How To Start a Local Stationery Production Business

Writing is the foundation of all learning and has remained one of man‘s oldest but most essential learning aids. To remember what we have been taught, we must write. Little wonder a significant chunk of human knowledge is stored in written text, and not in our brains.

As a result, paper exercise books, writing pads, text books, pencils and ball pens are just a few of the most basic and invaluable tools used in the business of education. Both students and teachers have a natural need to take notes. Without these tools, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to impart any education.

Every year, parents, teachers, students, schools, NGOs and governments across Africa spend millions of dollars on stationery supplies that are used across primary, secondary and tertiary schools on the continent. The demand for stationery (especially paper exercise books, text books and pens) is currently many times higher than local supply in many African countries. As a result, over 60 percent of Africa‘s stationery needs are met by imports from China, India and Europe.

Business Concept

The opportunities in Africa‘s stationery market include local publishing and manufacture of stationery items and imports from low production cost companies, especially in Asia.

We believe that the real profit for you lies in manufacturing stationary material locally. You could pioneer in promoting the recycling of paper, collect it, and make some of your stationary out of recycled material if this is cost-effective for you.

Niche Ideas

 Green‘ stationery, such as books made from recycled paper, would be a good attraction.
 Produce stationery with an African theme, design and style that stands out from the Western-styled products on the market.

Top Countries & Policy Guidance

This would work in any African country where you find a vibrant or far-stretching educational system, as long as you do not have any major competitors lined up locally when starting your business. Countries such as North Sudan or Congo, for example, which are less popular business targets, may prove to be great destinations for this kind of business.

Action & Tips

 The Ministry of Education, universities, and the Chambers of Commerce and Industry are good starting points to find out more about the stationary market in a specific country. Simply call them up or drop in to find more out about the gaps, challenges, and opportunities in the market. And interview as many students, company administrators, and households as possible about their stationary needs.

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