Starting a business in Africa comes with a host of unique challenges. The maize milling industry is no exception.


But, if you’re going to succeed, you need to start seeing challenges as opportunities. Read on to see if you have what it takes to start a milling business in Africa.


You need the right attitude to start a business

It’s widely known but not said often enough: success comes from a positive attitude in life and in business.


But how do you know if you have the right attitude to make a success of your milling business? Having the right attitude means you can tick the following boxes:


  • Drive and determination. You have to take initiative. You need high energy levels and a hunger for achievement.
  • Harbouring a fierce desire to succeed as well as forming a substantial, realistic and personal definition of exactly what success means.
  • The desire and aptitude to gather, interpret and prioritise information.
  • The courage to be decisive and assured (not arrogant) in your abilities.
  • An innate interest in the world and how it works. A yearning for learning.
  • Business intellect. The motivation and know-how to scan business environments for weaknesses, threats and opportunities.

Ability to implement plans when starting a new business

It’s all good and well to have a dream, but you must have the skills and resources to turn that dream into reality.


To win as an entrepreneur, you need to be a doer and not just a dreamer. This means having the resolve to leave your comfort zone and face the unknown. For this you need:


  • Communication skills. The ability to say what’s needed clearly and concisely.
  • Motivation and self-discipline. A willingness to work long hours whether you feel like it or not.
  • The ability to convince others to do business with you, be it partners, financiers, suppliers or customers.
  • Problem solving. Identify and define problems and challenges. First, determine the cause, then find, prioritise and select a solution and alternative solutions, before implementing these solutions.


This is just a basic outline of the characteristics entrepreneurs require to make it in business on the African continent.


For useful business tips, also download Roff’s The African Entrepreneur’s Ultimate Guide to Starting a Maize Milling Business.


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