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YALIVoices: Overcome Crises as a Business Owner by Following These 5 Steps
December 5, 2022

Guest blog writer Daniela Rakotomamonjy smiles for the camera wearing black and white.
YALI Network member, business owner, and nature preservation activist Daniela Rakotomamonjy.
A guest blog by 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow Daniela Rakotomamonjy from Madagascar.


In Madagascar, 91 percent of businesses have suffered significant losses and reduced revenue due to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 10,000 jobs have been affected, including many startups and small- and medium-sized enterprises that have had to close.

Uncertainties like the future evolution of the pandemic, war and conflict, elections, and limited budget resources compel entrepreneurs to continuously develop their business resiliency.

Here are five tips that may help:

1. Adapt, improvise, and overcome

Adapt your business strategy and operation to the new reality by being open to new opportunities and willing to step out of your comfort zone. If possible, use digital solutions and redefine your management strategy to reduce [overhead business] costs and increase opportunities.

2. Analyze, innovate, and create 

Analyze your “research and development” plan and continually think of ways to add value to your business. [Adding value to increase the worth of your business could include adding products or services, or other changes that improve your business value chain. Use the YALIEntrepreneurs Writing Your Business Plan workbook to get started.] Then, develop a spirit of innovation and creativity. Research technologies that can further develop your company. Brainstorm and innovate your products, activities, and services.

Onsite of Bee Mada, Daniela standing facing the camera and smiling. Her staff of twelve people face with their backs to the camera, highlighting their Bee Mada shirts.
Daniela onsite with staff at Bee Mada, her company specializing in reforestation, beekeeping, and fighting against hunger. This project was granted by USADF.
3. Address and diversify your finances  

Capitalize on revenue sources to address financial gaps, cash flow, and liquidity challenges. [Organizations like Opportunity Desk, Opportunities for Africans, and others often promote scholarships, grants, and other opportunities.]

4. Communicate with entrepreneurs in your network

Contact groups and associations of entrepreneurs. In times of crisis, solidarity and communication between entrepreneurs having the same challenges and threats can be beneficial. Sharing ideas, experiences, and opportunities, such as existing technical training and financial aid (banks, financial institutions, suppliers, etc.), can open doors for a way out of a crisis. [Entrepreneurs can access many online free education tools, such as the Kauffman Founders School, the Khan Academy’s  entrepreneurship series, and EdX.]

5. Get input from trusted mentors and professionals

Don’t hesitate to reach out to prospective mentors or connect with more experienced people in your area of expertise. 

Daniela Rakotomamonjy has over 11 years of experience in project development, business management and strategy, and public relations. She holds an engineering diploma in Environment and Tourism from the Superior Polytechnic College of Madagascar and a certificate in International Business Management from HEC Paris.

The views and opinions expressed here belong to the author or interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of the YALI Network or the U.S. government.