Young Entrepreneurs

Affiong Williams – Founder, Reelfruit

Williams, who was one of Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30 in 2015, founded her fruit processing company in Nigeria in 2012. The company sells dried fruit and nut snacks, but the impact is much larger. Williams has said that she founded the company because she saw a gap in the market and that “there is untapped opportunity in processing and value addition of raw materials.” She has also said, “I also believe it’s a very budding sector, there is a lot of opportunity as well as the job creation which I think is quite important to me as an entrepreneur to be able to play in an industry that would create a lot of jobs.”

Clearly, Williams is passionate about developing the agribusiness sector of the Nigerian economy as well as the the rural farmers themselves.

The company’s current product line includes dried mango, pineapple, cashew, banana and coconut snacks. As an ambitious individual, Williams is working on raising capital to open a new, larger factory to produce and package more product as well as expand the product line.

Williams has said, “I hope to be on the cover of FORBES AFRICA in five years’ time.” This company is going places. Look for ReelFruit to expand and to have an incredible impact on the agribusiness economy of Nigeria and beyond.

Olawale Ajibike Oluwafunmilayo is young Nigerian baker who started her baking career from her mom’s kitchen at the age of 8; gathering basic cake ingredients (flour, butter, sugar, egg, baking powder and flavouring), mix in no particular ratio, set her mum’s stove on fire, fill a pot with sand, set three stones inside, place the pan filled with cake batter on the stones placed in the sand, cover with a newspaper and finally cover with the lid of the pot.
At the age of 15 she was used to measuring correctly.  When she turned 20 In 2014, she registered her cake business JR Cakes with a start up capital of $9 USD ( N3,000 Nigerian Naira), currently the business records an average income of $1500-$2000 monthly with patronage from customers in 9 states (Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Sokoto, Edo, Kwara, Abuja and Ondo respectively) in Nigeria and Nigerians in diaspora.
The customer base of her business cuts across all ages and classes in Nigeria, some of the major customers recorded are First Bank Nigeria (a leading financial institution in Nigeria), Landmark University (a private agrarian university in Nigeria), government officials, schools and organizations.
Dedicated to pastries, fries and culinary services, through her company, she has trained several young people in cake and culinary, this includes a skill acquisition conducted for more than 20 high school students as a way of positioning them to be employers of labour in the near future. The success of the business has been aired on various media platforms including national radio in Nigeria.

You can view her social media pages:




Alloysius Attah decided to become an agripreneur form a different angle. Attah has seen the struggles of rural farmers and now his company, Farmerline, build technologies to connect rural customers to information, financial services, and supply chains, with focus on smallholder farmers
Alloysius Attah is the CEO and Co-founder of Farmerline. When he was five years of age, his parents divorced and he moved in with his aunt, a small-scale farmer in rural Ghana. It was there that he witnessed the challenges faced by small-scale farmers. In college, Alloysius was determined to give back to the people who supported him and founded Alloyworld, a photography and video production company, and iCottage Networks, a Web and Mobile startup. In 2013, Alloysius launched Farmerline in partnership with Emmanuel Owusu Addai in order to support small-scale farmers. Alloysius has spoken about his work at the 2013 Social Capital Markets Conference and Mobile World Congress 2014. He is a 2014 Echoing Green Fellow.
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Beauty Manake – CEO Kungo Farms

Kungo Vegetables, a 35-hectare farm on which we produce vegetable and have plans to venture into full-time fruit production after a successful pilot with mango, orange and grape fruit trees.

Pii Jena Ranches, a 3600-hectare livestock farm where produce calves that are better adapted to local farming conditions by crossing temperate with indigenous breeds of cattle to achieve more vigor.

Kungo Consultants, a newly formed agribusiness marketing consulting company through which we aim to redefine how consumers view farm fresh products; and positioning them as a more nutritious, healthier and more attractive choice.

