Berlin-based start-up brings upcoming African brands to the European market

Berlin-based start-up brings upcoming African brands to the European market
2020. November
Business Collaboration Sustainability
Unlocking the potential of impact-driven African enterprises

The coolest and most exciting brands from the African continent will be available on the European market, thanks to German online retailer, MANUYOO.

The company aims to provide an innovative, sustainable and inspirational marketplace that promotes local manufacturers from all 55 African countries. Their first range of available products includes running shoes, beauty products, palm liqueur, chocolates – all representing mission-driven entrepreneurs.

Jan-Marc Lischka , Founder, MANUYOO

"We want to sell brands that cannot be found in any European shop.

These products are far away from the usual Africa clichés.

We believe in the trade, not aid philosophy which allows these small scale business to grow stronger and create value on multiple levels”, says Jan-Marc Lischka , founder of the online retailer platform, MANUYOO.

"We are in close contact with our partners on the field, and we know the personal stories, the plans and dreams behind these young brands", says Lischka.

The recently launched MANUYOO platform also works with industry experts, trendsetters and influencers to bring new products to the online store.

Beside the actual online selling point, they provide extra communication opportunities to their partners to share their story through digital channels and a self-published magazine with insights on production, people and impact.

The MANUYOO team has launched an online crowdfunding campaign in September 2020, intending to introduce their first range of products and raise capital to improve the online shopping experience for their customers.

According to their plans, pop-up stores will follow shortly, and the product range will grow step by step.

“We strive to offer a great variety of products as we want our customers to discover something new with MANUYOO continuously", says Lischka.

'Africa your time is now' - Fashion for mission statement

The financing target with their campaign on Startnext for the first round is 15,000 euros, which will be used to expand the online shop and prepare next products for market launch.

Almost reaching their target before the closing round proves that there is a segment of customers who want to join the movement and willing to pay for these high-quality, value-driven brands.

The team has set out the second round of fundraising to expand their offers by involving more enterprises and gain more ground on the European market.

Female led cosmetics manufacturer in Ghana - Kaeme brand

One of MANUYOO's first partners is Kaeme, a cosmetics manufacturer in Ghana.

The small enterprise processes Shea Butter and Black Soap, Ghana's traditional skin care products. Company founder Freda Obeng-Ampofo and her small team manufacture the products themselves, the raw materials come from a women's cooperative in Ghana's north.

Obeng-Ampofo wants to make Kaeme a world-famous brand, which will be on the shelves next to the global cosmetic brands.

"Kaeme will be a success story that will change the image of Ghana, and the image of Africa for the better", says, Obeng-Ampofo.

She adds that the cooperation with MANUYOO is a huge opportunity for Kaeme to gain a foothold in the European market.

" We want a paradigm shift in our relations with Africa.

For us, Africa is a continent of new beginnings, of innovation, of opportunities. A continent with courageous, imaginative, committed entrepreneurs.

Our goal is to trade with them at eye level in a fair and transparent manner.” says Lischka about why they started MANUYOO together with four colleagues.

"We aim to make it easier for African manufacturers to access the European market – which would be out of reach for single entrepreneurs - and present their products attractively”, says Lischka.

According to MANUYOO, currently, the trade between EU countries and countries of Africa is unbalanced.

A good 70 per cent of EU exports to Africa are industrial goods. In contrast, industrial goods account for only seven per cent of EU imports from African countries, and more than 65 per cent of EU imports from Africa are unprocessed raw materials.