Tell us a few words about the founders and how the idea came:
The daughter of parents working in the humanitarian aid sector, I was born in Ukraine, and lived in seven other countries before moving back to Africa a few years ago. It’s funny – I was lucky enough to have a very international experience and was exposed to diverse cultures and ways of life, but I always knew I had to come back home. I truly believe Africa is growing in an incredible way – and I want to be a part of that.
I always thought I would end up working in the humanitarian sector. I briefly worked for a startup accelerator in Nairobi (Nailab) that really changed my whole perspective. I realized businesses had the power to make a positive impact in developing countries, perhaps even in a more meaningful way than NGOs. “I got the chance to be surrounded by such innovative and ambitious entrepreneurs who inspired me so much! Here were people committed to serving their communities – building business models centered on creating solutions to address the most pressing socio-economic challenges. It was here that I saw the need for providing affordable and accessible professional market research services to support their visions. Entrepreneurship is what’s going to change the world!”
Your products and services:
e-ENSURES is Africa’s first digital market research company dedicated to providing affordable, accessible and accurate market intelligence relevant for pre-startups, startups, SMEs and entrepreneurs. It’s so crucial to understand not only your market as a whole, but your individual target customer as well.
So after about a year of intensive research, testing and trying out different software platforms and hunting down the right team – e-ENSURES was launched. We’ve managed to build a diverse online community of respondents who we pay to take our tailored online surveys. Each respondent is vetted and profiled before they’re able to sign up onto our platform – making our research more specific and accurate i.e. we can engage with specific respondents belonging to a particular demographic depending on the research objectives of a particular project.
Your success factors
In my experience with startups, I realized many entrepreneurs don’t pay enough attention to market research. This is even more prominent among African-based businesses. In Kenya alone, about 3000 businesses are started every month! And about half of them fail within the first year.
Your factors differentiating and disruptive compared to the existing
We help small businesses understand their market more deeply i.e. who their competitors are and how they work, the market dynamics of different countries/regions and consumer habits and preferences. For example, we’re often asked by entrepreneurs with new and innovative business ideas to conduct research on how receptive the public would be to their concept. A big part of what we do is to broaden the horizons of African startups – most times, entrepreneurs don’t realize the scalability of their idea. You might think you’ve built a product for the Kenyan market, but it would be more successful in the Rwandan market. We’re here to show you all these possibilities.
Many of our clients also happen to be Africans in the diaspora who (just like me sometime ago) are excited to return to the continent but are unsure of what to expect. As much as Africa is showing promising signs of development, the region’s market can be very difficult to understand and predict – largely because of the unavailability of accurate data. Our research unveils the immense amount of business and investment opportunities that are available here – aimed at mitigating the risks involved in doing business in Africa.
Aside from market research (which is our primary service), we also create connections for our clients. For example, we connect entrepreneurs with their peers who may have similar ideas or connect startups to possible investors, so that they can think beyond what their perspective and culture allows them to consider.
Your business model (how do you make money?)
We create reports about new trends and tailored sector-specific or product-specific reports on request.
A few words about your competitors
Traditionally, most market research companies serve the needs of big corporates or NGOs, explaining why it hasn’t been financially viable for startups to prioritize professional market research services. I wanted to find a way to change that.
To learn more about you (website, twitter, video presentation …)