A Business Model for Africa- Does it Exist and if so, what is there to Consider? An Examination of Current Knowledge about Business Models in and for African Countries.

Stefanie Wedenig

Student thesis: Master thesis


As part of its engagement in international development cooperation, the Österreichische Entwicklungsbank OeEB (Development Bank of Austria) runs the Austrian-African SME Investment Facility (AAIF), through which it does not only provide finance for Austrian and European small and medium-sized enterprises who want to establish business activities in Africa, but also advises firms regarding the setup of a suitable business model for the undertaking. This advisory service proves difficult because the bank lacks sufficient insights and knowledge about business models in and for African countries, and furthermore is unsure to what extent such knowledge exists. With the aim of investigating the issues faced by the bank, the present research intends to generate an overview of the extent and content of existing research and knowledge about business models in and for Africa and attempts to answer the guiding research question: Does a Business Model suitable for and deployable in Africa exist yet, and if so, what are the main aspects to consider about its design and implementation? To do so, a Systematic Literature Review complemented by a short case study serve as research strategies, whereby primary and secondary data of mainly qualitative nature was collected, analyzed, and synthesized. Findings show that there are various business models in place in African countries and industries, and they have commonalities irrespective of their specific context. This fact allows to point out some important aspects to consider regarding the design and implementation of business models in and for African countries and to derive a preliminary conceptual framework in the form of a generic business model for African countries, as well as a set of implications and recommendations for business model practice and research.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture - Business and Development Studies, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages120
SupervisorsHenrik Johannsen Duus