19 Businesses (And Side Hustles) to Start During the COVID-19 Quarantine.

Want some business ideas to make some money or extra income during the COVID-19 quarantine?


How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you? Across the world, normal life as we know it is changing. In mild cases, some of us have had to adjust how we work, and in extreme cases, some of us find ourselves dealing with salary cuts and redundancies. No matter what you’re dealing with, it’s important to remember that there are things we can still control.

If you’re looking for ideas on how to make rent and grocery money from quarantine lemons, we’ve created a list you might find helpful.

Topics this guide will cover:

  • Business ideas to start at home and online
  • Online platforms where you can gain digital skills


Getting access to this list is easy: just fill out the form below to join our community and get download the list, as well as AWESOME weekly content.



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Tell Us How We Can Help You During COVID-19

MOLPED FEATURE ON SIMI DREY: AWARD WINNING RADIO AND TV HOST

Molped sanitary pad is a product from Hayat Kimya Limited (manufacturers of Molfix diapers), and is a skin-friendly, ultra-soft, sanitary pad, designed to make young girls feel as comfortable, soft, and secure as they feel beside their best friends.

Molped’s breathable layer keeps young women fresh, and it’s skin-friendly, cottony soft layer does not cause irritation. Molped sanitary pad is every girl’s best friend, helping them be more confident, and supporting them through their periods.

Molped has partnered with She Leads Africa to highlight the beauty and importance of valuable female connections. 

You can connect with Simi on Instagram and Twitter.

ABOUT SIMI DREY

Simi Drey is an experienced multi-award-winning Broadcaster who has worked across media platforms in both the United Kingdom and Nigeria. 

With a First Class Degree in Broadcasting and Journalism from the University of Wales, she currently hosts the Saturday and Sunday morning shows on the Beat 99.9FM and on television anchors 53 Extra on African Magic.

Having won the Future Awards Africa for Best OAP (TV and Radio) in 2019, Simi Drey uses her platform to share her passion for entertaining and educating the youth; tomorrow’s leaders.

What does friendship mean to you?

Friendship means family. My friends are people who know me, they know my strengths, they know my weaknesses yet they still love me. 

They have been there for me and always will be at different stages of my life and I will do the same for them.

Can you tell us of a time when any of your girlfriends connected you with a career or business opportunity?

There have been numerous occasions where my girlfriends helped me but the most recent would be Gbemi Olateru Olagbegi who nominated me for the OAP category of the Future Awards Africa. She did this without my knowledge and even when I won, she still didn’t tell me what she had done. Someone else informed me. 

Since then, winning the award has opened so many other doors for me such as being the Nigerian representative of a panel in South Africa, to discuss the role and emancipation of women in African society.

Can you tell us about a time when your friend (s) helped you through a difficult situation in your career?

In the first year of my career, while I was more or less fresh out of university, I did not know anyone in Lagos and I was hardly earning anything. I didn’t feel like I was making progress and I was extremely frustrated. 

During this period, I became friends with Dr Kemi Ezenwanne. She constantly encouraged me and prayed with me. She also helped me get a foot into the modelling industry which eventually brought about enough funds for me to move out of my aunt’s house, and rent my own place. 

Without her, I may not have continued pursuing a media career.

How many women do you have in your power circle, and why did you choose them?

I have three different power circles. One consists of four women including myself, the other consists of three people, myself included and the last, five in total.

I don’t think I chose them to be honest. I think we realised how much we had in common and we just ‘clicked’ as friends. However, they have remained in my power circles because of their loyalty and support throughout the years. When the world saw me as a nobody, they were there. We have grown together and stayed together through stages of our lives; school, employment, marriage, childbirth and even divorce. 

No matter what though, we see the potential in each other and we strive daily to bring it out. One person’s success is a success for the entire group.

How do you think young women can network with other women to achieve career success?

I think now more than ever, networking is much easier especially with social media. There are people I am friends with on Instagram for example that I had forgotten I had never met. 

However, because we talk a lot and exchange ideas, it feels like we know each other inside out. 

Social media networking can start simply by liking or commenting on a person’s picture. Search for someone in a similar industry as yourself or someone who has inspired you along your journey and send them a message. 

Don’t just write ‘hi’ though. Make it personal.

What is your fondest memory of you and your girlfriends, from when you first began your careers?

