Local E-Commerce Startup Attracting 1 Million Online Traders & Raising $5 Billion USD

E-Commerce a company Appletree Digital CommerceToday, I unveiled the movement to take one million African merchants online (Tomatoes)Her innovative solution to the lack of opportunities for young people across Africa.

“We came across some disturbing statistics that inspired us to think differently about how we can provide practical solutions to help African youth realize their entrepreneurial potential.”

Nigel Dora, Managing Director of Appletree Digital Commerce

If you’ve never heard of Appletree Digital Commerce, a Harare-based company (according to their website) It is a comprehensive payments solution for financial technology, markets, crowdfunding, and other platforms in general. They say they have brought next-generation payment solutions to innovators, enabling merchants in over 79 countries to accept and split payments, and automate online payments in more than 100 currencies and multiple payment methods.

The rationale behind the TOMATO movement

According to the African Development Bank – Paper Top 5 Jobs for Young People in Africa; Africa has a population of 1.2 billion, while 36 out of the 40 countries in the world live in Africa. Of the 1.2 billion people living in Africa; 420 million young people between the ages of 15 and 35. The number of young people on the continent is expected to double and exceed 850 million by 2050. In addition, 10-12 million young people are expected to enter the workforce each year.

While current business models cannot sustain the expected growth of the youth population in Africa, the Internet offers a large number of opportunities that we can profitably exploit. There are only 3 million formal jobs created annually – demonstrating the need to teach young Africans to think entrepreneurially and take resolute and deliberate steps to support small businesses.

According to the World Bank in A paper exploring the relationship between broadband and economic growth; Growth follows the internet, and studies reveal that per capita GDP growth rose by 2.7 to 3.9 percent after the introduction of broadband. In developing countries, a 10 percentage point increase in broadband access translates to a 1.35% increase in GDP. When not creating an entirely new business, broadband communication can lower costs and increase returns.

In response to this; Appletree Digital Commerce has partnered with technology partners who are market leaders in their sectors from around the world to create a digital ecosystem that aims to attract at least one million African merchants (SME retailers) online.

They estimate that for an SMB to set up an e-commerce solution that will actually deliver results, it will cost around $5,000 USD. Most African SMEs cannot afford this; So in light of this, they have set an ambitious goal of raising $5 billion, within the next 10 years to allow them to give $1 million from SMEs $5000 in e-commerce solutions.

The road to 5 billion US dollars

As a first step, in collaboration with selfless individuals and businesses in Zimbabwe that support the vision; they put”Crowdfund Prize Draw for Best Jobs in AfricaIts goal is to raise $263 million while creating opportunities for 38 lucky individuals that will change their lives.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) in partnership with the European Commission has indicated that the African e-commerce market could benefit around $14.5 billion if the number of women selling on online platforms reached parity with men. Through additional training and financial support for saleswomen; The sector will expand.

“It’s an attempt to bridge some of these challenges and provide the solutions that TOMATO has come up with today,”

Nigel Dora, Managing Director of Appletree Digital Commerce

The grand prize consists of the following:

  • Fully furnished house in a special section of postcode number 1 in Harare
  • 11-bedroom guest hostel with restaurants + $250,000 working capital
  • New Toyota Land Cruiser Prado
  • New Toyota Hilux Xtra Cab
  • Low Mileage Yellow Lamborghini Gallardo

There are 37 major awards:

  • New fully furnished apartment in a prestigious residential complex
  • New Toyota Hilux Xtra Cab
  • $25K salary for a year working at Appletree Digital Commerce to learn about e-commerce
  • Capital of $25,000 to set up your own e-commerce business

For every $20 contributed to Crowdfund, the contributor will be rewarded with 4 MP3 songs by local artists Tavadzua, Mwengi Matul and Masa Caroline + entry into a raffle.

Lots to unpack

We’re really curious to hear what you think about this. Appletree has said a lot here and we know that the Techzim community has some very strong opinions on issues of funding opportunities. So leave your thoughts in the comments.

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