E-Commerce company Appletree Digital Commerce, today unveiled the Taking One Million African Traders Online Movement (TOMATO)- its innovative solution to the lack of opportunities for the youth across Africa. Mr. Nigel Daura, Managing Director of Appletree Digital Commerce, said: “We came across some alarming statistics which inspired us to think differently about how we could provide practical solutions to help young Africans to realize their entrepreneurial potential.
According to The African Development Bank’s – The High 5 Jobs for Youth in Africa paper; Africa is home to 1.2 billion people while 36 out of the world’s 40 youngest countries, are in Africa. Of the 1.2 billion people living in Africa; 420 million are youths aged between 15 and 35. The continent’s youth population is projected to double and to be over 850 million by 2050. In addition it is projected that 10 – 12 million youth enter the workforce each year. While the existing business models can’t sustain the projected growth in Africa’s young population the internet offers a vast number of opportunities which we can gainfully exploit. There are only 3 million formal jobs created annually – showing the need to teach Young Africans to think entrepreneurially and take firm and deliberate steps to support small businesses.
According to The World Bank in its Exploring the Relationship between Broadband and Economic Growth paper; growth follows the internet; and studies reveal that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita growth is 2.7 to 3.9 percent higher after the introduction of broadband. In developing nations, a 10-percentage point increase in broadband reach, translates to a 1.35 % increase in GDP. Where it doesn’t create whole new businesses, broadband connectivity can lower costs and increase returns.
In response to this; Appletree Digital Commerce has partnered with technical partners that are market leaders in their sectors from around the world to create a digital ecosystem with which they aim to Take at least One Million African Traders (SME Retailers) Online. They estimate that for an SME to setup an e-commerce solution that will actually deliver results it will cost about USD 5,000. Most African SME’s cannot afford that; so it is in that light that they have set an ambitious goal to raise USD5 Billion, within the next 10 years to allow them to give 1 million African SME’s USD5,000 grants in the form of e-commerce solutions. As a first step, with the co-operation of Zimbabwean selfless individuals and businesses that support the vision; they have put together “The Africa’s Best Jobs Crowdfund Prize Draw” (www.Tomato.africa) whose goal is to raise USD 263 Million while at the same time creating opportunities for 38 lucky individuals which will be life changing.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) in partnership with the European Commission have indicated that the African e-commerce market could benefit by around $14.5 billion if the number of women selling on online platforms achieves parity with men. Through additional training and financial support for female sellers; the sector would expand. “It is to try and plug some of these challenges and offer solutions that TOMATO has come into being today,” said Nigel Daura.
THE GRAND PRIZE IS MADE UP OF THE FOLLOWING:
i. Fully Furnished Home in the Exclusive Section of Harare’s #1 Postcode
ii. An 11 Bedroomed Guest Lodge with Restaurants + USD 250k Working Capital
iii. Brand New Toyota Land Cruiser Prado
iv. Brand New Toyota Hilux Xtra Cab
v. Low Mileage Yellow Lamborghini Gallardo
THERE ARE 37 MILESTONE PRIZES:
i. Brand New Fully Furnished Apartment in an Upmarket Cluster Development
ii. Brand New Toyota Hilux Xtra Cab
iii. USD 25k Salary for a year working for Appletree Digital Commerce learning about E-commerce
iv. USD 25k Capital to setup own e-commerce business
For every USD 20 contributed to the Crowdfund the contributor will be rewarded with 4 MP3’s Hit Songs by Local Artists Tafadzwa, Mwenje Mathole and Masa Caroleen + an Entry into the Draw.
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