Before I started working in Nigeria, my friend Deena and I auditioned for the X-Factor. Neither of us made it past the first audition. Along with our friend Sully, we thought we were going to become a successful girl band- Deena and I as the singers and Sully as a rapper. We never released a single together. Our dreams of a girl band were pretty short-lived. 

Fast forward and Sully is now a successful Investment Banker in London, I have become a multi-award winning Broadcaster and although Deena actually continued to pursue a career in music, she now has been booked for shows across Nigeria and the UK and her songs play on mainstream radio stations.


Finally, what advice/tips do you have for young career women, to help them build and maintain valuable relationships with other women?

I think the phrase ‘women don’t support women’ has been one of the most damaging statements for young women.

 I would say first and foremost, do not compete with other women. See them as allies. Celebrate their victories and try to lift them up in ways you can. They will do the same for you. 

Society is difficult for women generally but when we stand together, we have so much power.

#MyGrowthSquad series is powered by Molped (@MolpedNigeria). Connect with them on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.


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MOLPED FEATURE ON OMOWALE DAVID-ASHIRU: COUNTRY DIRECTOR, ANDELA

Molped sanitary pad is a product from Hayat Kimya Limited (manufacturers of Molfix diapers), and is a skin-friendly, ultra-soft, sanitary pad, designed to make young girls feel as comfortable, soft, and secure as they feel beside their best friends.

Molped’s breathable layer keeps young women fresh, and it’s skin-friendly, cottony soft layer does not cause irritation. Molped sanitary pad is every girl’s best friend, helping them be more confident, and supporting them through their periods.

Molped has partnered with She Leads Africa to highlight the beauty and importance of valuable female connections. 

About Omowale David-Ashiru

Omowale David-Ashiru is the Country Director for Nigeria and Ghana as well as the Head of Africa Operations at Andela, a company that helps build distributed software engineering teams quickly and cost-effectively. 

Before joining Andela, Omowale’s professional career included a decade-long stint at Accenture, where she started as an Analyst and grew to become a seasoned Management Consultant, Business Process Re-engineering expert, Interim Human Resources Lead and a Certified Project Manager. 

During her time at Accenture, Omowale led complex and challenging projects at numerous strategic clients including the largest bank in Nigeria and West Africa (at the time) as well as a key financial regulatory organisation in Nigeria. In her role, she collaborated and worked with diverse and multicultural teams in various countries, including India, Singapore, Oman, and South Africa. 

After Accenture, she established and managed a maternity retail company for eight years. As part of the Youth enterprise drive of the Federal Government of Nigeria, her company was vetted and awarded a highly coveted entrepreneurial grant. The company also supported the community by partnering with a Not-for-Profit organisation, to employ secondary school graduates as part-time sales assistants with the aim of economically empowering them while assisting them to prepare for and gain entry into tertiary institutions. 

Omowale obtained a First Class B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Ibadan. She has won awards for leadership, academic excellence and theatre. She has a deep passion for inspiring people and has a mentoring circle for ladies. She is an avid reader and loves adventure. 

You can connect with Omowale on LinkedIn and Instagram.

What does friendship mean to you?

For me, there are two things that stand out when I think of friendship. The first is people who get me, which basically means that we think alike. For example, we could be looking at something and we just laugh because the same thought crossed our minds, at that same time. 

Friendship is also vulnerability, a friend is someone I can really be myself with. This is particularly difficult for me because I am not a vulnerable person by nature, so I have had two, maybe three friends including my sister, that I have ever been vulnerable with.

Can you tell us of a time when any of your girlfriends connected you with a career or business opportunity? 

Actually, this is how I got into Andela, a connection from a friend of mine. So a friend of mine who was in Andela also, mentioned Andela to me, got my CV and basically connected me with the opportunity to work here.

Can you tell us about a time when your friend (s) helped you through a difficult situation in your career?

At some point, I was at a crossroads in my career and business. I was running my own business, and it had gotten to a point where I was considering either going back into the corporate space or just continuing my business.

I had been considering this decision for about two years, when I had a conversation with my friend and she spoke about the issue from a different point of view. It was a lightbulb moment for me after that conversation, and I was able to make a decision. That decision eventually led me to being open to getting a corporate job, and I found myself in Andela.


How many women do you have in your power circle, and why did you choose them?

This is a very interesting question because interestingly enough, I actually have a power circle or more like a prayer circle actually, with three women. We talk together, we pray together and I am vulnerable with them.

