A report released by  “Southeast Asia tech talent compensation”  highlights the most trending and most competitive tech skills and corresponding salaries.

A report released by  “Southeast Asia tech talent compensation” highlights the most sought after skills and corresponding salaries across three of the region’s key start-up hubs: SingaporeIndonesia, and Vietnam.

The findings of this report were much needed for both start-up employers and employees as the region’s tech competitiveness heats up.

engineering ranked as number one, a junior full-stack developer in Singapore, for instance, could expect to earn up to $7,100 a month, while their senior counterparts may earn up to $11,000.Elsewhere, fresh graduate junior engineers in markets such as Indonesia and Vietnam pulled down starting salaries. However, staff in such fields can expect their pay to grow quickly with a few years of experience.

The second most in-demand skill was product management, it’s directly related to the development and growth of a start-up’s project. the role encompasses a multitude of skills such as leadership, engineering, psychology, and business sense. A junior product manager can expect to earn up to $1,200 per month in Indonesia and between $1,500 and $3,000 in Singapore.

Data science was the third most in-demand skill across the region, with data analysts, data scientists, and data engineers especially sought after. Currently, a junior data scientist in Singapore can expect to earn about $5,000 per month, while workers at the same level in Vietnam and Indonesia are looking at $1,000 to $2,000, Their senior counterparts can expect $3,500 to $8,000 in Singapore, $2,000 to $5,000 in Vietnam, and $1,400 to $2,300 in Indonesia.

Last but not least demand for non-technical marketing and public relations professionals are also on the rise, Regionally, junior brand marketers can expect to earn around $4,000 a month, while their senior counterparts may take home $6,000 to $8,000.

“I started by cleaning toilets, now I’m the manager of my own five-star boutique hotel with 60 employees.” Said: Souadou Niang, a Senegalese woman who dreamed of conquering Africa, and why not the world.

The banks’ director said: “I see your determination, I see your eyes sparkle when you talk about your project, I believe in you, I’ll take the risk of lending you (money)”.  Before that I have knocked on the door of several banks and didn’t get lucky, today I “Souadou Niang” the manager of my own five-star boutique hotel with 60 employees. all you need is one person who sees the light in you.

As a Senegalese and as an African woman, my dream is to conquer Africa, and why not the world. I arrived in a country where they tell you: ‘sky is the limit’, I reached new York when I was 18, I started by cleaning toilets. While studying, I worked at the Ritz-Carlton as a cleaning lady, during that time I was fanaticizing about being a member of the management.  After getting my bachelor’s degree, I returned to work for them in the management team, so I rose through the ranks and that’s when I got the passion.

I have always dreamed of one day going back to my country(Dakar-Senegal) and show that luxury and quality at service can be achieved there. “Palms luxury boutique hotels” opened in 2017, the palms have 60 employees, 80% are women, 20% men, I decided to set-up a structure led by women. As a woman; I think women are managers because they have the capacity to manage a lot of things.

The beginnings were difficult but  I’m where I have always seen myself, adapting our Afro-chic boutique hotels, in western countries and show African women can run luxury boutique hotels with the same standards as the international hotels.

 

Final year Students/friends have turned “working from home” into a massive success. “Snackcess’ healthy boxes revenues scored more than $9000 in September.

Students/friends Joshua Barley, Sonny Drinkwater, and Kieran Fitzgerald, all aged 22 have turned “working from home” during lockdown into a massive success. The trio decided to combine their interest and take matters into their own hands.

“Snackcess” was a result of their combined abilities and expertise. The company provides gift boxes of healthy snacks for businesses to post to employees working at home.

The box contains high-end healthy, branded snacks, the kind you find in organic stores.

The three final year students saw working placement and graduate scheme opportunities disappear in the spring, they turned that over by thinking outside the box. In July they sold 5 boxes, that increased tenfold in august and September with a turnover of more than $9000.

According to the center of entrepreneurs, almost 50% more businesses were created in June 2020 than in June 2019.

Think outside the box, occupy all of your abilities and  then seize opportunities, success will be at your door.

It was Maisha Burt’s (an entrepreneur) desire to find a working place that serves both work and comfort that was the reason behind “WorkChew”, her $2.5 million business idea.

