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Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness: boosting capacity of young African agripreneurs

Photo: CTA ACP-EU / flickr

The Agripreneurship Alliance, with its partners from the African Management Institute (AMI) and the Swedish International Agriculture Network Initiative (SIANI), has arranged a course supporting the new generation of entrepreneurs in the African agribusiness sector in developing high-quality business plans.

The course, ”Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness”, complements ongoing activities in universities and training organizations, contributing to wealth creation, providing jobs, promoting the role of women and encouraging sustainable business models. Being ”made in Africa, for Africans” the ground-breaking interactive course uses various tools, including videos and case studies that are based on a fictional fish farm in Kenya.

Meeting growing demand and interest across the African continent, the course is available both as an online course and as a ”blended” course hosted by universities and institutions in Eastern Africa.

The online-only course is enhanced with weekly webinars and uses WhatsApp groups to support and encourage participants. Meanwhile, the ”blended” course enables students to follow the online course whilst conducting group work activities facilitated by their host institution. This way, the course is placed into the local context, and participants can work together and develop joint ventures.

The course includes 30 hours of directed learning with an additional 20+ hours of self-led learning, exploring the following modules:

  • Introducing the Business Canvas Model
  • Ideation
  • Identifying your market
  • Define your value proposition
  • Key resources, partnerships, and operations
  • Marketing plan
  • Revenue modelling
  • Financial model and cost structure
  • Raising finance for your business
  • The art of the pitch
  • Writing your plan (bringing it all together)

On completion of the course, the successful student gains a ”Certificate of Completion” and all submitted business plans are reviewed and provided with feedback by the Agripreneurship Alliance.

Watch testimonies from Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness alumni in the drop down sections below.

Amina Abdi Ali, Somaliland

Amina is a graduate of the first ”Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness” course facilitated at the IGAD Sheikh Technical Veterinary Training School in Somaliland in 2018. The school is based in a pastoral community in the mountains above the coastal plains where the main form of agriculture is the raising of livestock. Through participation in the course, Amina and her business team developed a novel business, developing a small tomato, growing tomatoes by using dryland agriculture techniques and supplying produce to the local community. Tomatoes are a core ingredient in local cooking and the available tomatoes are imported from Somalia or Ethiopia. The business, therefore, saw a niche in the market, selling locally grown, good quality tomatoes at a competitive price. The business ”Nusha Tomato” was supported by ISTVS who provided land on the campus for the farm to start and grow.

Denis Ochieng, Kenya

Denis Ochieng was a member of the first cohort of the ”Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness” course to be facilitated at Laikipia University, Kenya in 2018. Denis’ first business idea was for a service sector consultancy supporting local smallholder farmers. This model did not provide an adequate business case for a successful launch; however, Denis was not daunted. Using the skills, he gained from the course he successfully gained a sponsorship to attend the 4th Youth Ag Summit in Brazil in November 2019 and now runs a successful fish farm raising Tilapia and Catfish for the local market.

Eunice Amenya, Uganda

Eunice first came to the attention of the Agripreneurship Alliance when she participated in a pitching competition at Agcelerate 2019 in Kampala, Uganda. During the event she introduced her amazing coffee that she has developed in partnership with Utamtsi. Continuing to develop her farm, Eunice is currently completing the enhanced online ”Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness” course that the Agripreneurship Alliance has facilitated for members of the GoGettaz community of young African agri-entrepreneurs. Eunice is increasing the size of her coffee plantation and produces hibiscus tea and works with local women to produce mushrooms.

Hillary Nahurira

Hillary participated in the ”Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness” course at Bishop Stuart University, Uganda completing the course in early 2020 and also joined the pitching competition at Agcelerate 2019. Hillary’s first business idea was to produce an organic lemon aftershave balm, rightly identifying a niche in the local market wherein members of the Islamic community do not want to use products containing alcohol. His approach utilizing locally grown produce and adding value enabled him to launch his business. But then COVID-19 struck Uganda and the lockdowns immediately curbed his business because barbershops were closed. Hillary, however, saw a new business opportunity and turned his expertise in producing aftershave balm into the production of hand sanitizer.

Ibrahim Hassan Isaak, Somaliland

Ibrahim was a member of the second cohort of the ”Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness” course that was facilitated at the IGAD Sheikh Technical Veterinary Training School in the 2019/20 academic year. Ibrahim and his team have launched a goat fattening business to improve the quality of meat protein that is offered to the local market.

Lucy Aciro, Uganda

Lucy was a member of the first ”Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness” course facilitated at Gulu University in Northern Uganda and graduating from the course in 2018. Northern Uganda suffered through a conflict and Lucy has memories of the impact of the Lords Resistance Army in the local area. Lucy has seized the opportunities available in the area and studied at Gulu University where she launched ”JuFresh Juices” a small business providing fresh juices to the local market. This business continues to operate and looks to expand through packaging and sale to retail outlets. Lucy also is following her ambition to have an impact and is now seeking elected office.

Nura Adam Ahmed, Somaliland

Nura graduated from the 2018 cohort of the ”Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness” course at Sheikh in Somaliland where she worked with her colleagues to develop ”Nusha Tomato” a dryland tomato farm supplying fresh, locally grown tomatoes to the local market.

Ritah Najjemba, Uganda

Ritah completed the ”Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness” course through the Youth-Agri Hub in Mukono, Uganda. Ritah has seen the potential to work with other young adults in the local community to produce pigs for local pork shops (roadside BBQ shacks), restaurants and hotels. Her ambition is to develop a humane and hygienic slaughterhouse and pork processing unit that can improve her offer to the Ugandan market. To inform this ambition she has recently completed an internship at a pig farm in Germany where she has been able to learn from European approaches to animal rearing and meat production which can then be adapted to a Ugandan context.