Photograph — buzznigeria.com

MIN.ng is an online marketplace for made in Nigeria goods. The platform was inspired by the need for Nigerian-owned businesses struggling with the challenges of market access, low marketing budgets, and individual promotion to have a place where they can fulfill their potential.

Founded by Kelechi Ekegbe, MIN.ng offers a diverse and growing array of categories of products ranging from locally-made furniture, clothing, shoes, food items, and machinery, to raw materials such as leather, fabric, and soon-to-be added eco-friendly household items and gifts.

Ekegbe says that “The real story of today’s vibrant Nigerian economy will soon be witnessed through the diversity of its products. Every sale of every Nigerian-made product is a tangible step toward a re-definition of our national identity and the power of a Nigeria that sees itself at the forefront of a dynamic, emerging Africa.”

With a domestic market of 170 million, an economy of scale already exists. What the market needs is logistics, payment solutions, good technology, honest but original marketing, and some innovative communications. Ekegbe adds that MIN.ng has also identified select, key sectors well adapted for export to both international customers and our global diaspora. The company already has a partnership with an international logistics company. This partnership will enable MIN.ng to deliver to over 15,000 communities which a means of building a viable business model, reinforcing the confidence of customers, and expanding the outreach of home-grown Nigerian producers.

E-commerce in Nigeria has come a long way, but it is not there yet. One big challenge is convincing buyers to pay online instead of paying on delivery. To address some of these concerns and build trust, MIN.ng developed a trustworthy escrow service with the aim that that positive experiences will lead to repeat business. And as the network of products grow, and customer confidence grows, MIN.ng will grow too.

There are also other challenges which come with building a business in this part of the world, but challenges are merely invitations to be more creative, to work harder and think more creatively.

Entrepreneurs are not discouraged by bad news. The current economic situation can, in fact, be an opportunity for grow. There is now more demand for Made in Nigeria products than ever as MIN.ng is seeing visible growth on a monthly basis, according to Ekegbe. More people are coming to terms with the fact that Made in Nigeria is not synonymous with low quality. The present economic situation has prompted many Nigerian businesses to look inwards, focus on their strengths, and bootstrap for growth.

According to Kelechi Ekegbe, the plan is for MIN.ng to be to Nigeria what Alibaba is to China and Amazon is to the US.

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