It was before the pandemic when Maisha Burt (an entrepreneur) decided to look for a new work environment. After thoroughly exploring her city for suitable locations, the question popped up: co-working space or traditional office?

Maisha Burt located a restaurant that provided a great environment to grab a bite and work. It’s then when the idea of “WorkChew” came to the surface, an organization that turns hotels and restaurants into on-demand flexible workplaces.

On March 17, the startup announced that they have raised $2.5 million on their first round. The deal was led by Harlem Capital including participation from many solo investors and investment groups.

Many companies seem willing to tackle gender-based violence but are unsure where to begin. With this in mind, Business Fights Poverty, a social impact platform, partnered with businesses and NGOs (including Anglo American, International Finance Corporation, Primark, and CARE International) to develop a series of case studies others can learn from, as well as a five-step framework for action:

1. Prevent Violence and Harassment by Identifying Potential Risks

To one degree or another, gender-based violence affects all businesses. It’s important to understand where problems are occurring and what the causes are. Tools like the Business for Social Responsibility Diagnostic designed to help large companies with complex value chains identify where the problems are and how to tackle them. The tool enables a company to self-assess how effectively their existing policies, programs, culture, leadership, and strategy are tackling violence and harassment. Under each focus area, there are a set of guiding questions for companies to develop a score. The scores help a company identify where it’s doing well (high scores suggest it is ‘leading’) and where it needs to do better (low scores suggest it is a ‘beginner’).
Two organizations making progress on prevention are the mining giant Anglo American and the luxury fashion brand Kering Group. In South Africa, Anglo American became concerned about growing levels of violence against women and vulnerable groups and wanted to better understand how this was affecting its operations and communities. By way of response, it recently partnered with the NGO International Alert to carry out a series of baseline studies around the experiences of women and vulnerable groups at work. There are early indications that a lack of awareness about what constituted sexual harassment has contributed to the normalization of certain unacceptable behaviors. Anglo American has commissioned further studies and is feeding the results of these into its inclusion and diversity strategy.
Meanwhile, Kering Group has developed an innovative internal training program with its foundation to provide a supportive and safe work environment for employees experiencing domestic violence. The company has rolled out the program’s three-hour, the introductory curriculum in Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, and China, in partnership with local NGOs that adapt the content to local contexts. Staff interest in the issue also prompted the company to create a level-two, full-day course to become “internal advocates,” which goes further to address how to concretely support survivors internally.

2. Commit to Gender Equality and Diversity Across the Workplace

CEO and senior leadership commitments to diverse, equal, and respectful workplaces— backed by adequate resources and action—form a necessary foundation for addressing gender-based violence. It tackles the root of the problem (gender inequality) and creates trust amongst staff. Without this foundation, efforts to ‘raise awareness’ about gender-based violence can appear tokenistic and lack legitimacy.
As an example, recent research by the communications company Vodafone Group, in partnership with the polling service Opinium, revealed that one in three working adults (37 percent) had experienced some form of domestic abuse and that it had significantly impacted their career. In response, Vodafone now provides 10 days of paid “safe leave” across its 26 markets for any staff member experiencing domestic violence and abuse. The policy also makes provision for human-resources and line-manager training to identify and assist people experiencing abuse. Vodafone’s longstanding organizational commitment to gender equality helped enable the change in policy. The new policy builds on a vision to make Vodafone the “the world’s best employer for women by 2025,” and follows the establishment of a global maternity policy with a minimum of 16 weeks leave, regardless of the market (2015), and a ReConnect program that aims to re-recruit 1,000 people following career breaks (2017).

3. Protect Employees With Supportive Policies and Procedures

Clear policies and procedures—including reporting and grievance mechanisms—not only empower staff to take appropriate action when needed but also reassure survivors, bystanders, accused perpetrators, and whistle-blowers that the company will handle cases effectively.
In 2013, Unilever Tea Kenya undertook an independent review on how to prevent sexual and gender-based violence that was distressingly prevalent across the tea plantation sector. The review resulted in a series of recommendations, including a multi-sectoral approach to reporting and supporting victims. After training, awareness building and employee engagement, the number of reported cases began to increase as employees’ trust in the system grew.
Drawing on its experiences in Kenya, Unilever then partnered with UN Women in 2016 to develop a human rights-based intervention program across the tea supply chain. This resulted in the 2018 publication of “A Global Women’s Safety Framework in Rural Spaces,” which includes case studies, practical tools, and a comprehensive theory of change that businesses can apply to a range of agricultural commodity supply chains.

