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Power of partnerships: harnessing the strengths of other businesses to grow3 minutes read

Partnerships deepen ties between businesses and foster collaborations and longevity

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Power of Partnerships: Harnessing the Strength of Other Businesses to grow
Power of Partnerships: Harnessing the Strength of Other Businesses to grow. Photo source: Shutterstock

No business knows it all, just as one tree doesn’t make a forest, so it is important for businesses to come together in partnership so they can both gain. It is the most strategic way for businesses to scale their innovation and solve complex challenges. Collaborations and strategic partnerships – the keyword being strategic – are fundamental to improving business outcomes. 

Partnerships are beneficial to every business. The management team and employees will benefit from partnerships because they have the opportunity to broaden market share, relevance and increase visibility. Customers are not left out as they benefit from the strengths and offerings that the formation of partnerships produce. Employees equally get a chance to enhance their skills and have access to more developmental opportunities by being exposed to new perspectives. 

Why establish business partnerships?

Partnerships deepen ties between businesses and foster collaborations and longevity. In all, partnerships are key to improving service to customers by merging talent, expertise, technology and purpose.

Partnerships deepen ties and help businesses improve service offerings
Partnerships deepen ties and help businesses improve service offerings. Photo credit: Shutterstock

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How do you know when to form partnerships and how to create valuable partnerships? You need to identify the specific challenge that needs to be fixed. Businesses need to know what their customers want and then identify who to form an alliance with in order to provide an enhanced service.

How to establish partnerships

However, you need to be certain that your company is strong enough to form partnerships. One of the key ways of harnessing the strengths of other businesses is to lay out what each is bringing to the table and what each business is lacking either operational or otherwise and look for ways to collaborate on their individual strengths in order to grow.

Businesses looking to form partnerships must agree to work together towards a common goal. Establishing a clear goal of what the partnership aims to accomplish is key to the success of the partnership and the growth of the individual businesses involved. A good example is a partnership between Piggyvest and Landwey to facilitate ease of accessibility to land ownership for middle and low-income earners.

Meetings are important when deciding to foster a partnership
Meetings are important when deciding to foster a partnership with another organisation. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Another good example is Prospa’s partnership with Workstation. The workstation has a digital member network of distinctive people and companies to which they send helpful information – newsletters, events and press releases. Prospa has partnered with them on a few events and workshops to leverage their network of entrepreneurs in order to establish its digital banking accounts for businesses. 

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Recently, Flutterwave partnered with Worldpay; the collaboration between the two companies will allow Worldpay merchants in Europe and the United States to accept any African payment. These are examples of strategic partnership where each of the company leveraged on the strength and market share of the other to grow. 

Effective communication is another way to build a concrete partnership. Clear communication between partners must be established. Having a series of meetings to elaborate on partnership collaboration is key so as to understand the needs of both parties and what they hope to accomplish. Open and effective channels of communication will go a long way in establishing a successful partnership and subsequent business growth.

Partnerships are also a  way for businesses to gain access to untapped market segments and resources as well as create supply chain resilience. Strategic partnerships with reputable brands can put businesses in target communities where they were struggling to enter before.

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Absa Kenya signs almost 5 million customers on virtual platform

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Kenya’s Absa Bank , a part of South Africa’s Absa Group, has signed almost 5 million customers on its virtual banking platform, which it sees as a major driver for future growth, chief executive, Jeremy Awori announced yesterday.

When the bank first launched its virtual savings and loan app known as “Timiza” — Kiswahili for “Achieve” — in March 2018, it attracted 300,000 customers. By the end of the year it had 3 million users, with lending standing at 10 billion Kenyan shillings ($98.91 million).

The bank, formerly known as Barclays Kenya, also has a separate mobile-based banking service to process normal customer transactions such as deposits and withdrawals.

Absa Kenya, posted a pretax profit of 8.18 billion shillings in the first nine months of 2019, compared with 7.72 billion shillings in year-earlier period.

Kenyan lenders have in recent years , turned to technology as they try to counter competition from mobile phone-based financial services such as from telecoms operator Safaricom’s M-Pesa platform, which had 23.6 million users as of last September.

Absa’s virtual banking app’s competitors include those run by KCB Group’s, NCBA Group and Equity Group.

Pressure to use mobile banking services increased further when the government imposed a cap on commercial lending rates in 2016 that ate into bank profit margins forcing banks to search for new ways to grow their businesses. The cap was scrapped at the end of last year.

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Angola’s Former Leader Ordered $500 million Funds transfer

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In a statement that may help the defense of one of his sons who is standing trial for money laundering, Angolan President, Jose Eduardo dos Santos has disclosed that he ordered a $500-million transfer from the central bank to an overseas account before stepping down.

The former president’s two most high-profile children are under increased scrutiny from prosecutors probing how they amassed their wealth during their father’s 38-year rule.

While the 77-year-old former leader is immune from prosecution until 2022, his daughter, Isabel was named last month as a suspect in an investigation over alleged mismanagement at state oil company, Sonangol.

In 2018, his son Jose Filomeno, alongside former central bank Governor, Filipe da Silva and two others, were accused of crimes including participation in unlawful business, money laundering, embezzlement and fraud for the money transfer to a U.K. account in 2017. Their trial began in December last year.

According to Jose Eduardo dos Santos, the transfer was needed to set up a strategic investment fund and finance Angola’s ailing economy.

Former head of Angola’s $5 billion sovereign wealth fund, Jose Filomeno says the trial is politically motivated while the country’s former central bank governor, Filipe da Silva has denied any wrongdoing, saying he was just following presidential orders.

It was meant to be the first of three transfers totaling $1.5 billion.

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Air Zimbabwe fails to raise investment

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Zimbabwe’s troubled national airline has failed to secure outside investment, thereby dealing a blow to government plans to sell state-owned assets and secure much-needed revenue.

The airline, which in October 2018 was placed under administration, received expressions of interest from 10 international investors and had short-listed three bidders.

According to the airline’s administrator, Reggie Saruchera, a process to solicit for a strategic partner or investor was undertaken, but none of the parties that expressed interest and submitted bids were successful.

The airline also has an outstanding debt of about $370 million and Saruchera recommends that it be settled before seeking fresh investment. 

The national carrier also says it will lease out two Boeing 777 jetliners it bought from Malaysia Airlines in 2018 and has received nine bids for them.

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