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Creative Ways to Raise Business Startup Funds During Tough Times



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It is said that small and medium sized enterprises mostly rely on internal finances or cash from friends and family to begin, and initially manage their businesses. According to a report by the World Bank, this is because they are less likely to be able to secure bank loans, compared to large companies.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), in a recent report estimated that 65 million businesses, or 40% of MSMEs in developing countries, have an annual unmet financing need of $5.2 trillion, translating to 1.4 times the amount of global MSME lending at present.

In Nigeria, there is no doubt that existing and aspiring entrepreneurs are experiencing difficult times in starting or funding their businesses due to the prevailing economic downturn, compounded with other socio-political factors.

According to a 2022 Nigeria MSME report titled “Fuel for Africa’s next billion businesses”, 80% of businesses under the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Africa fail within the first five years of their existence. And, despite having the highest entrepreneurship rate in the world, lack of finance has been identified as a major causative factor.

That said, there is still room for success for young entrepreneurs, who are zealous enough to run personal projects and appeal for seed fundings.

In a conversation with Business expert, Yuliy Shenfeld, Director of Operations at Jiji Africa, we got insights on three legit ways that you can raise funds to start that business.

  1. Apply for grants

Different funding options may be available for your specific project or demographic. Follow these steps to identify and access them:

– Determine the type of grant you need, be it government, private sector or NGO grants like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, CIPE Grant and other corporations.

– Research available opportunities by checking relevant government and private sector websites, reaching out to NGOs and searching for international grant opportunities.

– Ensure you meet relevant eligibility criteria before starting your application process.

– Prepare your grant proposal, and submit on time, through the appropriate channels.

– Follow up on your application with grant providers to ensure they received your submission, and inquire about the status of your application.

You may also get private investors who are willing to invest in your project for a fair return on investment.

  1. Explore freelance work

Statistics have shown that over 1.5 billion people in the global workforce are freelancers. If you have a specific skill or talent, such as writing, graphic design, or programming, you can offer your services as a freelancer.

There are many websites and platforms like Upwork and, that connect freelancers with clients looking for their services globally.

All you need to do is: create a portfolio that showcases your skills on your preferred platform and set your rates based on your skills, experience and market rates for your services.

You also need to promote your services through your portfolio and social media channels, and start small by taking up low risk projects to build your portfolio and reputation.

Keep in mind that you must be deliberate about maintaining good relationships with your clients by delivering quality work on time, communicating effectively and being professional at all times. With these tips, you are good to go on your first freelance project, to start earning. You would be able to raise sufficient funds overtime, to execute personal projects or kick start that business idea.

  1. Sell unused items

A recent study by showed that the value of the secondhand apparel market is set to double in coming years, up to 218 billion dollars by 2026. More interesting is the fact that the highest customers in this segment are Gen-Z and Millennials who see used items options as more affordable and environmentally friendly.

So, take a look around your home and gather your unused, used or preloved items. You can sell them online through websites like This way, you can generate extra business funds through the sales.

Whether you’re selling unwanted items, offering services, or applying for grants, these methods are sure to help you generate funds as seeding capital for that new business idea, or grow an existing business. Just be sure to choose the option that works best for you.

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Davido Launches Chatter, Own Social Media App



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David Adeleke, Nigerian musician well known as Davido, has launched Chatter, a new social media application.

Davido Launches Chatter, Own Social Media App

Chatter is a social audiovisual utility platform designed to help amplify the voice of content creators and connect them with a vibrant community.

However, the app’s usage goes beyond content creators; business-minded individuals, as well as people looking to connect, have a place on it.

The musician used his social media accounts to announce the app’s release.

He gave a brief history of the development of the software and its features with his friend.

The well-known musician from Nigeria stated that he and Sir Banko, his close friend  are the owners of the app.

The music icon posted information about Chatter, a social audiovisual utility platform that connects content creators to a lively community and helps them magnify their voices.

In the past eight months, Davido has undertaken three internet projects.

Recall that the musician introduced his cryptocurrency.

However, the $DAVIDO coin fell a few days after it launched, prompting some cryptocurrency fans to call it a scam and a rug-pull.



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Holiday Shopping Season to Look Different for Retailers this Year as Shoppers Take on more Debt



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By Zuko Mdwaba, Salesforce Area Vice President & Africa Leader

New Salesforce research shows that 37% of indebted consumers are using their credit cards more today than they were a year ago, while 32% report using alternative credit services like “buy now, pay later” more frequently. What’s more, 43% of consumers are carrying more debt compared to 2023. And this isn’t unique to one income bracket — consumers across all levels are tapping into their credit lines more today than they were last year.

Zuko Mdwaba

Zuko Mdwaba

But this increased reliance on credit isn’t due to consumers buying more. According to the Salesforce Shopping Index, online order volumes have been falling since 2022 and decreased by 2% year over year in the first quarter of this year. When they do buy, they’re trading down, buying discounted merchandise, and seeking private labels.