4. Collaborate and Campaign Beyond the Immediate Workplace

Sector-wide approaches to reducing gender-based violence, such as efforts across the alcohol or garment sector in a particular country, can help raise standards with suppliers and build a stronger overall ecosystem to tackle deeply ingrained issues. Companies also have the ability to influence societal norms and behaviors on gender-based violence through advertising and campaigning, particularly when the issues align with core business aims, and include culturally relevant reference points or actors.
As one example, alcohol producer Diageo recognized that Cambodia was a high-risk market, where women beer promoters were particularly at risk of violence and harassment by customers. It took a holistic approach to tackling the issue in partnership with the NGO CARE International, using CARE’s gender-equality framework, which analyzes individual skills, community relationships, and policy environments that prevent gender equality. Together, the organizations helped create a solidarity network among the women promoters and established Beer Selling Industries Cambodia, an industry association for major breweries operating in Cambodia. All the members of the association agreed to a code of conduct to improve the health, safety, and working conditions of beer promoters by setting industry standards. They also influenced the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to strengthen the prevention of harassment-at-work laws by including entertainment workers. This bottom-up and top-down approach created the opportunity for greater systemic change.

5. Be Accountable and Monitor Action

Companies taking action to tackle gender-based violence want to know whether those actions are benefitting employees. They also want to know how to most effectively comply with legal changes. Currently, the best approach is to adopt the standards set out in the new ILO treaty or use the Business for Social Responsibility Diagnostic tool. Then, set up feedback mechanisms to assess employees’ uptake of new policies and programs—conduct regular employee surveys and invite staff to share views on prioritizing resources to tackle the issue.
For example, in 2018 Diageo and CARE International undertook an extensive benchmarking exercise across Diageo’s value chain using the draft ILO treaty. This included ensuring that relevant policies addressed violence and harassment; adopting a comprehensive strategy to implement measures to prevent and combat violence and harassment; establishing and strengthening enforcement and monitoring mechanisms; ensuring access to remedies and support for victims; and developing tools, guidance, and training. The process highlighted bright spots (such as community programming initiatives focused on the sales environment), as well as opportunities to strengthen Diageo’s protection and response policies (such as replicating and scaling up these initiatives).

SALAM : A one Million Masks Story

 

Salam is a social enterprise established by Safiya Ahmed Elsheikh, a medicine alumnus from Ahfad university for women (AUW), the idea showed up since she was a student, she established Mahba charity organization in 2017, the organization was focused on providing health insurance to families with limited to no income, and helping women who are imprisoned for financial crimes such as unpaid rent.
Mhaba’s work was dependent on the charity work and the financial support given by people who are interested in their work and interact with them through their social media platforms such as their Facebook page.

In the matter of help releasing women who are held for financial crimes, Safiya found out that 40% of those women end up going back to jail, because the core problem is the lack of education and skills they can use in generating income to support themselves and their families exists and still not solved, so she decided to focus on rehabilitation those women and teach them skills that can help them generate an income to support themselves and their families.

In order to achieve that Safiya joined the Social innovation fellowship provided by 249Startups and Paradaym in 2018.

“The fellowship helped me with three main things. First is training, as a person who’s coming from a charity background I didn’t know how to actually set a business plan or operate a business, second is connections, and those people who I built connections with during my training period, later on, became my clients, third and most importantly is mentoring, I’ll forever be grateful for my mentors who taught a lot, and until this date, I ask them for their business advice whenever I’m facing difficulties” | Safiya

these three elements helped her with operating her newly established business which she named Salam social enterprise.

Salam social enterprise includes 2 main brands which are HudHud, a hand made bags brand. And Salam face masks, which is a brand that was founded during COVID19 pandemic to meet the increasing demand of face masks, at the same time it helped with sustaining the business and providing the workers who are dependent on Salam as their main income resource with revenue.

SALAM Responding to COVID19 

Before COVID19 Salam trained and provided job opportunities for a total of 40 ladies. During COVID19 Salam worked as a platform where it cooperated with other workshops and women who run small businesses from home, where it provided a healthy work environment and income to 300 workers.