We meet every week for about two hours unfailingly, and we talk and pray through issues and decisions. Just like the earlier example I shared, I spoke with one of them about a decision I needed to make. I didn’t even give her the facts of the issue because I didn’t want her to be biased. After some time, she prayed for me and got back to me with some advice that gave me clarity.

It’s an interesting story how I met them. Basically, my husband and I host a bible study course which we have been running for years now, with different sets of people. So these women and their husbands had been attending the bible study, and when it was time to start the life fellowship, we just picked ourselves because we had been together for years and had built an organic relationship.

How do you think young women can network with other women to achieve career success?

There’s a principle called the four degrees of separation which basically means that you’re four persons away from anybody else you want to meet in the world. What that means is that if I want to meet Obama today, there are four people between him and me. 

This means that everyone you meet is important and every opportunity to meet someone is a networking opportunity. So you shouldn’t be looking out for who in particular to network or a special opportunity to do so. Instead, simply look for more opportunities to meet people. 

Also, the more people you meet gives you a wider pool to choose from, and assign positions like a mentor, and an accountability partner to different ones. I have several instances of meeting people like this and how it has helped me.

In summary,  just look out for opportunities to meet people, and treat them well also.

What is your fondest memory of you and your girlfriends, from when you first began your careers?

Back in the university when I was in my final year, a company decided to come to my university to test and interview students for jobs. It was quite interesting for me because we were all young and still in school, so we had lots of questions to ask each other about what to wear or what to say.

That same way, we also had to travel to Lagos for the first time for an interview and I remember how excited everyone was then. Now when I look back, I see how far most of us have come since then.

Finally, what advice/tips do you have for young career women, to help them build and maintain valuable relationships with other women?

I think the key tip is humility. You should be humble and stay humble so that no matter what, you’re able to treat people with respect. The thing is as you continue having access to more people, you should remember to be respectful.

Humility will always get you far and help you maintain your relationships.

#MyGrowthSquad series is powered by Molped (@MolpedNigeria). Connect with them on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.


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HOW I WENT FROM MY 9-to-5 TO PERFORMING ON A WORLD TOUR WITH MR.EAZI – SINGER-SONGWRITER, TOME

Building a successful brand is challenging whether you are a small business or individual. Historically, breaking out has especially been a tough job for women in music and entertainment.

One talent who seems to have cracked the code in navigating the music business is a 9-to-5’er turned singer-songwriter Tome. In just 2 years of becoming a full-time singer-songwriter, she has performed with Burna Boy, Wizkid and Mr. Eazi on world stages, and she is just getting started.

In March 2019, she debuted her single L’amour and released her debut EP, The Money, in February 2020. With her mantra, “I am enough. I am TÖME”, she’s determined to become a household name and empowering voice to African women across the world.


Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Michelle Oluwatomi Akanbi. I’m a Nigerian-French Canadian Singer-Songwriter born in Montreal, Canada. I was raised in the diverse city of Toronto where I grew up listening to Fela, Erykah Badu, and Alicia Keys.

Music is a very important part of my life. I am my art! I put 100% of me into my music – sound, vocals, lyrics – all of it.

How will you describe yourself as an artist?

My music is what I like to call Afro-fusion. With a fun mix of genres, my songs have messages of love, fun, and empowerment. As an artist, I would say I am a lyricist with a message.

What influenced your passion for the arts?

I honestly can’t say there was any specific influence on my love of the arts. But I remember watching Superstar (1999) with Molly Shannon as a child and thinking to myself, I’m going to be a superstar one day. #Day1Dreams

What motivates you to get up every day to make music?

My motivation to keep going in my career is to make my family proud. I hope to provide them the ability to live the lives they want to.

Other people also motivate me. I am so lucky to be around people I can learn from. They add to my experience and view of the world which makes it easier to write music. There’s always a story to tell apart from my own.

Tell us about your career journey.

I’ve always been making music. I released my first project on SoundCloud in 2015 – an EP titled One with Self. It was a really personal project of 5 songs I recorded on my phone while I played guitar. 

In 2018, while I was still working as a Marketing Executive at my full-time job, I recorded Tomesroom Chapter 1 and many other songs. I didn’t release any of the songs at the time because I had no team and didn’t want it to go “nowhere”. I planned to do another year working at my 9-to-5 job and “learn more about the industry”.

In 2019 my dad (who is now my manager) heard my song L’amour and asked me if I was ready to work. I said yes and officially started my career as a full-time artist.

So far, I have been really blessed. In my first year as a professional recording artist, I have shared the stage with incredible talents like Wizkid, Burnaboy, and done a tour with Mr. Eazi in Europe.

