“Growing a startup is hard. But growing a startup in a pandemic is harder.”
If you have worked at one or have an idea of how startups work, you would agree with this quote made by Preston, our CEO and one of the Stears founders.
In a country where regulatory, financial and operational support for businesses is lacking, starting and scaling your startup can be even more challenging. But over the years, we’ve seen Nigerian startups beat the odds in funding, attracting talent, and even rising after a regulatory kickback.
So for today’s Stears Library compilation, we’ve focused on startups—a phenomenal sector of the economy that we like to call “small but mighty.” In this collection, there is a range of pieces from different business models to discussions around venture capitalists and employee stock options. Brace yourself for an enlightening and enjoyable experience!
Number one on this list is a story breaking down the value that successful founders add to growing African startups.
1. How experience is helping build successful startups
When Flutterwave’s Unicorn announcement broke the internet, we remembered this story from several months back. The article shows how the passed-down experience from founders has been a fuel for the growth we have seen in some of today’s startups. As they say: “experience is the best teacher.”
Read the full article here: How experience is helping build successful startups
2. Salaries vs stock options: how startups in Nigeria compete for talent
Dear reader, choose one. Receive your salary in cash or accept a startup’s stocks as payment? This article explains why Nigerian startup employees do not value equity as much as their counterparts in other countries. Thankfully, companies like Paystack and Flutterwave are reviving the faith.
Read to see why Salary > Equity in Nigeria: Salaries vs stock options: how startups in Nigeria compete for talent
3. Fisayo Longe’s Gaia: Making the dress of the summer
When many people think of startups, there is a bias towards the technology or financial ecosystem. We are happy to refresh that cycle with this exciting fashion piece, that shows inspirational growth from a Nigerian owned fashion brand.
In the unique trait of all lasting startups out there, Gaia from Kai Collective, which was arguably the dress of summer 2020, is proof of the importance of community for direct-to-consumer success.
Read the full article here: Fisayo Longe’s Gaia: Making the dress of the summer
4. Doctoora’s plan for affordable healthcare in Nigeria
Nigeria’s healthcare industry faces two major problems: affordable health care and underpaid doctors. This article is on Doctoora—a healthcare startup that is solving both. Interestingly, the company is using an Uber-like model. So, this story unpacks the Doctoora business model, showing how it is utilising the spare capacity of medical personnel and real estate, to provide Nigerians with affordable healthcare.
Read the full article here: Doctoora’s plan for affordable healthcare in Nigeria
5. Growing your savings: The nitty-gritty of Cowrywise’s collaborative approach
This next piece is important for everyone because of its deep dive into personal finance. Cowrywise is one of the many Nigerian fintech startups trying to increase wealth for their customers. But unlike others, Cowrywise has a focus on mutual funds. Although the company does not own a mutual fund product, it has partnered with five asset managers to create an investment marketplace where users can invest in at least 19 mutual funds.
Read the full article here: Growing your savings: The nitty-gritty of Cowrywise’s collaborative approach
6. The story of Gricd: A storage solution company
Food wastage is a big problem in most countries across the world, including Nigeria. This problem is what inspired Gricd—a company that uses technology to solve storage problems in Nigeria. The company started to provide food storage solutions, but this article insightfully breaks down why it had to pivot to medicine.
Read the full article here: The story of Gricd: A storage solution company
7. Can Moove Africa make it easier to own a car in Africa?
This story features yet another problem-solving idea from one of Nigeria’s serial founders’ startup—Moove Africa. Due to the challenge of financing a car purchase through credit in Nigeria, this company has the ambition to improve car ownership using a drive-to-own business model. Dig into this deep dive showing what progress is like in getting customers to own a car within three years.
Read the full article here: Can Moove Africa make it easier to own a car in Africa?
8. Startups and the African Technology Renaissance
How can entrepreneurial ecosystems help Africa develop? This classic piece from 2018 tries to answer this question. This free to read piece features Foundervine—a startup community trying to harness Africa’s diaspora talent by providing a collaborative platform to help entrepreneurs build their ideas and upskill.
Read the full article here: Startups and the African Technology Renaissance
9. Carbon vs Kuda: The experiment to improve banking for digital natives
If you are interested in the model of digital banks and the advantage companies like Carbon and Kuda think they have over traditional banks, this is the article for you. it is an in-depth look into how these businesses plan to provide Nigeria’s 82 million [and growing] digital generation with better access to financial services. In addition, it compares the business model of Carbon and Kuda.
Read the full article here: Carbon vs Kuda: The experiment to improve banking for digital natives
10. Transporting blood in Lagos: Lifebank’s life-saving business model
Now is a good time to fully understand how Life Bank is making an impact in Nigeria’s healthcare industry. Nigeria critically needs at least two million units of blood every year. But there is often a gap in communication between those who have it and those who need it. Life bank is bridging that gap, and this story shows how.
Read the full article here: Transporting blood in Lagos: Lifebank’s life-saving business model
Until the next list, feel free to shoot us an email with your thoughts, recommendations and constructive criticisms at [email protected]. We would be delighted to hear from you.