Nigerian startup NigeriaExperts is offering users an online and offline directory of experts and professional across the country, offering business exposure and better access to skilled expertise.
Launched early this year, NigeriaExperts assists experts and professionals with their online marketing, after its founders realised most experts in Nigeria faced problems with lead generation and finding people in need of their expertise.
“This is why we came up with an unbeatable solution to the problems of lead generation and customer patronage through the introduction of our online and offline marketing services, a strategy that none or few have unlocked in Nigeria,” co-founder Mohammed Lawal told Disrupt Africa.
“99 percent of experts in Nigeria use conventional methods of marketing for their businesses, which are becoming obsolete in the changing world of today. Our model eradicates the gap between prospective clients that are in dire need of an expert’s service and these experts.”
The idea for NigeriaExperts was formed in December 2014, with Lawal spending a lot of time trying to convince friends to co-found the business. These efforts paid off, and the platform went live in January of this year.
Though online platforms for various purposes, such as Jumia and Lamudi, are well established in Nigeria, Lawal said there had been a gap when it comes to connecting users with experts such as artisans and consultants.
“Many of these experts have seen and heard of the impacts of the internet, and are eager to be part of this great invention, but no one has ever stood up to sooth their needs,” he said.
NigeriaExperts does just this, aiming to help experts in various areas gain exposure for their services but also assist Nigerians or residents of Nigeria in funding qualified personnel in various areas.
“For example a Nigerian or a foreigner who just moved to a new neighbourhood will find it difficult to find experts in their new environment,” Lawal said. “Such a person would have to walk around looking for experts. But with NigeriaExperts such constraint is breached.”
Though there are competitors in this space, such as Wesabi and Handwork, they are limited to the artisan space, with NigeriaExperts trying something larger and all-encompassing.
Lawal, who finances the whole of the business himself, said the fact a gap existed was evidenced by the growth the startup has seen in just a few months. It has almost 100 paying subscribers, and over 100 experts listed on the platform.
“We are operating towards being a powerhouse search engine for experts in Nigeria,” he said.
Offline, NigeriaExperts runs a monthly magazine showcasing experts, as well as publishing an annual experts directory, similar to the Yellow Pages. Online, there are plans to move away from simply a web-based service with the launch of a mobile app. Lawal also has plans to expand further across Nigeria.
“We are currently working out of Lagos and a part of Ogun state. However, we are planning to expand to Osun state come September and to the whole 36 states of the federation in the coming months,” he said.
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