I have learned so much and improved my craft in such a short time. It’s amazing to know that it’s only the beginning.

What influence do you want your music to have on the African woman in today’s world?

I hope my music helps women accept their own strength. Every time I get on stage, I remind myself – “I am enough. I am TÖME”.

I want to show that the African woman can be and do anything. You don’t have to limit yourself to what anyone wants to tell you to be. All the obstacles in your way are only temporary. 

You attract what you think and if you are focused and know what you want, you can never fail.

What are your top 3 tips for young African women looking to make their mark in their career or business?

  1. Stay on-trend. You have to continuously push yourself to experiment to stay as relevant as possible and grow. 
  2. Stay open-minded and knowledgeable. It’s the same whether you have a 9-to-5 or business.
  3. Stay true to yourself. People can tell when you’re not being genuine. You will never make your mark if you don’t know yourself and get lost in other people’s vision of you.

Follow Tome’s journey and vibe to her music.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/Tomeofficial_/
Fanlink: https://fanlink.to/tome

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Here’s what you missed from SLAY Festival Joburg 2020

For the first time ever, SLAY Festival was held in Johannesburg South Africa, on March 7th and it was a VIBE!

More than 1200 women came together to attend a one-day learning and networking experience. There were speed networking sessions where we saw our SA boss ladies work the room, and make new connections, and then our Keynote Speaker Bonang Matheba, made her entrance and taught us all about making money moves. 

All attendees had direct access to some of Africa’s biggest and brightest innovators, including celebrity chef and entrepreneur Mogau Seshoene, youth activist Zulaikha Patel, TV presenter and model Kim Jayde, Africa Director for Global Citizen Chebet Chikumbu, doctor and mental health advocate Dr. Khanya Khanyile, Managing Director for TRACE Southern Africa Valentine Gaudin, actress Ayanda Thebethe, author and personal finance coach Mapalo Makhu, Head of Marketing for Google South Africa Asha Patel, Swiitch Beauty CEO Rabia Ghoor and many more.

It was a full day of interesting mainstage panel discussions, networking sessions, masterclasses, mogul talk sessions, shopping from local vendors and loads of fun. Our Mzansi queens showed up, and showed out!


So whether you missed the event, or you want to relive the SLAY Festival Joburg 2020 experience, this is your first behind the scene look, at the brands, experiences, and fun that went down at SLAY Festival Joburg 2020.

We upgraded our business skills with AUDA-NEPAD

In line with their flagship project, “100,000 SME’s by 2021, AUDA-NEPAD Senior Programme Officer, Unami Mpofu, led an interesting conversation on growing a sustainable business and accessing funding for a business.

We learned new career and digital skills with Women Will

Women Will, a Grow with Google program hosted private mentorship sessions and masterclasses throughout the day, focused on career growth for millennial women in the workplace, and tips on how women can use digital skills to grow their business.

We slayed our hair with Dark and Lovely

Dark and Lovely our official haircare partner, treated our queens to a full glam station, where they were able to try new products and get new hairstyles. During a special masterclass, they also got to learn the latest styling techniques, to keep their hair slayed and popping.  

We bloomed with Glade

Glade brought a one-of-a-kind sensorium experience that was just the breath of fresh air guests needed. They also hosted an engaging discussion on how women make Africa bloom with Poppy Ntshongwana, Monalisa Molefe, Nkgabi Motau and Martha Moyo and Christine Jawichre.

We discussed topical issues with Global Citizen

Global Citizen allowed attendees to engage in conversations on issues affecting women, and other topical issues, which was very enlightening for our  SLAY Festival attendees.

We vibed with Trace

Our official media partner Trace, brought in the entertainment and cool vibes with their interactive photo booth and green screen, and there was never a dull moment there.

There you have it, this was your official behind the scenes look at what went down at SLAY Festival Joburg 2020.

We Came. We SLAYed. We were WITHIN!

SLAY Festival Joburg 2020 was a vibe and more. The moment the gates were opened, to when the last person left the room, we learned, unlearned and relearned, while having so much fun.

So here’s raising a glass to all our SA queens who made the time, energy and resources that went into planning SLAY Festival Joburg totally worth it.

Click here, to watch the highlights from SLAY Festival Joburg 2020.

Foodies Salone: Disrupting the Sierra Leonean hospitality industry

Foodies Salone is a Branding and Marketing Consultancy Firm founded by three young visionary women: Mariama Wurie, Aminata Wurie, and Onassis Kinte Walker.

