Internet entrepreneur and digital strategist Nubi Kay, who is currently working with Accenture and on Travel Bay, takes us through a number of ideas of ways which Africa’s mobile and digital economy can disrupt industries across the continent.
The word ‘disrupt’ is one tech entrepreneurs have gotten used to and find it so easy to throw out every now and then that it has become quite difficult to know what startup ventures will really disrupt industries.
Perhaps the most convincing definition of a disruptive idea is one by Clayton M. Christen, where it is more about making a product or service more accessible and affordable to a larger market.
That said, I have come up with six startup ideas that, ceteris paribus, will disrupt Africa. I am sharing five of them in this article as I’m currently working on the last one – Travel Bay, to launch soon. So let’s get started.
- PharmaFinder (Health) – The idea here is to help users find pharmacies easily. From the app people should be able to get location, opening times, of pharmacies near by and also contact via SMS if they are stocked on the prescription. This can scale to cover other health and fitness services including hospitals, gyms, etc.
- Taxiconomy (Transportation) – This is ride-share service that typically turns anyone with a car on a regular route give rides to other people going the same way. Not to be confused to the conventional taxi service or even Uber, Taxiconomy equips a car owner with the tools to contribute to a greener planet – less cars on the road, and generate extra income at the same time.
- MicroMobi (Education) – Mobile learning (micro courses) offered via mobile web/app. We are increasingly consuming information in smaller packets today and thus the need to break things down to the very minimum knowledge block e.g. how to do division or how to knit and offer simple steps, examples, real life application, tests/games, and certification points.
- HandyHelp – Perhaps the closest startup to this is the UK’s based Hassle.com, that connects users to home cleaners. HandyHelp on the other hand gets you connected with verified and recommended handymen/women to help with local chores and errands.
- mediaRT (Arts & Culture) – This is a crowdfunding platform for local artists to publish art that can be printed on any media including clothing, stationery, household items, frames, utensils/cutlery, wallpaper etc for sale. A royalty/commission model is applied for revenue share between the platform and artist.
There you have it. These industries – health, education, transport, blue collar, arts and culture, and travel – are set to be disrupted so more Africans and even the global market have better access and can afford tailored products and services.
I’d like to read your thoughts on this and any other ideas you’re working on or think can disrupt Africa.