Bringing Ecommerce to the African Mass Market

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How can an ecommerce brand serve middle to low-income African consumers, even those that are offline or lack access to technology? Tracey Turner, Founder and Chair of Copia Global, is bringing e-commerce to the mass market in Africa and dives into the details of their approach. She shares the logistics of their unique model, how they have built consumer trust and insights into the market across Africa.

Tune in to learn:

  • Using a for-profit model for social impact (04:45)
  • Bringing ecommerce to the African mass market (10:00)
  • Copia Global’s impact (20:25)
  • The mindset needed to enter new markets (22:43)
  • The importance of earning customer trust in new markets (28:00)


About the Guest:


“Tracey is a renowned entrepreneur and seasoned business executive who has been involved in leading social businesses, social investing and international development for more than 25 years. She is particularly passionate about using the best of capitalism, the sharpest tool in the shed, to end global poverty.

Currently Tracey serves as Founder and Executive Chairman of Copia Global, which is bringing e-commerce to the African mass market starting in East Africa. In 2005 she founded and served as CEO of MicroPlace, a web-based brokerage service for everyday people to make social investments around the world. MicroPlace was acquired by eBay. At that time, Tracey also founded and chaired the Silicon Valley Microfinance Network, a 1,700 member organization that engaged Bay-Area people in the field of microfinance. 

Prior to MicroPlace, Tracey was part of the founding team and served as CFO of KickStart International, an organization that designs and sells products to the Base of the Pyramid. And in 1998, she founded her first company, 4charity, a web-based marketplace for charitable giving, where she served as CEO. Earlier in her career, Tracey held a variety of positions with socially responsible firms including the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, Calvert Ventures in Washington, DC and the World Bank in Kenya.

Tracey is a regular speaker at conferences and in the media. Her numerous leadership awards include Top 25 Women of the Web Award, San Francisco Business Times Leadership Award and a Working Woman Magazine Entrepreneurship Award. 

In her free time Tracey plays with her 3 nutty children (plus one furry lab). She served as President of the Foundation for Reed Schools and is highly involved in supporting democratic causes in the US. Tracey was one of Hillary’s top 100 fundraisers in the 2016 presidential election. She also loves to squeeze in an Ironman (x11) or marathon (x9) when she can. Tracey holds a degree in engineering and economics from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Stanford Business School.”

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Episode 274