Profitable business ideas in Côte d’Ivoire | Sound Business Opportunities

Côte d’Ivoire, also known as Ivory Coast, is a West African country with a population of about 26.3 million people and a GDP of $58.8 billion in 2020. The country has a rich cultural and natural heritage, with diverse landscapes, wildlife, and attractions. Côte d’Ivoire is also one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, with an average annual growth rate of 7% between 2012 and 2019.

Côte d’Ivoire offers many opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors who want to tap into its potential and emerging markets. Some of the benefits of doing business in Côte d’Ivoire include a stable political and security environment, a strategic location and access to regional markets, a favorable business climate and legal framework, a young and dynamic workforce, and a growing middle class and consumer demand.

If you are looking for profitable business ideas in Côte d’Ivoire, you will find a wide range of options across different sectors and industries. Whether you want to provide services, sell products, or create solutions, there is something for everyone in this promising and vibrant economy.

In this article, we will explore some of the best business ideas to start in Côte d’Ivoire in 2023, based on market trends, customer needs, and competitive advantages.

Profitable business ideas in Côte d’Ivoire

Below are some profitable business ideas in Côte d’Ivoire for 2023.

1. Electric motorbikes:

This is a potential business opportunity for urban centres in Africa, where motorbikes are a popular mode of transport. Electric motorbikes can offer a cleaner and cheaper alternative to traditional fuel-powered ones, and also have positive implications for the environment and health.

2. Affordable housing:

This is a fundamental business opportunity that addresses the significant and untapped demand for housing in Africa, especially in Kenya. Affordable housing options can cater to different segments of the population, such as students, singles or low-income families, and offer a mix of price and quality that can generate attractive returns for investors.

2. Tourism-related businesses:

This is a promising business opportunity that can benefit from the government’s strategy to make Côte d’Ivoire the fifth biggest tourism destination in Africa by 2025. The strategy involves nine flagship projects that require a $5.8-billion investment, and aims to create 375,000 direct jobs and 1.3 million indirect jobs in the sector. Tourism-related businesses can include hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, tour operators, souvenir shops, etc.

What are some successful start-ups in Côte d’Ivoire?

Some of the successful start-ups in Côte d’Ivoire are:

1. Molotov:

Molotov is an over-the-top (OTT) distribution platform that revolutionizes access to television programs from more than 220 content publishers and television channels. The start-up was founded in 2015 and has raised $34.5 million in Series B funding.

2. Djamo:

Djamo is a challenger bank for consumers in French-speaking Africa. The start-up offers a mobile app that allows users to open an account, send and receive money, pay bills, and access other financial services. The start-up was founded in 2019 and has raised $14.1 million in venture funding.

3. Afrikrea:

Afrikrea is a platform to discover, buy, and sell African fashion, arts, and crafts. The start-up connects more than 7,000 sellers from 47 African countries with buyers from over 170 countries. The start-up was founded in 2013 and has raised $8.2 million in seed funding.

4. Julaya

Julaya is a fintech start-up that provides a digital account to African entrepreneurs. The start-up enables users to make bank transfers, mobile money transfers, and access other financial services through its app. The start-up was founded in 2018 and has raised $7.6 million in seed funding.

5. StarNews Mobile:

StarNews Mobile is a mobile content platform that allows celebrities and brands to monetize their fan bases. The start-up offers exclusive video content from local and international stars, as well as news, sports, and entertainment. The start-up was founded in 2017 and has raised $2.5 million in seed funding.

How can I start my own business in Côte d’Ivoire?

To start your own business in Côte d’Ivoire, you need to follow these steps:

1. Choose the type of company you want to set up

The options include Limited Liability Company (SARL), Limited Company (SA), Partnership (SNC), and Limited Partnership (SCS).

2. Hire a notary for the setting up of your company

The notary will help you draft the statutes of your company, verify the identity and capacity of the partners, and authenticate the documents. The notary fees vary depending on the type and capital of the company.

