Nigeria is a country primarily constituting of low-income individuals. With 53% of our population living below the global poverty line of $1.90/day, according to a paper published by the World Bank on June 21, 2019: by definition 1 out of 2 people you might meet every day is poor.

And just like almost everything else, Nigerians buy most of our clothes fairly used, which is unsurprising, when the most affordable clothing items retail from upwards of $8, which is almost a week’s wage spent only on a pair of shorts or a t-shirt.

Old Navy is an American clothing brand serving the low to middle-classes in the United States. And the lowest costing t-shirts is $8, while the lowest costing shorts start at $12. This is in a country with a minimum monthly wage of $1660. But the average monthly wage in Nigeria is $120. As you can see a clear disparity exists between consumers in both markets.

The idea we put forth is to provide the low-income class of the country (current market size of 101.1 million people) with an affordable option for their clothing needs through proximity retail stores nationwide. And frankly, this market has existed for more than 20 years, currently largely defragmented with no clear cut market leader.

But what makes this idea peculiar is its business model, similar to the approach Amazon (currently USA’s second-largest employer of labor) utilized to becoming the largest online retailer in the world. Using access to funding, keep prices lower than any other market player, while rapidly expanding operations across the continent, thus gaining market share, until becoming the largest by volume clothing retailer on the continent.

After which, we’ll focus on turning profits not primarily through retail goods but rather by capitalizing on customer data acquired during the expansion phase to create hyper-personalized offerings, thus opening-up another set of market opportunities.

According to Euromonitor, the Sub-Saharan apparel market alone is worth, $31 billion. In other to bring this incredible opportunity to reality, we’ll need substantial financing which we hope to access from the TEF-UNDP program and as any large-scale retail venture, a sizable share of local human capital.

Read on if you would like to apply for this fund

If you hope to win this fund you should understand why it exists and what they hope to achieve by giving money away, then write to meet those criteria.

Why does the Tony Elumelu Competition exist?

  • African Entrepreneurs are the most important driver in the growth of the African economy.
  • To identify and empower 10,000 entrepreneurs.
  • The businesses of these entrepreneurs will create 1,000,000 jobs and $1,000,000,000 in revenue by 2024.

What makes the TEF-UNDP Sahel Youth grant different from the typical TEF Grant?

Insights I discovered from research about the contest.
Important points written in capital letters.

  • It’s coupled with UNDP (United Nations Development Program), helping them to expand their goal from being able to support 10,000 entrepreneurs to financially supporting 100,000 entrepreneurs in the next 10 years.
  • With support from UNDP, they’ve increased their revenue targets from $1 billion to $10 billion by 2024.
  • They’re rolling out this program first for the Sahel region only.
  • Sahel region: Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Eritrea, Senegal, Mali, Sudan, Mauritania, Sudan, Mali, and Niger. (11 Countries)
  • It is a grant for the YOUTH (18-35). UNDP specifically chose the Sahel region because they have the highest percentage of youths in Africa (64% of the total population). Young Entrepreneurs creating jobs thereby providing a living for other young people in Africa, that’s how Africa will grow: INCLUSIVE GROWTH.
  • The primary goal of the UNDP fund is to: CREATE JOBS FOR AFRICANS through DYNAMIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP and create SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH that anchors THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IMMEDIATE COMMUNITY AROUND THEM.
  • What these guys are most focused on is not a return on investment or profitability but rather how many other young people in Africa will be elevated out of poverty and given a better life because of your business.