In this interview, Mariama shares her story and thoughts about her journey as an entrepreneur.


How I turned my passion for food into a business

When I moved back to Sierra Leone in 2016, I started working for a local and an international NGO at the same time.

Since the NGO didn’t have an office, it was quite common to work from a café or restaurant to use the free Wi-Fi for the day. I spent a lot of time in my car driving between meetings and coffee shops.

Every day, my colleagues and I would work in a different place: new restaurants, new hotels, new cafes, etc.

Coming from Montreal where the food scene and customer service culture is amazing, I noticed this was not the case in Freetown. Everywhere I went, there was always a reason to complain to the manager, or ask to speak to the owner.

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Very quickly I realized that the same complaints were coming up wherever my partners and I went. We summarized that these problems were usually around product and service.

  1. In most restaurants, there was a lack of consistency in quality and menu variety – most restaurants served burgers, fries, pizza, pasta, shawarma.
  2. Most restaurants didn’t adjust their menus to focus on local ingredients.
  3. A lot of waiters were poorly paid and managers often did not invest in hospitality training.

We thought solutions to these issues will help restaurants achieve variety and consistency. Services like menu consulting, branding and customer service are just what many Freetown restaurants needed.

With Foodies Salone (Foodies), we decided to build something that would motivate establishments to step up their game and improve their standards.

How we started Foodies Salone

We tested out our business model through a lifestyle Instagram account. Our strategy was to highlight restaurants that were building Sierra Leone’s dining culture. Any featured restaurants had to be locally owned, pay fair wages and have good customer service.

With Sierra Leone’s small economy, restaurants rely on a limited customer base to make a profit. Within months of running an Instagram account, Foodies Salone began to influence consumer behavior.

Our social media test allowed us to establish ourselves as an authority in branding, marketing, staff training, online listing and advertising, and business development to the multiple restaurant owners who began to reach out to us to improve their product and service.

Soon enough, demand became bigger than 3 of us could handle. With our business model tested and validated, we created our service package, registered our company, and opened a bank account.

Lessons we’ve learned

Educating the market

At the beginning, restaurant owners did not understand what we were trying to do.

We were talking about apps, websites, and social media, but they barely knew how to use Pinterest. We worked extremely hard to find simple ways to explain what we did and how it would help them.

Factoring in knowledge and infrastructure gaps was not something we had initially considered. For startups looking to innovate in unstructured markets, this should be something to consider in your game plan.

Be patient with your monetization plan

As three young African women trying to run a business in our own country, we faced a lot of hostility. On top of that, my own friends were quite skeptical about what I was doing.

The beginning was quite hard because I had no money. I was dead broke for the first nine months.

Most people knew about the Foodies Salone Instagram page, but they did not understand how we planned to monetized the brand. They were constantly asking me: “do you even have a real job? How do you make money? How can you afford to travel?”

When we started, we made a conscious decision not to touch the money we made and to re-invest all the profits into the business. I was living on my savings and nothing was coming in. It’s only when it became hard to put gas in the car to drive to a meeting that we started using part of the profits.

When you start a business, times are going to get hard. But, just stick with it. Forget the haters. forget the gossip. You have something good here and it's amazing – @MariamaWurie_ Click To Tweet

Just stick with it. You’re broke? Yeah, it’s a start-up. It will get better.

Advice for anyone looking to start a company?

  1. Solve a problem. Necessity is the mother of invention. If you are looking for inspiration on what kind of business to start, think about things that are lacking in your routine.
  2. Do NOT accept freebies. Some people will try to get you to work for free with gifts. Always assess the value of what you are given and the reasons why they are given before accepting.
  3. Stay professional. As a woman, people will be more critical of you. Make sure you keep everything professional. Stick to business.

Looking to boost your business/career? Sign up for the Motherland Mogul Insider program here.

How to resign and run your business full time

Congratulations! You’ve decided to make a full-time commitment to your business.

Before you give your notice and burn bridges your work enemies, remember that your network and relationships are especially important to you as an entrepreneur who is just starting out.

Leave smart.


Testing the waters—To resign or not to resign?

If you are going to be a full-time entrepreneur, you have to make sure you’re financially and legally in the clear

The golden rule before quitting your job is to make sure you have 3-6 months worth of your fixed-income saved up before leaving. If your finances are not in check, you should reconsider resigning.