Salam face masks collaborated with GIZ Sudan to provide 500,000 face masks that were shipped to Darfur. It also worked with the ministry of labour and social development to provide masks to neighbourhood’s committees, as well as DAL group, the ministry of health, and many other local and international organisations as well as community development initiatives.
Salam won the Canadian fund for 2020 in partnership with Care International.
Safiya’s’ advice to all young people who have business ideas is to not take a long time in perfecting the idea, Because the on-ground experience will lead to maturing the idea even further, also, “resilience is very important, you’re going to face a lot of difficulties so it’s important to rebalance quickly and cope with challenges” she said. Most importantly surround yourself with supportive people and of course mentorship is vital.

This Article had been developed by 249Startups in an interview with Safiya founder of SALAM   .

 

In our efforts at 249Startups to generate information , data and opportunities in Sudanese markets , We have launched series of forums where we will be hosting experts, Corporate executives and entrepreneurs to detect challenging areas and market gaps, and identify what opportunities lie within it, and to provide market insights and know-how on approaching specified subjects. In this series , we will be having experts and specialists to present their ideas, solutions, and also their vision for the future of Sudan in terms of Technology.

The Technology Incubation Program is implemented in both Sudan & Rwanda and funded by the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) , Korea-Africa Economic Coorporation  and Enable youth program , which aims to develop and promote the use of technology in agriculture. In sudan The program Implemented by Frankfurt School for Finance and Management and 249Startups, and our private sector partners CTC Group, Nile Bank, and the Federation of Chambers of Agriculture and Animal Production.

And, with the call for applicants for the Technology Incubation Program is live we are considering how the upcoming program cohort can address these challenges as well as the needs of the country in agriculture sector.

Objective

To identifying market opportunities for startups to operate in and build solutions for. Also, the challenges needed from government and private sector to contribute in.

This is done with the aim of equipping the participants with explicit knowledge about the identified markets and widen their horizons by communicating the different opportunities which lie within them, and try to direct them towards working in areas that are currently a priority for government , development & private sectors .Additionally, encourage the participants to develop solutions to address the identified challenges and gaps in the industry.


Climate Smart Agriculture

It Is about using different technologies and approaches to increase agricultural production along with reducing the carbon emissions associated with production activities to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

                Climate-smart agriculture is not new to farmers here in Sudan and in many other places around the world, it’s known in the form of traditional practices that work towards increasing the productivity of the land, and reducing the risk of natural phenomena such as droughts. Technology could be used to advance climate smart agriculture

Watch Full Webinar now Online

Challenges startups work on

1. Access to market:

About 80% of farming in Sudan is done by small farmers. Theses framers receive lower margins in the value chain although that they do much of the work. For this challenge to be solved there needs to be a level playing ground in the agriculture market. Startups can help in doing this by using telecommunication and information technology to provide farmers with information and facilitate group selling of their crops and connect them directly with exports and main buyers.

2. Provide data and data analytics:

Smart agriculture can provide accurate data and information for farmers to make better designs that increases productivity and reduces emissions.

Using internet of thing (IOT) technologies can help collect data about the farmer to all parties of concern and helps minimizing transactions costs. This data can help farmers mitigate climate risks bearing in mind that IOT solution are becoming cheaper and more efficient. Startups can also communicate climate change information to farmers along with solutions in how to adapt to it (like shifting to other crops or changing irrigation systems)

satellite services are becoming digital platforms that are easier. Satellite images can provide daily customized images specifications to specific results and indicators (like less irrigated areas and type of fertilization and nutrition needed for soil).

By using these services startups can help overcome the infrastructure challenge that make it harder for agriculture and soil specialists to reach agricultural areas. These images and reports can also help monitor forestry to provide farmers with information and helps the government to enforce regulations. These images, data and reports could be sold to government agencies, research center and to local farmers using SMS.

3. Financial management:

Startups can develop digital tools to help nontraditional farmers and those who want to invest in agriculture to calculate their costs and margins.

4. Organic products:

Most of the agricultural products in Sudan can be sold abroad as organic products. Startups could help farmers with providing them with standards of organic products and market it for them abroad.

