We believe Nordic companies can make a significant difference in Africa
Connecting businesses with the right people and stakeholders
AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® is a consultancy company and professional business network for Nordic companies doing business in Africa. AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® has existed for 10 years with the ongoing goal, which is to build the most connecting and value-adding bridge between Nordic and African ecosystems, clusters, companies and organisations. AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® invites Nordic companies in different sectors and industries, with interest in Africa, to become members of the network. In the network, we arrange activities in the form of seminars, cluster meetings, investor pitch meetings, business delegations to Africa and seminars hosted in Africa in collaboration with our local partner.
AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® is also represented locally in Africa. We invite existing ecosystems, clusters, investors and local partners African countries to become a part of AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK®. Our network is currently well-established in South Africa and soon in Kenya and Nigeria in 2022.
We provide consultancy services to co-create value to your business
1) Selecting the right market
AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® provides consultancy related to identifying the right market for your business. One the first barriers to overcome, if you are about to enter the African markets, is to select the country/countries. Africa is a huge continent with +50 countries, different market size, sector focus, national strategy, population and culture. Nordic companies do mainly business in 14-16 African countries depending on which sector they represent. Population in Africa will double within 30 years, and five of the worlds largest mega cities will be located in Africa. This is due to the fast moving urbanisation and internet penetration is rapidly increasing with huge investments in infrastructure, digitalisation and the youngest population at the time being.
2) Making a sustainable business plan
AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® helps companies with preparing market entry carefully and methodologically. Setting up a business in emerging markets, and scaling up, is a challenging task as the market structures, business culture and practices are very different from Nordic markets. Setting up a sustainable business in the African markets requires careful research and deep-dive analyses. Creating a business plan tailored for each market enables you to test and verify your business case before investing heavily in the market.
3) Identifying a local partner and developing a business model
AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® has a wide network all over Africa and assists companies in identifying potenital local partners. It is crucial to start up business with the right local partner, no matter where you intend to do business. Finding the suitable partner is often demanding and resourceful and depending on the right network of relevant business people; including how to access these. 80% of the Nordic companies start doing business with a local partner in a Joint Venture and later a merger/acquisition. Engaging with local partners can be a very good idea as your local partner is well-connected and established in the local community. Starting all over by yourself is the most demanding model.
4) Operating in the African business cultures
AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® consults companies in understanding and operating in the African business cultures. The African continent is a huge continent consisting of +50 countries and hundreds of local cultures, norms and etiquettes. It is very important to understand and embrace the local business context you are about to operate in, which can be very different from the business cultures in the Nordics. A major cultural barrier between our two continents is “perception of time“, which often causes frustrations in the partnership. By understanding, accepting and focussing on the business culture, business will run better and the results will come faster.
5) External financing & funding opportunities
AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® helps Nordic companies with external funding opportunities for their business in the process of entering new markets in Africa. This can be done through public and/or private funding. We assist companies in the entire application process, including understanding the tender and funding process for specific programs, understanding the market entry and the political environment. There are more than 170 funding opportunities available for businesses that would like to do business in Africa, allocated to all sectors and all areas of Africa. Especially if you are a smaller and medium sized company, grants and partly funding can make the difference.
AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK is the largest business network for companies, institutions and diplomats with focus on doing business in Africa, in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. We offer members of AFRICA INNOVATION NETWROK® the possibility to become partner and hereby get exclusive marketing access on our webpage www.africainnovationnetwork.com. Partners have their own landing page, with own logo and company description and contact details and other relevant content. As web partner, you get direct business through our website and on our SOME. Web partners are exclusively evaluated before they are selected to ensure they match our company values and goals.
Networking, clusters and ecosystems
AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® is bridging Nordic and African companies and organisations
Penetration in Africa
Present in African countries
AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® comply with UN Sustainable Development Goal nr. 17 “Partnerships”
“Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”
AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® facilitates 4 -5 seminars in Denmark each year and 2- 3 seminars in Norway, Sweden and Finland.
The seminars cover a wide range of topics relevant for companies that are doing business, or wish to do business, in the African region. The seminars focus specifically on the operational business opportunities in Africa from a Nordic perspective, including: 1) company cases with a wide geographical representation in Africa and covering various sectors and industries, 2) challenges and barriers, 3) solutions, and 4) scaling up.
We arrange business delegations to countries in Africa with a focus on specific industries and entities (e.g. UN agencies). The business delegations include: 1) Site/company visits, 2) meetings relevant representatives, potenital partners, distributers and clients, 3) individual meetings, 4) meeting relevant officials, and 5) networking and knowledge sharing with the other companies.
EMBASSY ROUNDTABLE MEETINGS
We also facilitate roundtable meetings in collaboration with the African embassies present in the Nordic countries. It is a gateway to African diplomacy and learning about the ongoing political agendas. The meetings focus on 1) Trends and local developments plans, 2) business opportunities, 3) networking & meet-and-greet with the ambassadors, 3) import and export plans/opportunities.
CLUSTER ROUNDTABLE MEETINGS
Our Nordic business clusters are within healthcare and the UN focusing on various African countries. We facilitate 6 roundtable meetings in Denmark, 2 in Norway, 2 Sweden, and 2 in Finland in each cluster a year. We kindly invite companies to join our AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® business clusters that are involved with:
Advantages for Members
Meet companies already operating in Africa and get valuable information about how to do business in Africa
Discuss business opportunities in Africa with potential clients, partners, authorities, organisations and diplomats
Gateway to diplomacy
Meet the African diplomats resident in the Nordics and learn more about the local political agenda in the African countries
It´s about knowing the right people when doing business in Africa. Meet the right people with the competences you need for scaling up your business in Africa.
Not a member yet?
- More than EURO 70 million annual turnover or 250 employees
- Less than EURO 70 million annual turnover or less than 250 employees
- Less than EURO 5 million annual turnover or 50 employees
- As partner you´ll be listed on our webpage and posted on SoMe.
- As partner you must add value to the members of AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK
Nordic businesses think sustainability in the business model and strategy
The people behind AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® in the Nordics
We carry out seminars, conferences, round table meetings and business & networking meetings at the African embassies in the Nordics and in Africa
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