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Why we Invested: Tendo, a digital platform dedicated to creating jobs for women 

Sep 21, 2023 | Why We Invested

Joshua Ebinabo War & Wairimu Gitahi 

Informal channels, like WhatsApp and Instagram, serve as a significant conduit for online commerce. This way of doing business has gained considerable traction, especially among the youth, owing to its minimal initial investment requirements. However, inventory costs still remain a concern. Women, in particular, are disproportionately affected by the challenge of securing loans to start businesses to improve their livelihoods. 

Launched in Ghana in 2021, Tendo, a one-stop shop for social media resellers, is addressing this problem, says Felix Manford, Co-Founder of Tendo. “There is a huge number of women entrepreneurs in Africa. They have wide and trusted social networks. In addition, they make some of the most important purchase decisions in the home. But, the irony is that even with these advantages, women are most disadvantaged when it comes to securing credit. A man is statistically more likely to get a loan from a bank than a woman. There’s such a wide gender gap regarding credit and income among women. We are solving this problem by giving them an opportunity to start a business with zero capital.” 

Tendo users can choose from a catalog of items to sell, access materials to market those items, and then take advantage of Tendo’s logistics offer to sell and deliver those goods to their customers. 

The Tendo platform can be accessed through the app, SMS, or website. Once registered through an easy and intuitive interface and a simple onboarding process, the reseller is ready to do business. No prior experience or capital is required. The next step involves finding items on the platform the reseller wants to sell and capturing photos and descriptions of items. They then showcase the materials on their social media accounts or other preferred channels, along with a price that includes a profit margin for themselves. When a customer purchases a product, Tendo pays the reseller and initiates the delivery process. “And there is an upside,” adds Manford. “If selling sneakers, for example, is not working out, the reseller can switch to another product and keep switching products until they find something that is working for them, without having to lock any capital in maintaining inventory.” 

About 70% of the resellers on the Tendo platform are women. Tendo works so well for women entrepreneurs in Africa because of the issue of trust. Apart from being good entrepreneurs, Tendo has observed that women have wide and trusted networks. In Africa, people don’t often trust brands or websites but are influenced by the people who resell products from these platforms, and women leverage this trust factor naturally. When a woman entrepreneur showcases a product, her network tends to have more confidence in its authenticity and quality. Therefore, through the platform, women are economically empowered.

“We’ve seen about 5% of our users take on this as a full-time job. These people are probably earning roughly $500 to $800 a month through the platform, which is a very good amount in Africa. So, the goal is to get most people to that level. But we understand that not everyone will want to take this full-time. Some will opt to do it as a side gig,” elaborates Manford.  

Tendo makes revenue in two ways: they charge a commission for those who list their products on the platform and also a fee on the products that resellers sell. The platform has approximately 1,500 resellers, reaching about 16,000 customers. 

Tendo has recently launched Duke Sell in Nigeria with support from Jobtech Alliance. This new product will enable suppliers in the Nigerian market to sell production via multiple channels. At the moment, they are selling through resellers, but the plan is to enable them to sell on multiple online marketplaces both locally and internationally, with the process being managed through the Duke Sell platform.Through Jobtech Alliance, we have understood the challenges suppliers face with existing e-commerce platforms and how we can solve these. The Alliance also helped us to re-design the app and also strategize on how we can increase the number of suppliers listed on our platform,” says Manford. Improving the supplier side of the platform will consequently increase the number of jobs in the whole value chain, including jobs for resellers. “Our vision is to ultimately create a million entrepreneurs over the next five years. That’s quite ambitious, nevertheless, we are committed to making it a reality,” adds Manford. 

At the moment, Tendo is located in Ghana and Nigeria. Eventually, the plan is to go live across West and East Africa. 


The Jobtech Alliance is an ecosystem-building initiative around inclusive jobtech in Africa launched in late 2021. We’re interested in digital platforms which connect people to work opportunities that build livelihoods – this includes gigmatching platforms, job matching, e-commerce marketplaces, and more. The Jobtech Alliance helps jobtech platforms to grow and create more jobs.


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