5. Solar pumping:

With ongoing shortages in diesel and fuel large projects are diverting their attention from focusing on production to securing fuel from various sources. Startups can provide solar pumping as a solution to this issue which will help stabilize production costs and reduce carbon emissions.

Partnerships :

Through partnering with farmers private sector and financial institutions startups can lower their entry barriers and leverage these partiers existing capabilities to achieve climate smart agriculture goals by increasing productivity and reducing emissions.

Financing :

Smart climate agriculture can access financing for both climate change mitigation and adaptation funds for developing countries. Funds like the green climate fund that can be accessed through the African development bank.

Startups can also access local funds. What they need is a clear and detailed business plan.

Needed contribution from government and private sector :

  1. Infrastructure
  2. Energy availability
  3. Clear taxation rules
  4. Clear Licensing for drones and other theologies
  5. Provide benchmark data
  6. Clear regulations for partnerships clear regulations and standards for organic products

This Article had been developed by 249Startups  Team for purpose of learning and sharing knowledge as part of Markets Opportunities Mapping Forum  .

 

In our efforts at 249Startups to generate information , data and opportunities in Sudanese markets , We have launched series of forums where we will be hosting experts, Corporate executives and entrepreneurs to detect challenging areas and market gaps, and identify what opportunities lie within it, and to provide market insights and know-how on approaching specified subjects. In this series , we will be having experts and specialists to present their ideas, solutions, and also their vision for the future of Sudan in terms of Technology.

The Technology Incubation Program is implemented in both Sudan & Rwanda and funded by the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) , Korea-Africa Economic Coorporation  and Enable youth program , which aims to develop and promote the use of technology in agriculture. In sudan The program Implemented by Frankfurt School for Finance and Management and 249Startups, and our private sector partners CTC Group, Nile Bank, and the Federation of Chambers of Agriculture and Animal Production.

And, with the call for applicants for the Technology Incubation Program is live we are considering how the upcoming program cohort can address these challenges as well as the needs of the country in agriculture sector.

 

This is done with the aim of equipping the participants with explicit knowledge about the identified markets and widen their horizons by communicating the different opportunities which lie within them, and try to direct them towards working in areas that are currently a priority for government , development & private sectors .Additionally, encourage the participants to develop solutions to address the identified challenges and gaps in the industry.


Second Forum : Climate Smart Agriculture Forum

In our second forum presented by 249Startups titled ” Climate-Smart Agriculture ” webinar; as one of the discussion topics regarding the Technology Incubation Program. In this session we were pleased to have:
-Ayman Hamdi, General Director, Bluebell Multi-activities.
-Haytham Gallabi, Technology solutions sales professional and technology advocate.
-Deya Alshammry, Projects Manager (Technical, Budgeting, and Planning).
-Dr. Balgis Osman-Elasha, Regional Coordinator, Climate change and Green Growth Expert, North Africa African Development Bank.
-Nisreen Elsaim, General coordinator for Youth and Environment – Sudan (YES) platform. and Chair of Sudan Youth Organization on Climate Change (SYOCC).
-Mohamed Kamal Ibrahim, Managing partner of Unifert for Agricultural Activities.
-Waleed Alketyabi, CEO & Cofounder of DAAM Projects Development Co, Ltd.

As the session will be moderated by Hasna Abdelwahab, Corporate Sustainability & Social Impact Manager at Haggar Group.


The discussion topic was around Climate Smart Agriculture sector and its role in Economic Development as an important and essential factor.
This webinar is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn about the opportunities available in these paths. Watch the full webinar and reach the summary of discussion points .

The Technology Incubation Program is an initiative of the African Development Bank Group in Sudan and Rwanda, which aims to develop and promote the use of technology in agriculture. The program is implemented by 249Startups and Frankfurt School for Financial and Management, with private sector partners represented by CTC Group, Nile Bank, and the Federation of Chambers of Agriculture and Animal Production.

Watch Full Webinar now Online

Overview

Climate-smart agriculture works towards raising productivity, providing solutions for the farmers to face climate change and sustain their businesses, as well as reducing the greenhouse gas emissions . 

15 million is the number of people working in agriculture in Sudan . The main source of greenhouse emissions in Sudan is land use and forestry 60% of green gas emissions occur from agriculture .

