The cost of doing business in Africa tends to keep foreign companies and investors out. African nations fall to the bottom of the Ease of Doing Business Index published by the World Bank. Fifteen out of the thirty most challenging business environments in the 2018 index were on the African continent. Flexible workspace providers could have a role in facilitating investments and commitments from the multinationals, as well as helping local entrepreneurs to invest and grow.
Both Google and P&G are now outsourcing at least a portion of their Africa workspace needs to Regus, according to Biz Community. Google now has fifty employees with Regus in Kenya. P&G has one hundred employees in the country. Assumed benefits include lower start-up costs, access to telecoms, access to usable meeting rooms and desk space, and lower risk long-term risk when testing new city markets.
Franchising is a relative newcomer to the flexible workspace industry. The IWG franchise model offers landlords, private equity firms, multi-brand franchise operators and high-net-worth individuals the option to buy into the flexible working market at attractive returns. African businesses are also using flexible workspaces, according to a recent survey by Regus. Seventy-one percent of business owners and managers surveyed pointed to flexible working as a perk that attracts top talent.