MBL Enterprises & Trading – Trading Commodities from Africa

MBL Enterprises & Trading is an independent commodity trading company that help manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers get the raw materials or products they need for their business at the most competitive price. The company is currently based in Charlotte, North Carolina and does business throughout Africa and other parts of the world.

Here is an interview with the founder of MBL Enterprises & Trading, Mamadou Bocar Ly who’s part of the Africans Building Africa movement.

  1. Tell us about yourself and your organization
My name is Mamadou Bocar Ly, I was born in Guinea and raised in Senegal. After my baccalaureate I moved to the U.S to pursue a degree in finance and operation/supply chain management at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. When I graduated I had an opportunity to start a career in financial advising with Mass Mutual, but I decided to choose the entrepreneurship route at the last minute.
I founded MBL Enterprises & Trading LLC (www.mblentradllc.com) in 2015, a commodity trading company based in Charlotte with a focus on emerging markets. We work as a bridge between US consumers and emerging markets (Africa, Central/South America, Asia). 
  1. How much did you need to start your organization and how were you able to raise that capital? 

I started with a $5,000 capital which I raised with savings and my parents support.

  1. What are some of the challenges you face in your organization and how do you overcome those challenges?
The main challenge I face in the commodity trading business is the due diligence on suppliers or buyers. When I started the company I tried to do long distance deals but it always failed, so now I travel the world meeting people face to face before I work with them.
Another challenge is trading regulations and licensing which differs from one country to another. Last but not least, the length of procedures in African countries, it can take a longtime to get through custom clearance or get administration paperwork done. 
  1. Where do you see your organization in 5 years from now and what steps are you taking today to reach that objective?

In 5 years from now I plan on opening an office in Geneva (which is the capital of commodity trading), and in Dakar as a port of entry for Africa. In order to reach my goals everyday I increase my network in those cities and I try to go there at least once every 3 months. I also plan on opening a warehouse to stock some of the commodities we trade here in the U.S, and in the port of Dakar. 

  1. What advice would you give other entrepreneurs looking to start a business or invest in Africa?

I would tell them to never doubt the potential of Africa, the more I progress the more I see the bright future of our continent. I would also tell them to stay away from the industries Africa is known for such as metals and minerals. Agriculture and services will be the number one source of income in the next 20 years. 

  1. How is your business participating to the development of Africa?

We take advantage of the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) to promote African production in the U.S. I believe when more U.S manufacturers and distributors will build confidence in Africa, the trade between North America and Africa will double or triple. It’s only a matter of time before they turn their back on Asia for cheaper labor in Africa.

About
Amadou is a Social Entrepreneur, Business Coach, Public Speaker, and Promoter of African Entrepreneurship. Passionate about Africa and Entrepreneurship, Amadou’s mission is to work with African Entrepreneurs to bring out their stories and support them. As the Host of Africans Building Africa Podcast, Amadou loves to chat with African Entrepreneurs to deliver informative and inspiring content to Africans who would like to start a business or invest in Africa.
Showing 14 comments
  • fatimata tall
    Reply

    formidable ; mes prieres de mere taccompagnent; tu iras loin in shaa allah;;; Proud………..

    • Mamadou
      Reply

      Merci beaucoup maman, seydi Tall!

  • Jean Bouda
    Reply

    Wow! It’s great to hear one of our brother thought on our continent. I have hear many experts saying that Africa is the future. I have no doubt that we, the Africans people should invest in our continent. Congratulations brother.

    • Amadou Hanne
      Reply

      Thank you for your comment Jean!
      The African diaspora is indeed waking up and starting to investing in our continent because only Africans can build Africa.

  • Toochukwu Anyachonkeya
    Reply

    This is highly encouraging and inspirational! I am eager to start investing in African resources! Please continue spreading this information!

    • Amadou Hanne
      Reply

      Toochukwu, thank you for the kind words!
      I am glad this information is helpful, and yes we’ll continue to bring you stories and many more valuable information. Tuned In!

  • Toochukwu Anyachonkeya
    Reply

    This is highly encouraging and inspirational! I am eager to start investing in African resources!

  • Sokhna
    Reply

    Well done !!! Good luck for the rest

  • Elhadji Seydou Ousmane Toure
    Reply

    It’s great to see that our generation believes in our continent. Africa is the future, no wonder why it is the cradle of humanity.

    • Amadou Hanne
      Reply

      Elhadji I absolutely agree, we are the Cheetah generation as George Ayiteh mentioned that’s changing Africa for the best

      • Farmata
        Reply

        @amadou Anne can I contact directly cuz I would like to ask some questions?

      • Farmata
        Reply

        Can you contact me on my email plz I have few questions?

  • Elhadji Seydou Ousmane Toure
    Reply

    It’s great to see that our generation believes our continent. Africa is the future, no wonder why it is the cradle of humanity.

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