Climate-smart agriculture will help in resilience and adaptation against climate change. Climate-smart agriculture is not new to farmers here in Sudan and in many other places around the world, it’s known in the form of traditional practices that work towards increasing the productivity of the land, and reducing the risk of natural phenomena such as droughts.

 

One of these practices is agroforestry or the shifting cultivation. An example of this method is the practice of growing acacia (Hashab) trees or Gum Arabic plants in the land where it stabilizes the soil and provides nutrients and nitrogen, so it maximizes the productivity of the land. When the trees are mature the farmer will shift to another land and repeat the same process.

 

With such knowledge and experiences, if farmers in Sudan found the technical support and the required financing the Sudanese farmer can adapt to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to statistics, 80% of Sudan agricultural production comes from small farmers, while only 20% is provided by big farmers, and both of them face challenges .

 

Challenges 

There is a lack of infrastructures such as fuel, electricity, transportation, and ports. These challenges distracted the companies and producers from focusing on productivity. If these basics were provided to big producers it will help them increase their productivity and most importantly, support small producers and the surrounding local communities.  Infrastructure affects productivity by depriving the producers of their production inputs, which also affects the exports.

Solutions 

From another perspective, these challenges can be seen as opportunities, the solution is in IT, not necessarily the equipment rather the mentality, like the corporations between all the people involved in the production process from the farmers to the exporters. But most importantly there must be regulations for these corporations, as well as a national platform for all the people in the agricultural and animal production chain to share information and make smart partnerships and establish corporations.

What agriculture need in this age is information, and technologies are what provides this information, the accurate data helps in making better decisions, which results in increasing productivity through predicting the climate or monitoring the watering through sensors planted on the ground and other technologies, and it also helps with connecting the small farmers with their providers or mentors and linking all the people involved in the production chain together.

Tech challenges 

The main challenge facing the use of technologies is the lack of regulations that organise the use of these technologies. Also, there’s a huge lack of benchmark data that can be used as a reference for startups in this field.

The main purpose of using technologies is

  1. Collect data .
  2. Annalise the data collected .
  3. Optimise productivity through the information provided by the data analysis .

 

Climate change

The traditional farmers are the most people who recognize and are affected by climate change, but it’s the youth’s role to educate them about it and to give them the knowledge and tools to adapt to this change and sustain their businesses. It’s also, youth responsibility to create new, easy and innovative solutions to contact these farmers in the first place and to deliver the information and help them in applying climate-smart agriculture technologies by simplifying it. And it’s very important to involve them in the invention of solutions .

GIS

Farmers can use satellites to monitor their lands and have accurate data about the land used and monitor the crops. Airbus, for example, developed three systems in 2020 for agriculture and forestry that can provide information about the crop, the diseases that might affect it, the water needs, and the amount of nitrogen needed, among other features.

Those technologies, when used in western  Europe, saved 10% of the inputs and increased income and productivity by 15%. In Sudan we have huge losses in inputs as well as low productivity, if these technologies were given to farmers, the savings would be higher than this. Satellites work in not only monitoring, but it also helps with the scale of management and provides offseason reports.

Finance 

Sanctions on Sudan is one of the challenges that stand in the face of finding financial support for agricultural projects. However, finance is not a big problem, it can be accessed through donors from inside and outside Sudan. There’s also contract farming which is a partnership between farmers and big companies.

Smart agriculture is not only about production but about efficiency in the process to reduce losses.  20% of the grains and 40% of vegetables and fruits production is lost due to lack of efficiency.

Examples of projects 

  1. Water security projects, because a high percentage of agriculture in Sudan is rain-fed, and climate change is going to affect the rain frequency and patterns .
  2. Access to clean energy, solar pumping or solar panels .
  3. Growing crops that have a high tolerance and ability to adapt to climate change .

This Article had been developed by 249Startups  Team for purpose of learning and sharing knowledge as part of Markets Opportunities Mapping Forum  .

 

In our efforts at 249Startups to generate information , data and opportunities in Sudanese markets , We have launched series of forums where we will be hosting experts, Corporate executives and entrepreneurs to detect challenging areas and market gaps, and identify what opportunities lie within it, and to provide market insights and know-how on approaching specified subjects. In this series , we will be having experts and specialists to present their ideas, solutions, and also their vision for the future of Sudan in terms of Technology.

