For Nigerian Entrepreneurs:
A New E-Commerce Platform Focused on Your Store And Your Brand
If you look around a city like Lagos in Nigeria, it’s easy to see the frustration on the faces of most young adults. The issues they face are numerous and debilitating — low electricity, fuel scarcity, traffic congestion and increasing unemployment. You can almost see the wheels turning in their heads, as they try to get some semblance of progress in their lives.
Between 1.2 and 2.2 million young Nigerians join the labour force every year, and less than one-third of that number get corporate employment. It has become increasingly difficult for new graduates to get any job at all, whether underpaid and/or over-skilled.
Because of this, youth entrepreneurship is on the rise; university graduates are putting their certificates aside and learning tangible skills. Majority of them stick to selling through Facebook pages and personal websites, or they apply for grants/loans to build small businesses.
The biggest hurdles these young online entrepreneurs complain of are: building a brand that’s recognizable, and getting customers to repeatedly visit their websites.
It’s one thing to have a website, it’s another thing to drive traffic to it.
Most online sellers depend on Facebook pages because of the increasing number of Facebook users globally, but using a Facebook page does not portray a business owner as serious and does not drive traffic without extensive deliberate marketing.
It’s because of all these constraints that Zoafia is being created. Zoafia is a storefront and marketplace platform focused on the Nigerian market. In simple words, Zoafia makes it easy for online entrepreneurs in Nigeria to brand and personify their shops on the internet (eg shop99.zoafia.com), and get lots of traffic from the central marketplace (i.e zoafia.com).
Creating a profile as a shop owner on Zoafia is free. It gets you a customizable URL for your shop (eg shop99.zoafia.com) and a limitless portfolio for your products where you can easily upload new product images.
Apart from the home and central destination we are creating, we envision Zoafia to be an environment where Nigerian entrepreneurs can be in the midst of like minded people, and receive help from the community.
It is our hope that this hybrid e-commerce platform — storefront and marketplace — will push entrepreneurship forward by putting focus on our indigenous brands, and that the aggregate traffic driven by all the many shops on the platform will be beneficial to single merchants on the platform.
We believe that by centralizing a common destination for online entrepreneurship in the country, we can help the growing brands and other players in the industry work together to maximize profitability and innovation.
ps: As we prepare to launch in May, we would like to keep everyone interested in the loop:
If you are an entrepreneur with a shop or service you’ll like to brand and showcase, visit zoafia.launchrock.com to sign up with your email address.
You can also follow us on twitter: @ZoafiaNg, and like our Facebook Page: Facebook.com/Zoafia for more updates
Fun Fact: Zoafia was coined from the Igbo verb Zuafia, which means to shop