It is not unusual to start your own business journey while being employed. If you want to keep your “day job” while starting a business, please ensure you’re not violating your employment contract. If in doubt, seek legal counsel and/or inform your current employer about your new venture. 

If your new venture violates any employment contracts, STOP!  You do not want to start your business with a cloud of litigation hovering over you. Click To Tweet

Employers and courts take contractual agreements seriously, so do not call your employer’s bluff.

For example, there was a case in Nigeria where an employee entered into a service contract where he was not to engage in a business similar to the employer’s business within a certain geographical area for one year.

Less than 3 weeks after he started work, he breached the contract by resigning and joining a rival company in the same area. The Nigerian Supreme Court held that contracts that prevent employees from engaging in a similar business as the employer are enforceable as long as the contracts are “reasonable with reference to the interest of the parties concerned and of the public” (Leventis Motors Ltd. v. Andreas Koumoulis (1973) 1 All NLR (Part 2) 144 at 146).


Diving in – Your resignation

Before you resign, review all your employment contracts, if applicable. The contract usually details the resignation procedure, how your resignation must be presented, and the necessary resignation notice period – 2 weeks, 1 month, etc.

It is important that you follow the rules sis! You do not want to expose yourself to unnecessary legal liability by ignoring those words in black and white.  

Secondly, check if you signed a non-compete agreement with your current employer. Will your new venture involve the use of your employer’s proprietary information?

If you did sign one, make sure that the scope of your new venture does not fall within the scope of services your employer offers, and that your new venture will not apply your employer’s proprietary information.

Finally, are you planning to start the new venture with a coworker?

"If starting a new business with a coworker – review all your contracts and your employer’s employment policies carefully! There may be a little something there about poaching…" Click To Tweet

Ensure that you and your co-worker’s departure will not result in a breach of your contract or your employer’s policies. Also, ensure that your potential business partner is not subject to any non-compete agreements and will not be using any proprietary information in the new venture. 

Keep your start-up team in legal tip-top shape.


It is important to dedicate time to thinking through your resignation. There is no point in rushing to the finish line without laying the right foundation.


Got a question? Send a message or voice note to +2349078653509 on Whatsapp anywhere in Africa for our new video advice series – #AskASis.

Contributing Editor: Diana Odero

Africa should set its sights on feeding the world – Sola David-Borha, CEO Standard Bank Group (Africa)

Sola David-Borha is the Chief Executive of Africa Regions at Standard Bank. In this article, she shares her insights on opportunities in the Agriculture industry.

Motherland Moguls, you don’t want to miss out on this one.


Africa needs to make more food

With the world population expected to swell by 2 billion people over the next three decades, Africa has an opportunity to step up and become a major global food production hub.

For the time being, Africa remains a net importer of food, despite its vast tracts of underutilized land and other enviable natural resources. Its reliance on food imports weighs on the continent’s current account and spells a missed economic opportunity.

Source: Unctad, Rabobank
With the right policies, technologies, and infrastructure in place, Africa has the potential to first meet its own food requirements, and then exceed them – Sola David-Borha, CEO Standard Bank Group (Africa) Click To Tweet

The agricultural sector is possibly the continent’s biggest growth lever, with a sizeable potential for much-needed job creation. This is especially poignant considering that Africa is estimated to hold about 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land. Of the land that is cultivated, yields remain extremely low and irrigation techniques dated.

Agribusiness is the next big hustle

The adoption of modern and innovative farming practices could spur a step-change in the output of existing and new farmlands. The Netherlands, a country that is roughly 3.4% the size of South Africa by land area, provides a good example – being the world’s second-largest exporter of food by value, despite its size, thanks to high yields.

Meanwhile, Brazil shows that it is possible for an emerging market to shift from a net importer of food to a net exporter. The South American country did so through trade liberalization and investments in agricultural research, among other initiatives.

Africa is still only scratching the surface of its potential in the agribusiness game – Sola David-Borha, CEO Standard Bank Group (Africa) Click To Tweet

To shift the industry onto a new trajectory, a combined effort between policymakers, financial services firms and the industry itself will be needed.

What you should be thinking about

Financial services should consider how they can facilitate the sector’s growth by providing sustainable finance solutions across the agriculture value chain.

Investments in areas such as logistics, renewable energy, warehousing, and other storage facilities, agro-processing plants, and irrigation technologies will be crucial, as will public investments in road and rail infrastructure as well as ports.