The Technology Incubation Program is implemented in both Sudan & Rwanda and funded by the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) , Korea-Africa Economic Coorporation  and Enable youth program , which aims to develop and promote the use of technology in agriculture.

In sudan The program Implemented by Frankfurt School for Finance and Management and 249Startups, and our private sector partners CTC Group, Nile Bank, and the Federation of Chambers of Agriculture and Animal Production.

And, with the call for applicants for the Technology Incubation Program is live we are considering how the upcoming program cohort can address these challenges as well as the needs of the country in agriculture sector.

This is done with the aim of equipping the participants with explicit knowledge about the identified markets and widen their horizons by communicating the different opportunities which lie within them, and try to direct them towards working in areas that are currently a priority for government , development & private sectors .Additionally, encourage the participants to develop solutions to address the identified challenges and gaps in the industry.

 


First Forum : Access to Markets Forum

In our this forum presented by 249Startups, At the beginning of this series, Access to Market will be the first topic for discussion we were pleased to have :
-Dr. AbuBakr Hussain, Researcher and Consultant, business and development economics, with more than 30 years of experience in the fields of marketing, financial inclusion, and business development economics. PhD holder from Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany in the field of financial services marketing.
-Dr. Murtada Kamal Khalaf Allah Khalid, Expert in Agriculture and Animal Production, and the General Secretary of the Steering Committee of Chambers Federation of Agriculture and Livestock Employers Association. PhD holder in Agriculture, University of Stuttgart – Germany 1996.
-Khaled Mamoun Ibrahim, Partner and Chief Financial Officer of Gulf Hills Trading. Master’s degree holder in Finance and Financial Law, and has been an expert in agricultural commodities for more than 7 years.


The discussion topic was around Access to markets in Agriculture sector and its role in Economic Development as an important and essential factor.
This webinar is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn about the opportunities available in these paths. Watch the full webinar and reach the summary of discussion points .

Watch Full Webinar now Online

Supply side challenges

Telecommunication made it difficult for arbitrators to control the market, which is good for the market. There’s no standards for the crops, just general specifications, so there’s no reliable check it’s the buyer’s responsibility to check the quality of the product.

Logistical and operational challenges

There’s a lot of value that can be added to exports , meat for example,  most of our exports are livestock, or freshly slaughtered meat. Also, the regulations are one of the big challenges, road transportation is connected to the shortage of diesel as well as the road taxes which results in un competitive prices, Rail is more efficient. Also all processing  facilities are in Khartoum, so all products must be shipped to Khartoum then to export which adds more costs.

Client acquisition and market challenges

The trust issues between the clients and suppliers result in the broker’s role. Brokers work for their own interest, and they’re able to manipulate the market through practicing pressure.

The self regulated standards make it difficult to compete regionally.

Exports Conclusion

 

Value chains overview

80-90% of agriculture in Sudan is traditional, it needs to be transformed into agricultural businesses. It’s also crucial to determine the approach of value chain application. Low productivity results in uncompetitive prices.

Challenges

Sorghum

The farmers don’t harvest, because there’s shortage of machinery, fertilizers, and pesticides.

    1. 50% of planted lands
    2. Production average is 5 million tons per annum

Sudan has 50-60 million acres, 22 million are desiccated to sorghum, and produce only 2 sacks per acre. Another problem is that most of the exported or locally used crops are being sold raw without adding any value.

    1. Silos 200 thousand (4%)
    2. Storage houses (4%)
    3. Matmora (92%)
      * Loss 25-30%.

Most storage factories are dedicated to Wheat, which occupies a large area and produces also a very low productivity. Sorghum has only 4% of storage houses available, the rest is stored the traditional way (matmora) which results in 20-30% loss due to bad storage conditions.

Also, almost all processing facilities are accumulated in Khartoum.

Lack of market information contributes to low productivity.

Cattle

Solutions

There must be a board that brings together all the stockholders ( organisation, government, finance institutions) to determine each commodity specific market to limit the waste of resources.We need to organize ourselves, select our 5 main commodities and concentrate on them in order to compete.

Markets Access during COVID19

Industrial organisation approach (SCP)

Market structure differs according to the nature of the products

Depends on the structure

Conduct and market manager

Impact of COVID19

The Economic crisis due to COVID19 resulted in more poverty, which led to demand reduction.


