Growing agribusiness entrepreneurs in East Africa

by Agripreneurship Alliance
Growing agribusiness entrepreneurs in East Africa

Project Report | Oct 9, 2023
Autumn update from the Agripreneurship Alliance

By Anne Roulin | President

Cohort 5 of the Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness training is drawing to a close and the business plan reviews are full underway.  This is always an exciting time to see the new business ideas of the young entrepreneurs and to give them constructive feedback to further improve their business plans. 

We have been consolidating a series of impact stories about the young entrepreneurs who have followed our training.  One of these is Sylivia, who is a 28-year-old agripreneur and post-graduate student at Gulu University in Uganda, is currently working towards a master’s degree in Agri-Enterprises Development.  Whilst following the Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness training, Sylivia identified a market opportunity in the livestock feed market due the high costs of processed industrial feed coupled with the limited availability of quality protein locally for farmers.Sylivia’s business, Goshen Maggot Farm, involves the production of black soldier fly larvae (BSF) as an alternative protein source in livestock feed. BSF larvae contain a very high amount of crude protein when compared to other protein sources commonly used in feed formulations. They are cheaper and more sustainable than other such options, using only organic waste as a substrate. Unlike common flies, they do not carry diseases, and so do not enable the spread of contagions.  See the photo of Sylivia above.

In September we started a new project in Mozambique in collaboration with the NGO TechnoServe who have been working there for many years.  The aim is to map the incubators and other business development support organisations in the northern part of the country (the region of the Islamic insurgency) and to develop action plans to improve impact in terms of economic development and job creation.  A Mozambican consulting company has been doing interviews on the ground for us using the Incubator Scorecard that we developed and have tested in several other African countries.  All the input is in Portuguese which poses somewhat of a challenge - but Google Translate, and some Portuguese friends, have been a godsend!  The project runs through the end of November but we can already see that the challenges for these incubators are very similar to those in the other twelve African countries in which we have worked.  These include a lack of clear business models, lack of sustainable funding strategies leading to the design of ad-hoc programmes lack of data on operational impact in terms of #enterprises created, revenues, jobs created etc.

We were asked by the Technical University of Berlin to run a Training of Trainers course in Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness at the University of Dar es Saleem in Tanzania. Steven and John travelled there in late August to deliver the course and the training materials.  Although this training was partly successful it was hampered by the lack of agribusiness knowledge of the staff selected for the programme.  Furthermore, the participants were very unfamiliar with interactive learning and basic presentation skills.  These issues had not been encountered with our other university partners.  To resolve this, we will be delivering some virtual sessions later this year on agribusiness and Steven and John will return to Dar es Saleem at the end of January for a follow-up training.

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Organization Information

Agripreneurship Alliance

Project Leader:
Anne Roulin
Montreux , Switzerland

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