Ananse, a startup ecommerce platform, launched in Johannesburg and Lagos on April 1, 2021, is partnering the Mastercard Foundation and logistics market leader, DHL, to roll out “the most comprehensive, pan-African ecommerce platform” to help creative entrepreneurs like fashion designers and artists to grow their businesses.
Ananse Africa is designed to showcase Africa’s rich and creative talent, as well as simplify international ecommerce payments and logistics for creative entrepreneurs on the continent.
“The Mastercard Foundation partnership with Ananse will enable African fashion brands to sell over one million garments over the next three years with 75 per cent sourced from African suppliers and 70 per cent participation from women.
“This will provide a significant boost to the creative economy sector,” said Mastercard Foundation’s Country Head, Nigeria, Chidinma Lawanson.
The platform will enable artists, fashion designers, artisans, and small businesses along the fashion and art value chains conduct trade and expand their businesses, leveraging the power of the internet in a cost-effective way.
With countries around the world imposing COVID-19 restrictions on physical retail and international travel, consumers are increasingly switching to online shopping, resulting in a sizeable decrease in the revenues of small businesses like tailors and fashion designers.
“We are not only making it easy for consumers around the world to shop from fashion designers and artists across Africa, but also making it straightforward for creatives to manage the payments and logistics functions necessary to complete an ecommerce order,” said the company’s founder, Sam Mensah, a Ghanaian ex-Silicon Valley executive and fashion entrepreneur.
According to him, Ananse provides creative merchants with full support, including production training, quality assurance, online payments, order processing, and packaging.
Speaking at the Ananse launch, Leendert van Delft, DHL Vice President for Global e-commerce, “For decades, we have pioneered solutions to meet the needs of artists, designers, retailers, and customers by making it our mission to provide these businesses with exceptional service that translates to a competitive edge.
“Through our collaboration with Ananse, we are delighted to offer fast and efficient international logistics solutions that have proven critical to countless startups over the years.”
Ananse also announced that it had formed a strategic media partnership with Trace TV to promote the work of African fashion designers, artists, and artisans to its millions of viewers globally.