Access to markets is also an important focus area, and measures to tackle this issue will boost the entire agricultural value chain.

Policymakers can play their part by creating an enabling investment environment, as countries such as Kenya have done.

To align policies across the continent, governments should consider existing frameworks. Regulations should be aimed at striking a balance between economic growth and safeguarding Africa’s natural environment.

Encouragingly, the imminent implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will lower tariffs and promote intra-African trade in agriculture, making the continent less reliant on food imports from other regions. And through cross-border initiatives, Africa could strengthen its food export prospects.

Standard Bank is funding African Agribusinesses

African states and farming groups would also do well to adopt ‘smart farming’ concepts. Standard Bank, for instance, in partnership with technology companies, has piloted projects that use drones to monitor the health of crops, and digital technologies to monitor and regulate soil moisture in order to save water by avoiding unnecessary irrigation.

Standard Bank is also working with development finance institutions and export agencies to develop sustainable finance solutions specifically for the sector. We are funding projects that allow small-scale farmers to transform themselves into contractors that supply commercial farmers.

An opportunity for African Women

Climate change poses a serious risk to Africa’s food security – and the world’s. The effects are already being felt – Tropical Cyclone Idai caused unprecedented damage in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi less than a year ago, while catastrophic droughts and flooding have affected South Africa and East Africa, among other regions. Currently, the devastating locust invasion in East Africa – Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia specifically – is threatening food security in the region.

Considering that agriculture already accounts for a large portion of Africa’s GDP, the impact of climate change on the economy can be severe.

Another risk is that the expansion of Africa’s agricultural sector will place more strain on the continent’s water resources, which need to be carefully managed. The adoption of advanced irrigation techniques is a good start.

Standard Bank recently partnered with the United Nations (UN) Women on a project aimed at developing climate-smart farming techniques amongst rural women. The initiative is being rolled out in Uganda, South Africa, Malawi, and Nigeria.

While the sector’s future is not without its risks, it may well be Africa’s biggest opportunity in the coming decades. Being a major contributor to GDP and employment, the agribusiness sector is the continent’s most effective lever for achieving inclusive growth.


About Standard Bank Group

Standard Bank Group is the largest African bank by assets with a unique footprint across 20 African countries. Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, we are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with share code SBK, and the Namibian Stock Exchange, share code SNB.  

Standard Bank has a 156-year history in South Africa and started building a franchise outside southern Africa in the early 1990s. 

Our strategic position, which enables us to connect Africa to other select emerging markets as well as pools of capital in developed markets, and our balanced portfolio of businesses, provide significant opportunities for growth.  

The group has over 53 000 employees, approximately 1 200 branches and over 9 000 ATMs on the African continent, which enable it to deliver a complete range of services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking and wealth management.  

Headline earnings for 2018 were R27.9 billion (about USD2.1 billion) and total assets were R2.1 trillion (about USD148 billion). Standard Bank’s market capitalisation at 31 December 2018 was R289 billion (USD20 billion). 

The group’s largest shareholder is the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, with a 20,1% shareholding. In addition, Standard Bank Group and ICBC share a strategic partnership that facilitates trade and deal flow between Africa, China and select emerging markets. 

For further information, go to http://www.standardbank.com  


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iCreate Africa, building skills for the next generation of Nigerian youths.

Held in one of the vibrant cities of Nigeria, Lagos, by iCreate Africa, the iCreate Skill Fest is Africa’s biggest skills competition with over 2,500 people gathered to experience 80 skilled candidates compete at the National finals.

What went down at iCreate Skill Fest!

The two- day event featured 14 skilled trades varying from Construction, Creative Art & fashion, Technology, Educational Training Conference, the iCreate Skills Awards, and lots more. Out of the contestants, 13 ladies competed in cooking, fashion, art, carpentry, barbing and more, of which Mojisola Akin-Ademola emerged the only female gold medalist and Champion (top in her category, fashion).

As a way of curbing unemployment and empowering youth, the iCreate Skills competition is an innovative strategy designed to promote skills-trades professions amongst the youth as a means to bridge the skill gap, thereby boosting the economy.

The iCreate Skill Fest partnered with GIZ SKYE, Robert Bosch Nigeria Limited, Sterling Bank Plc, AGR Ltd, Siemens Nigeria Ltd., The Fashion Academy Abuja, Trace, House of Tara, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Society of Nigerian Artists, Soundcity, ULDA, Pedini, amongst many others.

The iCreate Skills Fest 2019 champions!