Read more here:

Boyede Sobitan – Founder, OlaExpress


Boyede Sobitan, 34, of Bronzeville, and co-founder Fola Dada are the brains behind OjaExpress. He is a self-titled, Chigerian — a Chicagoan of Nigerian extraction, who is engaged in the African community here, and wants to work to shine a positive light on African culture.


As the founder, he describes the app as a platform that takes away the inconvenience and commute outside of the neighbourhood. There is also same-day delivery, and the service is available throughout Chicago.

It is currently available to those who resides outside Nigeria mainly in Chicago area but would soon be extended to those in New York.

The co-founder said customers can make special requests and can also use the app to look up the recipe.  While Sobitan said they’re in the process of partnering with local African restaurants. Anyone with a smartphone can download the free app and create a profile.


Young farmer’s growing success

Written by Gabi Khumalo

When the time came for Grade 10 learners to choose their subjects, agricultural science was never popular among learners at Sekgosese Secondary School in Limpopo.

But for one learner, the subject stood out as a field with much opportunity.

“My teachers at the time tried to persuade me to study Physical Science and Mathematics because I was among the bright students, so I’m told. But I told them that I want to do agriculture. I had already seen potential in the sector and I knew that one could make a living from it,” says Clement Pilusa, who at 27, is running two successful poultry farms in Pretoria.

He is currently leasing 50 hectares of land in Onderstepoort Plaas, which he uses for chicken production.

The other poultry farm is in Stinkwater, near Hammanskraal, and it is used for broiler chicken production. The land belongs to the Tshwane Municipality.

When he completed matric, Pilusa registered at the Tshwane University of Technology, where he studied towards a Diploma in Agriculture Development and Extension.

“Agriculture was my first choice and my second choice. When other students were looking for internships during our final year, I looked for land to lease.”

When he finally found a piece of land to lease from a family in the North West, he started his farming and fresh produce business, growing vegetables.

A year later, the Tshwane Municipality offered Pilusa and his partner land to use and that’s when the love for poultry farming started.

His major break came in 2015 when he was named winner of the South African Breweries’ (SAB) youth entrepreneurship development programme, the SAB Kick-start competition, and walked away with a grant of R500 000.

The cash prize enabled Pilusa to lease the land in Pretoria North and allowed him to triple his turn over.

“The business is growing. Back then we were able to sell 1 500 chickens in two months, but now in a month we are able to sell over 4 000.”

Pilusa’s business has not only created jobs for local people, but has made a difference to many families.

He also offers internships for TUT students. Two students are placed on each farm, where they do experiential learning.

“We’ve decided to assist students because some of them stay at home for six months trying to get a farm to do practicals and that delays their graduation. We’ve also decided to give back to the community by going out to local secondary schools creating agriculture awareness,” says Pilusa.


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“Young Nigerians do not want to dirty their hands anymore, and it just shocks me.”

This is according to Cynthia Mosunmola Umoru, a Nigerian woman who has spent the last 10 years building her entrepreneurial career within agriculture.

She started Honeysuckles PTL Ventures straight out of college, and today the business is engaged in farming, food processing and distribution. The company runs its flagship retail outlet Farmshoppe in Ikeja, Lagos offering a wide range of farm produce, including poultry products, eggs, snails, catfish and vegetables.

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Founder: Agro Mindset

After completing a postgraduate degree in agriculture, Asiamah turned down a number of job offers to farm in Ghana – founding Agro Mindset Group instead. Asiamah owns 15 acres of land, raising chicken, and employs 12 people. “Our future outlook is to adopt more innovative, cutting-edge technologies to produce animal feed, manage waste, and construct solar power plants,” he says.

Asiamah is the winner of an African Achiever Award for agricultural excellence, the Future Awards Africa for agriculture and Ghana UK Based Awards for corporate sustainability after his nomination at the House of Commons.

David Morfaw, 20, is the only Cameroonian that will be receiving the prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Choice Awards in 2016.

