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started a business up there

Hi all

My name is Virginia, i was born in Cape Verde and left when i was 3 years old to live in France with my parent, i am now living in the Uk.

I am really interested to open a small clothing boutique back home, I took the opportunity when i was there this summer to ask at the council which paperwork was needed but i wasn't given much information. Just what paper work  i would need to have a licence and how much it will cost.

I would like to import clothing from the Uk over there, i am trying to check online, and on the government website information about taxes and duty, custom whatsoever charge i would have to pay but it's not very clear. Or if the government gives any help or advantages for young people trying to build a business.

i would really appreciate if could give me some advises, helpful website.
If you have started a business up there, how did you do, how is it going?

regards

Virginia

Hi Virginia,

Although it is very easy to start a business (Casa de Cidadão) and obtain your operating license (Chamber of Commerce), there is almost NO compiled information or websites that explain it all in one place. It's really a shame because it discourages foreign investors.

The reason I have comprehensive knowledge of this is because I did a market study and helped a UK investor start a small clothing import business here. I have to tell you that boutiques in CV are not successful because there are too few local clients to purchase clothes at that price point. There are a massive amount of Chinese imports sold by Chinese proprietors. And the local street vendors flood the market with cheap, modern-style clothes (including a lot of brand fakes). Most of the clothing are bought by the youth and they want the latest hip-hop styles patterned after US brands. Plus there are lots of baby's and children's clothing sold (33% of the CV population is under 14 years old) but they are in the $2-$5 range. And worst of all, the local consumers do not like clothes from the UK! I don't know if it's the styling or something else that turns them off of British clothing.

The investor I worked with came into the right pricing point and attemptied to supply clothing to the street vendors who buy clothing by the barrel. They loved the price/quality but hated the style. He lost most of his investment. He did not actually listen to my advice. I told him to bring about 10% of the volume he imported just to test the market. But he brought the entire batch. All of his barrels are sitting in a warehouse and are unsellable.

Finally, if you still are inclined to test the market, the import duties and IVA total 25.5% of the value of the shipment including the cost of transport/freight. There are no exemptions.

I hate to discourage you with this particular idea, but my sense is that a boutique selling British clothing lines will not be a wise investment.

Angelo

Hello everyone,

A new topic has been created as from your post on the Cape Verde forum. :)

Thank you,
Christine
Expat.com

Hi Angelo

Thank you for your reply, well at the moment I would like to test the market, I have seen when I was there that there are few opportunities.
I have faith, and sometimes you never know until you try, I'm not expecting to earn millions but I would like to offer different modern style to the youth out there.
I have realised that their style are similar to the us and I think that's everywhere but it is actually what I will be more or less offering.
Anyway Thank you for your advices, it was really helpful.
Thank you
Regards
Virginia

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