May 4, 2023

Globalisation, African SMEs and Exporters: Here’s a Guide to Remain Competitive

Globalisation has brought many changes to the business world, including increased competition and greater access to international markets. Over the last few years, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) have become a key component of the development strategies of the majority of African countries, and while the economic impact of globalisation has created new opportunities for them, it has also brought new challenges.

In this post, we'll explore the impact of globalisation on African SMEs and exporters and provide recommendations for how to remain competitive in this new landscape.

The Impact of Globalisation on African SMEs and Exporters

Globalisation has had a profound impact on African SMEs and exporters, including:

Increased competition: With the rise of African SMEs and exporters, they are now competing on a global scale. African businesses now face more competitors, including those from other developed markets with more access to funding and technological advancements. Customers now have a vast array of choices available to them in the market, and the lower one's cost and the higher one's quality, the better one's chances of gaining a larger share of the market. 

Greater access to international markets: Globalisation has opened up new markets for African SMEs and exporters. This means the avocado farmer in Kenya now has an opportunity to export his farm produce to Mexico and the US, which are home to the largest avocado consumers in the world. This has led to increased demand for products and services, which also requires businesses to navigate different treasury solutions, regulations, and cultural differences.

Globalisation has opened up new markets for African SMEs and exporters. Image Source: Ondo Online

Greater reliance on technology: Technology has played a major role in globalisation, allowing businesses to communicate and transact across borders more easily than ever before. This means that for African SMEs and exporters to expand their reach, they need to invest in new technology and skills.

Greater need for agility: The pace of change in the global business landscape has accelerated, and African SMEs and exporters need to be flexible and be able to adapt quickly to new challenges and opportunities

How to Remain Competitive in the Globalised Landscape

Greater innovation and investment from businesses in Africa are essential to meeting the unfulfilled global demand for goods and services. To remain competitive in the globalised landscape, African SMEs and exporters should consider the following:

1. Focus on innovation: Prioritising innovation to differentiate themselves from competitors This can include developing new products or services that are tailored to the needs of their target markets, improving processes to meet global industry standards, or adopting new technologies.

2. Build strong partnerships: Strong relationships with suppliers, distributors, and others can help navigate the challenges of operating in new markets. Building strong partnerships with stakeholders like Fluna can help exporters stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and innovations and provide them with proprietary trade data, flexible financing, and global treasury solutions.

3. Invest in talent development: With the rise of technology and increased competition, African businesses must invest in talent development to stay ahead. This includes providing training and development opportunities for employees and attracting and retaining top talent.

4. Diversify product offerings: Diversifying product offerings can help reduce reliance on a single market or product and can also help businesses better meet the needs of different customers in different markets.

Innovate, develop new products and services to stay ahead of the pack. Image source: The United Nations

5. Stay informed: Finally, staying informed about the latest industry trends and regulations is critical to remaining competitive. This can include attending industry events, networking with other businesses, and seeking out educational resources that are specific to African markets.

In conclusion, globalisation has transformed the landscape for African SMEs and exporters, presenting both new opportunities and challenges. It is important for African businesses to take proactive steps to remain competitive in this dynamic environment. By adopting the strategies outlined in this post, African SMEs and exporters can position themselves for success in the global marketplace, build resilience, and thrive in the years to come.

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