DHL Express to Facilitate SMEs Growth in Africa
DHL Express will launch its Growing Beyond Borders entrepreneurial training program in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) in the coming weeks.
The program is specifically designed to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) understand the economic potential of international trade and the benefits to their businesses.
The company will be launching the program in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Mauritius in October 2015, followed shortly by South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Uganda. The program will be expanded to a further 16 markets across SSA before the end of the first quarter of 2016.
As Sub Saharan Africa continues to emerge as a growth market, so will the continent’s attractiveness for business expansion, according to Hennie Heymans, managing director for DHL Express SSA. The stable GDP forecasts for SSA—4.6 percent in 2016 and 5 percent in 2017—coupled with a booming ecommerce sector will create significant opportunities for innovative SMEs to service online-savvy customers.
“In South Africa alone, the demand for online retail is growing rapidly,” Heymans said, “with significant opportunities existing to create crossborder ecommerce partnerships throughout Africa.”
A recent report revealed that the majority of South African online shoppers could be cross-border shoppers in the coming years. It also showed that 46 percent already shop outside of South Africa. Similarly, the research shows 30 percent of Nigerian crossborder shoppers have purchased goods from South Africa in the past 12 months.
While local entrepreneurs are identifying expansion and growth opportunities across Africa, many simply do not have the know-how to capitalize on these, Heymans said.
“Many SMEs develop a plan to grow their business internationally, but battle to turn this plan into a reality,” he added. “Our Growing Beyond Borders program 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.”
The free workshop explores importing and exporting in new markets, provides guidance on how to find key geographical opportunities for the business’ specific products and services, and how to identify different marketing avenues and ways to build long-term relationships with target customers.
The Growing Beyond Borders workshop is borne out of the DHL Express Certified International Specialist program, an internal learning and development platform which has seen nearly 4,000 DHL employees in 51 countries in SSA and 100,000 employees globally, receive comprehensive training on the fundamentals of international shipping.