This Article had been developed by 249Startups  Team for purpose of learning and sharing knowledge as part of Markets Opportunities Mapping Forum  .

 

When it comes to delivering projects on time and within budget, startups have little margin for error. Many people assume that startups do not need the same level of ProjectManagement discipline that larger companies do.
However, a startup’s success depends on setting expectations, careful #planning, understanding risk, and delivering value to all stakeholders, whether they be customers, partners, or investors.
Project planning should be as crucial to startups as any other business. Without proper ProjectPlanning, the startup will more likely fail.
The following is a list of common project management mistakes that startups often make and how to avoid these scenarios.

1. Not knowing how to say “no.”

“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say, yes.”
-Tony Blair

Startup teams are often small and intimate, reflecting the informal startup culture.
Taking on a startup project management role in a flat organization brings many challenges.
It is often difficult for a project manager to say “no” to their team members with little formal hierarchy, especially since everyone is wearing multiple hats and being thinly spread.
By acquiescing to a team member’s request, short term conflict will be avoided. As tempting (and convenient) as it may be for the project manager to delegate responsibility and empower their team, it is also the project manager’s role to filter and challenge team requirements.
Of course, it is not always easy or pleasant to balance the team comradely with project discipline. A skilled project manager in a startup needs to #develop the ability to listen well, understand a request, and have the confidence to give push back.

2. Not planning for risk

“Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down.”
―Ray Bradbury

Risk is part of the startup DNA, and it is not uncommon for startups to underestimate or ignore threats. Because of the inherent risk of bringing new and disruptive products to market, risk aversion is not part of the #startupculture.
However, when it comes to successful project management, risk should not and cannot be taken for granted. A disciplined project manager assesses all threats to a project with the team and #management and then creates a plan to counter the risk as it arises.
In fact, given all the other risks that startups face (including funding, product launch, and business model sustainability), steps taken to identify and mitigate risk can be more critical for a startup than for a mature business.

3. Ignoring mistakes and deemphasizing Quality Control

“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” ― Henry Ford.

Many startups work at capacity and are in a rush to go to market. But sacrificing quality at the expense of “results” can create a false impression of progress with potentially disastrous consequences.
Startup project managers who are under pressure to deliver on-time often look the other way when faced with poor quality work’s unpleasant reality.
With only one in twenty startups succeeding, one would think that quality should be the number one and number two priority for a startup. Ignoring a mistake does not make it go away.
If one team member finishes fast and is free to work on another project, it will not help the startup if their work causes delays downstream.
Startup project managers should require the same performance level as their team members as project managers in mature and large companies. If a team member is delivering sloppy work, the project manager needs to sit down and deal directly with the issue.
We are only as strong as our weakest link. Replacing a team member who consistently produces sub-par work may not be a popular decision. Still, it could mean the difference between project failure and success.

4. Failing to create a detailed schedule

“I don’t think that scheduling is uncreative. I think that structure is required for creativity.”
-Twyla Tharp

Scheduling a project is always hard, but it is especially challenging in a startup environment where people develop new solutions or implement initiatives for the first time.
Without historical data and a team with similar projects in the past, many startup project managers do not have sufficient information to estimate a project duration.
That is why work breakdown structure is essential, even for projects that use Agile project management methodologies such as Scrum and Kanban.
Before starting the project and first sprint, a startup project manager should take the time to break down the project into the smallest activity or task possible.
Let’s not forgot that no matter what methodology you use, it is vital to use a project management tool – whether it be an online project management software, an excel spreadsheet, or even Microsoft Project.

5. Poor resource planning

“You will launch many projects but have time to finish only a few. So think, plan, develop, launch, and tap good people to be responsible. Give them authority and hold them accountable.”
– Donald Rumsfeld

Startup employees tend to multi-task, overcommit, and often burn out. Whereas larger and more mature companies can assign resources (people, equipment, office space) to a project, a startup’s nature requires much more demand for help.
There are two common challenges that startups face when staffing projects. First, because of staff bandwidth constraints, projects lack people with the right qualification to do the work.
Second, even when people have the right qualifications, they do not necessarily have the right experience to perform on task.
To mitigate a lack of resources, startup project managers need to be realistic about what can be achieved with the team that they are given and set expectations with management to make fewer surprises downline.