Emerging top in their category are, Ibraheem Ridwan (Carpentry), Christopher Olaniyi (Tiling), Miracle Olasoyin (robotics), Mojisola Akin-Ademola (Fashion), Ifedayo Emmanuel Bello (cooking), Emmanuel Abanobi (make-up), Kelvin Hassan (Barbing),

Oluwaseun Akanbi (Electrical installations), Chima Solomon (plumbing), Leonard Manzo (automobile technology), Toheeb Ogunbiyi (Website development), Precious Audu (graphic design), Lot Madaki (leatherworks), and Oluwaseun Akinlo (Art).

The Idea behind iCreate Africa

The Founder/CEO iCreate Africa, Bright Jaja aims to use iCreate Africa to create five million jobs in five years. Bright Jaja aims to rebrand the general perception of skilled workers and place more importance on technical and vocational skills through the skills fest. 

iCreate Skills Fest is a platform that promotes skills excellence, showcases skills standards and careers, demonstrates benchmarks of excellence in teaching and learning and creates interest in public sector agencies and private organizations to invest in skills development. Winners of the iCreate Skills Fest 2019 receive technical training from various partners.

"Nigeria is full of many talented, resilient and entrepreneurial young ladies but the society is not giving enough support to promote their endeavors." – Anne Dirkling, Director of partnership, iCreate Africa. Click To Tweet

The platform iCreate Africa has created for young female artisans, is paramount for gender equality and inclusive economic growth in the continent.

After recording huge success last year by hosting 4 competitions across four regions, directly empowering 180 skill trade professionals with startup capital and equipment.

iCreate Africa is creating a skills ecosystem and projecting skills in the mainstream, they are most convinced that the concept is a viable solution to curb youth unemployment and prepare the youth for the future of work.

Skills are the future of Nigeria! iCreate Africa urges the public to invest in skills and target the next generation of Nigerian youths. These youths will power the economy, across the world.

iCreate Africa,
Skills change lives.

5 Career Lessons Sho Madjozi Taught Us In 2019

If you have not heard of Sho Madjozi, you must be living under a rock. This year, the 27-year-old proud Tsonga ambassador from Limpopo solidified her spot as an international superstar with hits like John Cena.

While she’s been in the rap scene for barely 3 years, she’s found major success in a short time. This year, she won the Best New International Act category at the BET Awards, launched her first fashion collection in collaboration with Edgards, and got the world taking the #JohnCenaChallenge.


After learning all we could about Sho Madjozi’s career, here are 5 lessons all Motherland Moguls can apply to accelerate their career growth.

1. Use your strengths

Maya (Sho Madjozi’s legal name) has spent years honing and leveraging her writing skills to build a career for herself.

Whether she’s doing screenplays, poetry or rap, she understands her core strength and has used that to explore career paths including journalism, performance poetry and rap.

Develop your strengths and use them to build your career. When you bring something valuable to the table, you set yourself up for accelerated success.

2. Get involved in your community

Sho Madjozi has always used her talents to try to shape or change the community around her.

As a poet and journalist, she discussed racial identity and the effects of colonialism on the modern African. Now as a rapper, she promotes Tsonga culture and inspires young Africans to be proud of their roots.

How does that apply to you when you get to the office in the new year? Plug into the issues of your company, clients, customers and see how your talents can change things. Your involvement keeps you visible and valuable.

3. Collaborate with strategic partners

One major way Sho Madjozi accelerated her career growth this year was through her strategic partnership with Edgars. Through her collaboration with the retail brand, she launched her first clothing line at the same time as her album.

To reach your career goals, it’s always easier and faster to get some help. Seek out strategic partners within your network that will help you reach your business goals. A great start is to find a mentor.

4. Know your worth

In an interview with Africori, Sho Madjozi explains that African artists need to understand that they are very hot in the market right now and need to negotiate their value appropriately.

Understanding the value of your skills and experiences is important to accelerate your career.

"In Business As In Life – You Don't Get What You Deserve, You Get What You Negotiate" – Chester L. Karrass Click To Tweet

5. Bet on yourself

The most important to take away from Sho Madjozi’s hustle this year is to bet on yourself. Sho Madjozi’s success in the past year has been with no label support. She has continuously taken chances and invested in herself.

You must take swings and get out of your comfort zone to grow – volunteer to be team lead on a project, pitch that idea in your head, and start that side hustle!

What lessons will you use to SLAY your career in 2020?


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