3. Open a bank account

You need to open a bank account in which you will deposit the capital of your company. You need to provide the identity cards or passports, resident cards, and proof of address of the founders and associates.

4. Register at the CEPICI.

The CEPICI is the Center for Investment Promotion in Côte d’Ivoire, which is a one-stop shop for business creation. You need to submit the following documents at the CEPICI: a copy of the statutes of your company, a copy of the receipt of deposit of capital, a copy of the identity cards or passports of the founders and associates, a copy of the lease contract or proof of ownership of the premises, and a declaration of non-conviction.

5. Obtain a company stamp.

You need to obtain a company stamp from a specialized agency, which costs about 5,000 CFA francs.

6. Create an initial notary draft of your statutes with proof of paid-up capital.

You need to present this document to the notary who will finalize it and register it at the tax office.

7. Deposit your paid-up capital

You need to deposit your paid-up capital at a bank or an approved financial institution, and obtain a receipt that proves the deposit.

8. Register with a one-stop shop and legal notice publication

You need to register your company with a one-stop shop that will issue you a business license, a tax identification number, and a social security number. You also need to publish a legal notice of your company creation in a newspaper or online.

9. Create a company seal

You need to create a company seal that will be used for official documents and contracts.

The whole process can take less than 24 hours if you have all the required documents and information ready.

What are some of the most promising sectors in Côte d’Ivoire?

Some of the most promising sectors in Côte d’Ivoire are:

1. Agriculture and agro-processing:

Côte d’Ivoire is the world’s leading producer and exporter of cocoa and cashew nuts, and also produces significant amounts of coffee, rubber, palm oil, cotton, and tropical fruits. The country has a natural resource endowment that can support a wide variety of crops, and a potential to diversify and add value to its agricultural products.

According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), some of the priority sectors for diversification and domestic value addition could be cashew, cotton, horticulture, rubber, and palm oil.

2. Energy:

Côte d’Ivoire is a net exporter of electricity in West Africa, with an installed capacity of about 2,200 MW, mostly from thermal and hydro sources. The country has an ambitious plan to increase its capacity to 4,000 MW by 2030, and to achieve universal access to electricity by 2025.

The country also has opportunities to develop renewable energy sources, such as solar, biomass, and wind. According to the World Bank, the energy sector offers opportunities for private sector participation in generation, transmission, distribution, and off-grid solutions.

3. Digital economy:

Côte d’Ivoire has a dynamic and growing digital sector, with a high mobile penetration rate of 126%, and an increasing internet penetration rate of 38%. The country has invested in improving its digital infrastructure and connectivity, and has adopted a national strategy for the development of the digital economy.

The country also has a vibrant start-up ecosystem, with several incubators, accelerators, and innovation hubs. According to the World Bank, the digital economy offers opportunities for private sector development in areas such as e-commerce, fintech, e-government, e-education, e-health, and e-agriculture.


What are the costs of starting a business in Côte d’Ivoire?

The costs of starting a business in Côte d’Ivoire depend on the type and capital of the company, as well as the fees for legal and professional services. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report, the average costs are as follows:

  • Notary fees: These vary from 120,000 CFA francs for a Limited Liability Company (SARL) with a minimum capital of 1 million CFA francs, to 3% of the capital for companies with a capital of 3 to 9 million CFA francs.
  • Bank account opening fees:These range from 10,000 to 25,000 CFA francs, depending on the bank and the type of account.
  • Registration fees at the CEPICI: These amount to 30,000 CFA francs for all types of companies.
  • Company stamp fees: These are about 5,000 CFA francs for a company stamp from a specialized agency.
  • Legal notice publication fees: These vary from 15,000 to 50,000 CFA francs, depending on the newspaper or online platform chosen¹.
  • Company seal fees: These are about 10,000 CFA francs for a company seal from a specialized agency.

The total cost of starting a business in Côte d’Ivoire is estimated at 6.5% of income per capita for men and women². The paid-in minimum capital requirement is 0% of income per capita for all types of companies.

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