He is the founder and managing director of Poult-Vault Inc, one of Africa’s fastest growing agriculture business. David’s company which he started in 2011, sells life and frozen chicken of different sizes, uses chicken waste to make biogas for household and make feather pillows from chicken feathers. This company also provides a credit and schooling scheme for women, youths and school kids.

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Youth unemployment is one of the most pressing issues in Tanzania. The number of young people who enter the labour force exceeds the available jobs. According to official data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in 2014, the economy created about 282,382 formal-sector jobs while an estimated 800,000 to one million youths enter the labour market at the same time. Yet, the number of job seekers is expected to double by 2030. According to the World Bank, the size of Tanzania’s youth, which was about 8.1 million in 2010, will rise to 11 million by 2020 and 15 million by 2030.

In the near absence of formal jobs, especially for entry-level positions, many educated young people are looking to agriculture and agribusiness for employment opportunities. From Dar es Salaam to Arusha up to the lake region in Mwanza, a growing number of educated youths are now investing in agriculture.

One of such people is Deborah Simon Malaba. After struggling to make ends meet as a journalist, the young mother of one quit her job to go into vegetable farming in 2016.

“My employers owed me money, and I thought, ‘I waste my time here, my energy, and use my creativity without getting anything and I have a son who depends on me’. So I decided to go into agribusiness,” she told How we made it in Africa during an interview.


Before venturing into agribusiness, Deborah did some research and discovered that vegetable products were in high demand in Tanzania. She got more interested in the business because it promised quick revenue compared to what she got at her media job, where she had to wait until the end of the month to get paid.

Deborah started her vegetable farming business with Tsh.4m (US$1,790), which she borrowed from her relatives. Part of the money was used to buy two hectares of land in a rural area, not far from Mwanza airport. For irrigation purposes, her farm is strategically positioned near the lake.

About 46% of Tanzania’s land is arable and have never been touched. “It is easy to have access to land in Tanzania. You can either own it or lease it for a while. The only challenge is the cost of the land, especially in urban areas. It costs three or four times lesser in rural areas,” Deborah explained.

After harvesting, the farm produce is taken to the city and sold in market stalls and supermarkets. With the rise of structured retail – supermarkets and shopping malls – Tanzanian marketers are encouraging young entrepreneurs to go into agribusiness.

But a lack of know-how remains a barrier to these budding agripreneurs.

“I wasn’t aware of where to get the seedlings or expertise. I didn’t understand the market too, especially the income of people who may not be able to afford to buy it in comparison to the amount of money I have invested in the business,” Deborah said.

Not everyone is enthused about venturing into agriculture. According to Deborah, while there are opportunities in the lake region, many people still regard agriculture as “an activity for someone that is not educated”.

“The opportunities are there, but most people don’t know the procedures of how to get it. I am aware there are opportunities to get a loan, but the process of getting it is the big challenge,” she said.

To mitigate these challenges, Deborah consulted an expert. “Basically it is difficult to get advice from the authority if you don’t know these procedures, but I used my connections as a former journalist to gather resources and professional advice for my business.” She also attended two agribusiness trainings to keep up with how to do modern agriculture.

These measures have helped her business. So far, she has been able to pay back half of her start-up loan within a year of launching the business.

Deborah wants to get more young people on board and out of poverty. She runs an organisation, Agribusiness Media Initiative, which produces a radio documentary programme called ‘InukaBadilika’, a Swahili word which means ‘Wake up and change’.

“We use this programme to encourage young people to be active, empowered and change their situation,” she said.

So far, she has produced and aired four documentaries on agriculture on a community radio in Mwanza. In the future, she plans to open a mini-supermarket to sell vegetables locally and also have it exported to other parts of the country.

“When I started, people were laughing at me. But now, I am doing great, and I am getting admiration for what I am doing,” she said.

This story was reported with the support of an African Great Lakes Reporting Fellowship from the International Women’s Media Foundation.

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