It is common knowledge that the export industry drivers are dominated by large scale actors. Surprisingly, this could not be further from the truth. As all businesses, whether export related or not, had a beginning, a developing and developed stage.

So the export industry is not short of small scale beginners and aspiring exporters. As money has not been a determinant for venturing into export, but can be in terms of resources and capacity.

Before venturing into export at beginner or small scale level, one must consider the market, the products, and the prospect for international trade level. As market entry is a major restricting force that deters exporters from continuity. So securing buyers has remained a major challenge to most export industry actors.

When starting up an export business, there are types of export to be familiar with. With the major ones for beginners and small scale levels being Direct and Indirect export.

What is direct export 

Direct export involves selling to direct customers, intermediaries in foreign markets, importers of other countries and other major distributors. 

A preferable choice for the export industry large scale drivers, if the target market is readily accessible. And with adept experience in international trade, direct export also presents opportunities for high profits when the markets are properly chosen. Because it gives the exporters control over their businesses, helps them understand the foreign markets and discover other distribution connections.

Indirect export

This has to do with selling to intermediaries or other exporters in your country of residence, who must have secured foreign deals for supply of whatever goods the seller is contracted to sell. This is also not a good choice for those with services, and not products to sell. But for commodity owners who cannot afford to, or do not understand the rigors of the industry, this is a good way to start and grow.

Things to consider as a small scale or large scale beginner level exporter


There is so much untapped opportunity in the export industry. As this remains one of the industries that is less competitive. 

According to the world tourism organization, the record of tourists prior to the covid pandemic is over 1 billion. 

So with the growing number of travelers, either for research purposes, tourism, medical treatments, missionaries, volunteers and other travel related reasons, especially Africans abroad for educational purposes and greener pastures, foodstuffs, and other necessities are in high demand. Also, as a continent blessed with mineable and agricultural resources, pharmaceutical companies, food and beverage companies, researchers and major jewelers look to the African markets  for supplies of materials essential to their products and businesses.

Value of export

Exportation is of high value as they offer the exporters opportunities to a broader market, expansion and high profits as compared to local sales. 

The pricing also reflects the true value of net export of a country. Another major economic value is that, trade fosters diplomacy between countries. As it ensures the value of trade for all parties spending on goods and services.


Certain challenges come with the export industry players at all levels. But for beginners, just like other sectors, a significant amount of investment in the research market of the products or services, and reasonable market strategy is required.

Lack of experience and skill would lead to unavoidable loss. 

Difficulties breaking into the market, sourcing buyers and meeting up expectations at early stages are actually discouraging.

Domestic currency strengthening against the target market’s currency, remains a concern to be on the lookout for.

Representation of false interest of buyers by intermediaries are draining. Such misrepresentations can be a setback as the exporters might fall short of expectations set for their businesses.

Documentation, pricing, licensing and other major challenges even to large scale exporters, remains tasking to navigate.

Possible Solution to the challenges

It’s easier to begin your export journey at any level than you think. There are companies and individuals of repute who¬† proffers guide and support. With the help of mentorship programme, , Africa’s leading ecommerce export marketplace and commodity bank, not just connects local sellers to foreign buyers, but also provides support for various levels of it’s platform membership. From starter guide, international pricing, products sourcing, packaging, documentations, licensing and various other necessities. With a follow through mentorship, remains a commendable choice for various level exporters.

Leave a Reply