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Your best business development ideas in Madagascar

Hi everyone,

As a foreign entrepreneur, launching a business in Madagascar is a fantastic project and an exciting challenge. Some ideas are likely to succeed. Some others are promising but may not work as well as intended.

In your opinion, what kind of business or industry is likely to succeed in Madagascar? What kind of industry or service currently unavailable or underdeveloped in the country would meet local needs?

On the other hand, what are the most common business types foreign entrepreneurs would be eager to launch in the country but with very little chance of success?

Thank you for your insights.
Priscilla

Unfortunately, my visa does not permit me to work here. However, several years ago, during a period of unemployment, I noticed that there were very few cyber cafés, and none that printed digital photos. My house is located near a few tourist hotels, and I thought it was a great opportunity, given that I had a photo-capable printer and other necessary hardware, but my wife did not want me to set up a kiosk in front of the house. Too bad. The local finance dept of the govt gave me a permit, ignoring the limitations of my visa. The project never took off, and I formally cancelled it with the finance dept, but while I was away on contract in Afghanistan, I received a call from my wife: the finance dept was threatening to put her in jail if I did not pay certain "taxes".  I told her where to find the cancellation letter, and it was settled.

My situation was similar to Lilibuster. About 6 years ago during the coup government, they insisted I start some form of business and to regroup with my family was not enough to obtain my resident papers as before , think about that and the importance of family.  It was a political move by the coup government which is another story.

I was guided by local members of government to start a business of which was a small street store from my house. This was Mahajanga and each town has it own twist to the rules.
Once I received my resident card, I would be able to declare bankruptcy.

So 6 months later I closed the business. Two years later officials from the tax office came looking for money. 
Even though all my documents of closure was documented two years prior, I had to show my records.  It was their hope I could not provide documents so they could squeeze me out of money.

Lesson here is to make sure you keep all your documents and make copies as well, for proof of your history of activities here in Madagascar.  They also threaten prison time if money is not paid along with penalties.

Generally speaking, Indians have stores for auto parts, hardware stores, and Chinese have stores for clothes and restaurants and vasaha has travel agencies and bars/discos.
Mom and pop hotels are  Malagasy some Indians, bus owners are Malagasy and Indian generally speaking.
Labor, small stores, selling on street, taxi pousse-pousse, tuk tuk is done by the majority of the Malagasy population and to difficult for Vasaha for Vasaha is considered to fragile.

I have had my business in the USA for 40 years which i am closing and have opened up my own Madagascar NGO for education and am learning internet business which is more of a business without borders.

The above if done by individuals, when we are talking large hotels then they are done by corporations  and larger societies and groups of people on an international scope.

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