SADC countries are set to benefit from logistics provider DHL’s Growing Beyond Borders entrepreneurial training programme — an innovative programme specifically designed to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) understand the economic potential of international trade to their businesses.
Hennie Heymans, managing director for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa (SSA, said recently the company will be launching the programme in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Mauritius this month followed shortly by South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Uganda. The programme will be expanded to a further 16 markets across SSA before the end of the first quarter of 2016.
Heymans said that as Sub Saharan Africa continues to emerge as a growth market, so will the continent’s attractiveness for business expansion. He added that the stable GDP forecasts for the Sub Saharan Africa region (4,6 percent in 2016 and 5 percent 2017) coupled with a booming e-commerce sector will create significant opportunities for innovative SMEs to service online-savvy customers. “For example, in South Africa alone, the demand for online retail is growing rapidly, with significant opportunities existing to create cross-border e-commerce partnerships throughout Africa,” the DHL Express company director said.
recent report by IPSOS, on behalf of PayPal and FNB, revealed that the majority of South African online shoppers could be cross-border shoppers in the coming years. It also showed that up to 46 percent already shop outside of South Africa. Similarly, the research shows 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. He adds, however, that while local entrepreneurs are identifying expansion and growth opportunities across Africa, many simply do not have the know-how to capitalise on these. “Many SMEs develop a plan to grow their business internationally, but battle to turn this plan into a reality. “Our Growing Beyond Borders programme will provide practical guidance on how to make the most out of the opportunities available, and assist SMEs to grow and connect across Sub Saharan Africa,” said Heymans.
The programme will focus on importing and exporting in new markets, provide guidance on how to find key geographical opportunities for the business’ specific products and services, as well as how to identify different marketing avenues and ways to build long-term relationships with their target customers for long term success. “SMEs are the lifeblood of the continent in stimulating continued economic activity, and we believe that by empowering SMEs to seize the numerous opportunities available to them, the African continent will continue to flourish,” said Heymans. DHL International through its diversified entities has also expanded its investment in most SADC countries triggered by rapid growth in trade within the southern African region.
Buoyed by improved business prospects in Zimbabwe, the logistics group, which at the beginning of the year said it planned to increase its footprint around the country by opening an additional 500 retail points before year end, revised its target to a 1 000 outlets. DHL Namibia has expanded its retail presence to over 52 outlets across the country, which makes the global market and world at large more accessible and connected to clients.
Source of the article: https://southernafrican.news