While Africa has unanimously been pegged the new frontier, with foreigners from various parts of the world looking to see how they can cash in, they better keep their sights on African entrepreneurs, such as 27-year-old Fabienne Dervain (pictured), who is looking to compete head to head with outside competition.
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With several top-tier American businesses, such as Uber and Facebook, expanding in to Africa, Starbucks announced that it would be joining the expansion last July.
And while coffee isn’t currently the beverage of choice for most Africans — even though it was discovered in Ethiopia during the 9th century — Starbucks is hoping to change that preference around.
However, before Starbucks can become the coffee of choice in Africa, Dervain, based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, hopes she can beat them to it with her own homegrown coffee shops.
As the owner of Couleur Cafe (pictured), Dervain has seen her entrepreneurship dream turn into a reality.
“I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I didn’t know I would have been one so early.”
Dervain started her business with $60,500 of her personal savings and some family support.
In addition to opening the store, the funds helped her to purchase the heavy equipment needed for her enterprise as well as refurbishing.
And she is making headway.
While she initially began Couleur Cafe with one employee, now her business, which she says she invests 100 percent of her profits in to, has been able to add six more employees.
But as with any endeavor, establishing her business hasn’t been easy.
“Being a woman, young entrepreneur in this country is very difficult. People tend not to respect you, and people tend not to take you seriously.
“They think you are like an amateur or just joking and having fun.”
Still, Dervain refuses to allow gender and age discrimination to hold her back. In fact, she hopes her presence will inspire other females to get in to business.
“I definitely think I can be a role model to women, because I dared to start my business, and I’m here, I’m staying, and I’m going to develop my business.”
As for her future plans, Dervain is looking to expand her dream by giving her international competition a run for their money.
“I actually want to become the Starbucks of Africa. I have a big vision for the next five years.”
They better watch out!
Watch Dervain make good coffee here:
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