How to identify gaps in the market, including product-market combination? How to increase the sustainability of start-ups?
Gaps & Opportunities in Market
Successful start-ups coming in rural areas out of NGO projects are often copied and stealing ideas by others and then there is much competition and limited consumers. Start-ups do mostly need entrepreneurial network. If you tackle a social problem then you have more change on success.
Access to land is a big problem, try to design new product lines where land is not needed like fishery, handmade products, honey/bee farming, making scrub from nature products etc.
Start practical with something that main people are using (chili pepper), organize simple and brand on smart places in an attractive package. (Sina Gerard Rwanda - self-made millionaire). Youtube movies available.
In agriculture there are some brief periods that there is a need for big amounts of workers but also lots of unproductive times. In these slow periods you could organize flex work activities for youngsters as agro dealers. They take risks and are smart in organizing buying and selling of inputs like seeds, organizing transport, storage, transition costs and cash money or set up construction cooperatives. Give them a legal state and call them associate. They take over the role of the middle men and that will avoid corruption and high transition costs. (transparency) (ON)
Back to local products is a trend, make that modern, healthy and attractive packaged (buza).
Urban elites are going back to rural areas and diaspora. They have increasing interest in agriculture. This is a change and creates new needs in the market as construction cooperatives.
Upgrade farming houses for tourism, via Airbnb-like systems. Back to local and Airbnb is popular for tourism.
Education and Business Thinking
Critical and market business thinking is needed in rural areas with traditional education and mindsets. Demand for NGOs to cooperate with business people and markets!! Connect schools to practice in market to rural Hubs (business talks, visits, practical lessons, internships) - let students solve local problems or test new products in small projects (See for example Sote Hub, Cool Farming, small works)
Connection to cross learning combined with group course based on market needs – ILO
Cooperatives facilitate higher quality standards, enable reduction of costs (overheads, packaging, transport, marketing, etc.) and link small, rural producers to larger markets (See for example Mediterranean Sea Basin Program).
Links to providers of renewable energy can spur rural businesses and local production in places off the electrical grid (See for example Mobisol).
Facilitating transport, relevant storage and direct selling outlets facilitates higher financial returns for ag-entrepreneurs while removing ‘middle-men’ and (potentially) corruption points.
Market and Industry Awareness
A deep understanding of the market, demand and growth sectors is very important for any program preparing youth for employment, self-employment and entrepreneurship. This might be an important note to make while partnering with various ‘suppliers’ supporting the Hubs as BDS providers, coaches, mentors, implementing partners, etc.