook is roughly equal to China’s population — 1.35 billion. And with a total of 3 billion (and counting) people online, we now have the power to reach more individuals, build stronger communities and have a greater impact than ever before.

Why are social platforms so important for women entrepreneurs? The internet provides for globalization and this in women_empoweredturn offers SMEs Opportunities to participate in the regional and international market while internationalization presents opportunity for growth and  development beyond the local market.

But women are making progress, and, for those of us who are up for it, we can definitely fight the “Lean In” fight. Because the online landscape isn’t traditional, it has fewer barriers, and it provides a completely new way to break through, serve lots of people and make a major difference while building a purpose-driven company.

Because of this, We see the online marketplace as a “female frontier” — one that we encourage more women to join. Through capacity building of female entrepreneurs as well as using the organization’s custom E-commerce solutions, Zimba Women operates with the goal that closing the market access gap for women-owned SME’s could boost the real income per capita growth rates in the country and hence the continent.

Here are a few tips to help women entrepreneurs take advantage of the online marketplace:

Promote yourself among an existing community or piggyback one. Find your place on websites with a community that might have an interest in your product, or try to generate one yourself. Build interest in your project and construct your community around it.

Reward the first to arrive (if they attract new users). This strategy was originally employed by PayPal. This was when many Internet users got involved with the company’s online payment service. Any customer who referred a friend to use PayPal would be given $10 by PayPal for each referral.

Create content and make you audience grow. It is not original to recommend creating interesting content to generate traffic around your project. However, the challenge remains in going a step further and working on the content strategy for the medium and long terms

This article was written by Sherifah Tumusime a #yalicreatives from Uganda who works at Zimba Women