Holiday shopping prediction #1: Chinese shopping apps will take market share

As consumers face uncertainty around rising prices, they’re changing shopping habits. Long gone are the pandemic times when the fastest shipping time could win over new business. Now it comes down to price.

Shoppers are looking for the best deal. Two-thirds of global shoppers report that prices dictate where they chose to shop, with less than one-third prioritising quality of the goods. Temu is the clear winner, with 43% of Western shoppers purchasing on this platform within the last six months. But for Gen Zers, Shein is the top destination, with half of this group placing an order recently.

This holiday season, we predict that Chinese shopping applications will capture $160 billion in global ecommerce market share outside of China.

Holiday shopping prediction #2: Middle-mile shipping puts strain on margins

The Houthi attacks in the Red Sea and rising crude oil prices are driving up container costs worldwide, putting strain on the middle-mile infrastructure for the first half of the year. Additionally, last-mile challenges are also stacking up thanks to events like the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge and rising delivery costs – stalling delivery times and adding expenses for retailers.

But retailers shouldn’t push the shipping expenses back on shoppers. Free shipping offers are a top-three reason why consumers choose to make a purchase from a particular brand or retailer. Over half of shoppers say they are more likely to purchase online than in store if delivery is free.

This holiday season we predict brands and retailers will spend an extra $197B in middle-mile expenses, increasing 97% over last year.

Holiday shopping prediction #3: Shoppers embrace AI to search for the perfect gift

Last holiday season, 17% of online purchases were influenced by AI – both predictive and generative. That totalled a whopping $199M of onlines sales worldwide in November and December. This year, consumers will increasingly leverage AI – knowingly or not – to search for the right gift at the right price. In fact, 53% of shoppers surveyed said they are interested in using generative AI for inspiring the perfect present. As retailers increasingly embed AI into search experiences, we predict search will drive a nearly 3x better conversion rate compared to traffic not engaging with site search.

Holiday shopping prediction #4: Black Friday becomes Cyber Friday

Over the years, as online shopping grew in popularity and consumers could shop from anywhere, holiday shopping started earlier and earlier in the month of November. Last year, Black Friday gained back 4% of online holiday sales, establishing itself as the biggest online shopping day of the year.

We’re expecting the same of the upcoming holiday shopping season. Two-thirds of shoppers say they’re holding out on making big purchases until Cyber Week, anticipating better deals. The big news is that Black Friday is going to be the biggest day for digital. Salesforce research predicts online sales will take 7% of in store sales on Black Friday.

Holiday shopping prediction #5: Retailers tap loyal shoppers to avoid skyrocketing digital marketing costs

Customer acquisition continues to be costly for retailers. In the face of a busy election cycles, and as Chinese companies buy up advertising inventory, digital marketing costs continue to get more expensive, and opportunities to get in front of the right audience grow scarce. This means that brands and retailers have to better engage their existing customer base amid this tug of war over digital advertising space.

But there are other opportunities. Shoppers are doubling down on loyalty. According to our Salesforce Shopping Index, the rate of repeat buyers in the first quarter increased by 8% over the last two years. And shoppers are prioritising brands and retailers that offer loyalty programmes. Our research shows 63% of shoppers are making more purchases from stores where they can earn and redeem loyalty points. This holiday season, we predict that 2 out of 5 holiday purchases will be made by a loyal repeat buyer.

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APTS Cyber-Attacks Target African Governments, Others



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Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity firm, has said that it is keeping a close eye on advanced persistent threats (APTs) and nine active threat actors targeting African organisations.

APTS Cyber-Attacks Target African Governments, Others

Kaspersky researchers’ intelligence has identified government, energy, and telecommunications as the primary targets in African countries.

APT groups are long-term, targeted cyber-attacks in which intruders obtain network access and go undiscovered for a lengthy period of time. APT attacks are typically initiated to steal extremely sensitive data.

These APT organisations are frequently driven by espionage, financial gain, or, in some cases, hacktivism.

According to Kaspersky intelligence, MuddyWater, FruityArmor, and Sidewinder are among the region’s most prominent groups.

Kaspersky, which says it protects over a billion devices worldwide from cyberattacks, collaborates with law enforcement and offers intelligence to help them track down these sophisticated hackers.

These threat actors, according to the company, use a variety of methods to infiltrate their targets in the region.

Social engineering is a typical method employed on social media or via email, such as placing a bogus job advertisement for software developers.

According to Amin Hasbini, head of Kaspersky’s global research and analysis team for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, said it is critical to keep up with these sophisticated syndicates and stop corporate espionage.

“The current geopolitical climate is a hotbed for APT activity, therefore, investigating these attacks and gaining intelligence on their movement is vital for security teams and corporations in Africa. Our research allows businesses and government entities to determine the significance of the threat posed, understand the attackers’ next move and accordingly be able to take the appropriate security steps to protect themselves,” he said.




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