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?



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.


Hello everyone,

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

Thank you,

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

Hi Angelo,

Could you please send me your direct contact number?

New topic