Skip links

Business Growth and Expansion: What you need to know about African Market Entry

African market entry is the expansion of business to other countries in the African continent. Most companies have a vision to set up or expand their operations in Africa to participate in the rapid growth that the region is experiencing however, there is need for professional and experienced guidance in selecting priority markets and designing how best to enter them.

A market entry plan is where you identify all-important specifics. It consists your business goals, an overview of the target market, precisely what you will sell there, expected sales and how you will achieve them.

Here are some key factors to consider for African Market Entry:

Set clear goals

The first step is to decide on what you want to achieve with your business, in terms of sales marketing, and workforce, it is very important to consider your targeted sales, the specific product or service you intend to introduce to the market, a more detailed information of the target market and competition, set out major items and a timeline for achieving them, overall budget, pricing and promotion details, regulatory policies for starting a company in the country you intend to expand to and needed adaptations to products, packaging and branding tailored to the target market.

Conduct a Comprehensive Research of the Market

The next thing to consider is to do a first round research on the target market, the information to fetch includes the size of the market, consumer trends, needs and perception of products and services like yours, and unique value proposition. The main reason for research is to figure out why buyers should buy your product or service. The worst mistake is not to do any form of research.

Choose your mode of entry

The next thing to consider is to choose how you intend to enter the market. Do you intend to sell directly to the end user, or work with intermediaries such as wholesalers or distributors, and if you intend to sell directly to buyers, do you require the assistance of an in-country sales agent to “open the doors” to make a smoother sale?

You might also need to consider the following:

  • Using the services of an experienced in-country distributor or agent
  • Acquiring an existing local business
  • Partnering with a local business, this may take forms like, franchising, licensing, joint venture agreement, co-production and cross-manufacturing
  • Renting an office space and employing a local representative.
  • Selling through online market places, offering direct sales through your e-commerce site
  • Selling indirectly to a target market between other companies that exports your products.

Finance Needs

To determine the amount and type of financing needed to support your market entry venture, it is important to calculate the initial investment in production, shipping, hiring and other costs that will affect working capital. You might need to consult a financial expert to give proper advice if you require a loan ahead of time before sales starts pumping in.

Develop the Strategy Document

Write down the details of your market entry strategy, this document will be used as a framework for your marketing plan. Ensure you revisit your market entry strategy to monitor how you are doing and make adjustments, it will keep you on track and ensure everyone in your team is also driving towards the same direction.

You also have the option of maximizing our African Market Entry services at HRLeverage Africa as we are currently present and active in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia, feel free to learn more about our African Entry service by mailing us at