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The Aid by Trade Foundation: New sales strategy for the US market

Helping Cotton made in Africa evaluate entry strategies for the US market while driving supply chain and procurement efficiencies.


The Aid by Trade Foundation wanted to expand its flagship Cotton made in Africa initiative to the United States. To help it enter the market, Accenture assisted the organization to identify US fashion and retail clients, and develop an innovative and targeted sales approach that encompasses the social and ethical aspects of using sustainable cotton.

Accenture also shared supply chain and procurement preferred practices with Cotton made in Africa, equipping the organization to improve efficiency in these areas.

Business Challenge
After establishing itself in the European market and driving strong sales of sustainably grown African cotton, the Aid by Trade Foundation wanted to tap the US market for sustainable cotton. However, it faced several challenges. Among them was the key challenge: how to extend Cotton made in Africa’s supply chain capabilities to the US market.

Based on our experience and knowledge of sustainability initiatives, processes and technology, and supply chain management, as well as the German Accenture Foundation’s previous collaboration with the Otto Group, the Aid by Trade Foundation approached us to help it:

  • Identify US fashion and retail clients.

  • Develop an innovative and targeted sales approach that encompasses the social and ethical aspects of using sustainable cotton.


Building the team

Accenture mobilized a global team of professionals with experience in sustainability, supply chain management, the US retail market, program management and communications.


The team evaluated ways for Cotton made in Africa to enter the US market, and carried out a detailed analysis of sustainable fashion and retail trends in the US, as well as the cotton textile industry’s sourcing and supply chain practices. This helped the Foundation:

  • Redefine Cotton made in Africa’s business drivers for entry into the US market and identify 18 target clients.

  • Build a strong, revised sales pitch that emphasized the potential business benefits of African cotton as well as the social and environmental benefits of using sustainable cotton.


  • Accenture leveraged Axure, an interactive presentation tool that helps store data in one presentation, increasing flexibility during sales pitches. The tool gives the sales team an overview of the business and helps presenters respond to audience questions in a timely manner and switch easily between topics. We also developed a comprehensive user manual for Axure and trained the Cotton made in Africa team to use the tool.

  • To help create an efficient supply chain for sustainable cotton we shared functional preferred practices, analyzed Cotton made in Africa’s supply chain system and provided suggestions on the procurement processes.


The German Accenture Foundation has helped the Aid by Trade Foundation:

  • Redesign the sales strategy for Cotton made in Africa and have customized communication packages for the target clients in the United States.

  • Increase leadership focus on the potential business benefits over the traditional social benefits of sustainable cotton.

  • Improve efficiency in the areas of supply chain and procurement areas for Cotton made in Africa.

Additionally, Accenture leveraged our internal network to help the Foundation connect to potential clients for the sale of sustainable cotton. The new sales strategy will help the Foundation achieve its objectives, namely growing the global demand alliance, improving the demand for African cotton and potentially providing higher incomes for smallholder farmers.