Aspiring start-ups and entrepreneurs are not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Africa. Nonetheless, there is an economic system of mid-sized companies and small-scale enterprises in developing countries as well. It is precisely these that benefit from the assistance of “Managers Without Borders” Foundation from Stuttgart, Germany. The charity already fosters more than 150 projects in 40 countries on all continents.
Their work ranges somewhere between development assistance and economic promotion: an on-site know-how transfer among managers and local entrepreneurs. While traditional aid often exclusively focused on financial support and hence generated dependencies in the past, the foundation’s efforts center upon capacity building instead. It is their aim to advance promising on-site projects and to strengthen economically independent small to mid-sized businesses through knowledge transfer. The projects come from areas such as trade, manufacturing or advanced training, joined by social services providers, initiatives helping in setting up businesses, as well as agriculture and forestry.
More companies to profit from assistance in the future
The Nunatak Group is excited to have strategically partnered up with the foundation for some months now. “Our goal is to assist ‘Managers without Borders’ in expanding their range, for one, in terms of additional countries and, otherwise, adding more businesses in each country”, said Nunatak’s Managing Director Robert Jacobi.
What could such a the future cooperation look like? “Managers Without Borders” is already actively supporting over ten projects in Uganda’s capital Kampala. However, due to selective consulting only a few companies benefited from their managers’ advice in the past. “We are helping the charity to build so called ‘business hubs’ that act as permanent branches in the respective countries”, explained Jacobi.
Close collaboration with start-ups and universities in Uganda
These ‘hubs’ can simultaneously support several businesses and start-ups, and thus aid a holistic and lasting fight against poverty. For their realization, an exact analysis of local conditions, permanent onsite partners, and crowdfunding concepts are necessary. Furthermore, it is essential to keep in close contact with universities, seeing as most start-ups are founded there. From the very beginning these institutions of higher education must be empowered by the managers’ entrepreneurial knowledge. “Especially Nunatak’s digital know-how will be highly valuable in the scale of digital business models in Uganda”, stresses Jacobi.