So many businesses struggle to break through into the marketplace when they are launching new products and services. In Cote d’Ivoire, specialist help is at hand from entrepreneur Suzanne Mouelle, founder of Market’In Solutions, a division of Blessing Business Cote d’Ivoire.
LoA met with founder Suzanne Mouelle on a recent visit to Abidjan to find out more.
What does your company do?
We develop market and consumer insights-driven strategies, brand-building initiatives and communication solutions, for big and small businesses, to ensure their relevance and cultural fit.
What inspired you to start your company?
Many people want to get into the entrepreneurial space, with good ideas and wonderful locally-made products, but they don't know how to position themselves and enter into new markets or territories. Big international or local companies are increasingly turning to the African market, wanting to successfully launch products that are adapted to local habits, in order to secure sustainable growth; yet they don't know who to turn to, to get real insight and thorough market understanding at affordable costs.
“Many people want to get into the entrepreneurial space, with good ideas and wonderful locally-made products, but they don't know how to position themselves and enter into new markets or territories.”
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Entrepreneurs, big and small businesses should use our services because we combine an understanding of sub-saharan African socio-cultural / trading environment and digital marketing tools to offer tailor-made creative solutions that can accommodate their marketing and communications budgets.
Tell us a little about your team
As a Marketing Consultant, I coach a team of young college graduates who currently assist in desk/online research. They are curious and ambitious, eager to learn and to impact every assignment, with their fresh - untapped creativity.
“Entrepreneurs, big and small businesses should use our services because we combine an understanding of sub-saharan African socio-cultural / trading environment and digital marketing tools to offer tailor-made creative solutions that can accommodate their marketing and communications budgets.”
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I don't come from an entrepreneurial background at all; in fact, I discovered entrepreneurship very late… when I recently went back to school to do an MBA, after more than 15 years of corporate experience. I wanted to update my skills and remain relevant in the fast changing business environment. I fell in love with the subject of entrepreneurship and came to realize that it was my longing ever since I've finished school and started to work as a Marketing Professional. I just didn't know how I would get to it. My 'trigger' moment came when I resigned from a high profile job in a Multinational Telecom company to complete my field research for Dissertation submission. The topic of my dissertation was the 'Success factors of female African immigrant entrepreneurs in South Africa'. After interviewing powerful roles models such as Swaady Martin, founder of Yswara (from Cote d'Ivoire) or Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao, founder of Malee Cosmetics, I got bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, thinking if they started small and made it so big, it means I can do it too! Moreover, I learnt from many other female entrepreneurs about their hurdles and I'm making use of their stories, in encouraging other aspirant female African entrepreneurs to start and grow.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
I want to increase visibility and develop a good reputation for our company by helping entrepreneurs and business managers to build strong and competitive 'African' brands and businesses, with a local and international footprint. By delivering an excellent service which resonates with local and global consumer aspirations, we strive to make our clients successful, happy and proud. I expect Market’In Solutions to be this unique, African flavored, international marketing consultancy firm, which leverages African rich cultural heritage, evolving consumption habits and best practices, to 'wow' its customers and stakeholders.
“By delivering an excellent service which resonates with local and global consumer aspirations, we strive to make our clients successful, happy and proud.”
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Seeing a business owner / entrepreneur being amazed and happy about finding out how they should proceed to move their business/brand forward and doing it successfully, is a great and fulfulling accomplishment.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Don't be afraid to fail. The chances of failing are part of the innovation / product launch / market penetration... deal ! But don't stay alone, share your challenges with other entrepreneurs and learn from their mistakes/failures. When/if it happens to you, learn from it and get back up. Every one of us has fallen flat on our backs at times when trying to learn how to walk. Stick to your vision and dream, have faith ! You will get there.
Contact Market’In Solutions
Why LoA loves it….
There is a steely determination about Suzanne Mouelle which you see when you meet her, and it is a great asset to have as she harnesses all her expertise and experience to help her clients to create powerful business strategies. Suzanne is a powerhouse of advice and strategic marketing support, and her expanding client list is testimony to her success. This is definitely a niche marketing consulting company to watch in Cote d’Ivoire over the coming years. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa