Thursday, 30 April 2009

Emerging Great Lakes market for waterproof structures and related equipment

Demobilisation and repatriation continues apace in the Great Lakes region, as reported on the IRIN UN news website here. There are obvious requirements for materials and homes for the people involved, as well as for internally displaced people who often live in poor quality housing. Here is a report describing shortages among individuals and organisations.

It looks like an opportunity for an entrepreneur to seize the market. Labour will be in abundance and therefore cheap (albeit requiring training), and there may be a short term burst of economic growth that often follows the end of conflict. Profits could be higher still during the period as they are residuals equalling income minus costs (profits were found to be very high even during the Burundian conflict in a UNIDO report, for those companies that survived). Recent trade agreements open up economies throughout the region. For an entrepreneur able to undercut international prices (and the cost of getting heavy equipment to the region is not trivial), they could capture much of the market.

Potential entrepreneurs may wish to familiarise themselves with the designs of their leading international competitors here, here, and here (searches for waterproof tents - searching gives designs for other equipment).

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