“Africa’s contribution to the creative industry, unfortunately, is negligible. While the continent has a deep pool of talent, it lacks the infrastructure and capacity to commercialize its creative talent and reap the vast fortunes that are lying in wait.” Says Martha, Creative Director at BE Africa Media.
“We want the creative industry to stop being a special industry but a sustainable career that can be invested in.” She continues to say
“There are huge risk factors when it comes to the creative sector, so we would like to be able to give support to the creative youth. We want to also show the value of collaborations. This generation is programed to see each other as competitors but we would like them to identify their competition as their next collaborators. We cannot accomplish all that we need to do without working together.” Says Martha
BE Afrika Media Ltd was started with the mission to support creatives and play it’s part in building the industry. They are a content creating company that works as a creative collaboration, focusing on building brands and the creative sector in Africa. They have an interest in identifying, empowering and ensuring that creatives have an enabling environment to support their talent. The creative generation and creative sector has made huge strides in its contribution to Africa’s economy, and BE Africa Media would like to promote that.
We got to catch up with the founders Marita Paulina & Rina Maria who are in the Traction Camp program, an accelerator program the iHub and World bank. Check out what they had to say below…
How does BE Africa Discovered work?
BE Afrika- Discovered is published monthly online by BE Afrika Media Ltd. It provides a platform for those in the creative economy to collaborate, share and innovate while exposing them to influential brands and providing opportunities. Be Discovered isn't just a magazine, but a platform that supports creatives through visibility and information they wouldn't normally find easily. Our goal is to turn the digital magazine into a resource that is easily accessible, diverse and does not discriminate no matter the location, person and financial position. Hence why it is free to view.
How have you managed to build a successful customer base?
We are an online company so we focus our resources on social media platforms. We are a magazine and a content creating company, the most important thing before going into marketing the product is making sure that we have creative, edgy and relevant content that connects not only to our target market the young creative but to those with an artistic eye. We build a product that appeals to industry disruptors, rebels, trendsetters and curators.
What is unique about BE Africa Media?
We are shaping BE Afrika Discovered into 'the' creative magazine which is a hub for collaboration, a source of creative information and a platform for creative Africa, well known in its only identity as a creative platform, read by many, a resource to more and a credible source for information that would benefit even more creatives and curators. Organizations that support the creative industry in Africa can use it as a tool to distribute information and to launch other programs and projects.
What kind of culture exists in your organization?
Teamwork and collaboration. We all have different set skills and those we don't have we invite to work with us. We have a work as a village mindset, which was not easy to establish. You have to find creatives who are always keen to develop their skills through working with others.
What’s most exciting about your traction to date?
We have over 20,000 impressions on the magazine. Our readers noticed the improvements we make from one magazine to the other and they are responding positively. However, our most treasured accomplishment is having creatives trust us with their work and stories. They come on board as mentors to teach those that are coming up in the industry.
How do you measure success?
Obviously by the number of people who click on our magazine to read it, as well as the creatives who join us each month. When you start out it can be difficult for people to trust that you will represent them in a way that will meet their own interests as well as the organization'.
If you had the chance to start your business over again, what would you do differently?
Two things I learnt, trust your first instinct and no one can represent you better than yourself. Handle the business yourself. You are the one who came up with the concept so only you can do it justice. It's okay to ask for help but don't have a proxy. It's your dream, your goal and no one will work for it harder and better than you.
What will your startup look like in 5-10 years if things went according to plan.
We want to start hosting creative conversations as well as a mentorship hub. We also have different plans coming up for the next 3 years, and will be announced when we launch them. Our success relies heavily on us taking advantage of digitization and the growth of the creative industry. According to the research carried out by Florian Grone and Olaf Acker of Strategy PwC: The vast majority of all growth generated in today's creative industries is digital. Depending on the sector, the non-digital part of the business is generally stagnating or even shrinking, but the overall revenue picture is strong. All of the sectors have one thing in common: The digital side of the business is growing, enabling growth for the creative sector overall. This growth is primarily driven by direct consumer payments, underlining the point that consumers continue to be willing to pay for creative content. Furthermore, overall employment in the creative industries has been stable over the past 10 years, whether that is despite digitization or (more likely) because of it. Finally, digitization has significantly benefited consumers: Access to creative products and services has increased, and so has consumers' use of them.
How do you develop talent? How do you help your team grow to the next level and be their best.
We work with one major goal in mind, Discovering & Connecting Creatives and Collaborating. We are a learn from your neighbor kind of organization. There are some skills you can't find in a book, however, they are easily accessible at no cost from the person working with you or beside you.
What do you love about your team, and why are you the ones to solve this problem?
We don't always get to work with the same team each month. That means we are exposed to different minds each day and it's an incredible experience. Diversity, is a problem we easily solve through collaboration. Different thoughts, skills and techniques help people adapt quicker and grow better. Both in terms of interpersonal skills and technical skills. Also diversity is important when it comes to connecting with consumer. Diversity is now a strategic imperative to achieve authentic communications between brands and consumers.This becomes the trust gate through which all authentic marketing will walk through, leveraging technology to create and express genuine human moments. Diversity enhances creativity and innovation. This is important in creating an ad that would build a positive brand and consumer relationship.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Have a solid plan. Ideas are great but don't just let them simmer. Plan your idea, what you hope to gain from it and how it will grow. Make decisions yourself, you are your best asset.
You can check out the magazines here; https://issuu.com/bediscoveredmag share the link with your friends. BE Africa Discovered is always looking for a story to tell, knowledge to share and skills to collaborate with.