Empowering Entrepreneurs in Emerging Markets Through Digital Advertising

Accessibility. It’s a word with a meaning that is special to my heart. I am passionate about creating a more equal world where people and businesses within emerging markets can participate, grow, and thrive on a global scale. The pool of untapped entrepreneurial talent in those regions needs the opportunity to flourish.

Entrepreneurs in emerging markets face unique challenges and opportunities. Economic volatility, capital limitations, regulation and compliance constraints are just some of the hurdles they face.

So, how can that be counteracted? The answer: digital advertising.

Now, how do we make this happen? Well, when you spend a career talking to advertisers across the world, you become acutely aware of the challenges they face trying to compete in emerging countries. Digital advertising can connect local businesses across the globe, and that can have a massive impact on the industry, the lives of individuals—and ultimately, their local economies.

Aleph is on a mission to turbo-charge digital transformation in emerging markets. By leveraging our proprietary technology-driven solutions and our free Digital Ad Expert training platform, it has never been easier for communities in emerging markets to unlock economic opportunities through digital advertising.

It goes without saying that digital advertising provides entrepreneurs with equal opportunities. Those in emerging markets struggle to keep up with those larger entities due to the funds at their disposal. When I first discovered this disconnect, I knew that I needed to do something, and digital advertising gave me the tools to do it.

Accessibility to digital advertising – whilst challenging - is particularly beneficial for entrepreneurs with limited financial resources. Traditional advertising channels, such as TV or print, often come with high costs that can be unaffordable for startups and small businesses.

For example, let’s say an entrepreneur runs a football memorabilia business (I am a big football fan!) within an emerging market such as India. That person will likely have a small to moderate advertising budget. Digital advertising allows them to scale their efforts at a low cost and ensure they are targeting the right audiences. This ensures they can be efficient with their capital and be strategic in their efforts to grow. Digital advertising also allows entrepreneurs to be bespoke with their content that resonates with their local audience.

Accessibility to digital advertising also promotes financial inclusion. Many entrepreneurs in emerging markets operate in cash-based economies, where access to formal financial services is limited. Digital advertising can facilitate financial inclusion by connecting businesses with online payment solutions.

Take our cross-border payment solution, Aleph Payments. We provide global platforms with a simple cross-border credit and payment offering. This also allows advertisers in 130 markets to apply for a line of credit to be used for advertising, then pay invoices in local currencies to Aleph, settling exchange and taxes.

We envisioned this solution not only for the benefit of global platforms such as TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), Snap, Spotify, Uber, Meta, Microsoft, Twitch but also for those entrepreneurs - where financial inclusion is lacking. Our aim is to facilitate business operations smoothly and professionally.

Moving away from the operational conversation, let’s discuss education. You can argue that the process of setting up and managing a digital advertising campaign is a form of education. It can add several strings to an entrepreneurial bow – such as marketing skills, data analysis, and digital literacy.

Education is something I believe everybody should have access to. That’s why Aleph created Digital Ad Expert, a totally free, skills-based education platform that entrepreneurs and budding digital advertisers the skills needed to manage digital advertising campaigns and unlock growth. It provides resources, courses, and networking opportunities, and has certified more than 75,000 people from 140+ countries in short courses.

As entrepreneurs succeed in reaching their target audiences their businesses often experience growth – which can, at times, explode at a rapid rate. With growth comes the need for additional staff, creating job opportunities. This supports economic growth and stability in emerging markets.

To end on my starting point: accessibility.

To improve accessibility for our partners globally, we are driving change at Aleph. We’ve brought most of our brands under one powerful brand, Aleph, enabling our partners – made up of advertisers, agencies and SMBs – to unlock international cross-border growth through digital advertising more seamlessly than ever before.

Digital advertising can be transformative for emerging markets. Accessibility to it offers scale, sustainable growth, and economic benefits, and allows David to go toe-to-toe with Goliath. Entrepreneurs learn digital advertising not only benefits themselves but also contributes to the overall development and resilience of their emerging market economies.