Growing agribusiness entrepreneurs in East Africa

by Agripreneurship Alliance
Growing agribusiness entrepreneurs in East Africa

Project Report | Feb 5, 2024
Agripreneurship Alliance News February 2024

By Anne Roulin | President

Sandra speaking about her business
Sandra speaking about her business

Reflection on the Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness Course

Over the last few months, a team of global volunteers have been reviewing business plans presented to us on completion of Cohort 5 of the Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness course.  In the last cohort we had 230 young entrepreneurs join the programme, from 10 universities in Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, Somaliland and DRCongo.  These young and vibrant entrepreneurs have collaborated, co-creating 35 business concepts that are ready for launch.  These businesses are all based within the agri-food sectors and meet the needs of their own communities and markets.  Businesses include primary production of fruits and vegetables, the raising of livestock including fish and rabbits as well as a range of value-added products including sauces, dried fruits and vegetable chips.  This year we have been pleased to see greater thought being placed on the all-important facets of resilience, adaptation and mitigation of climate change.  We have received business plans that integrate fish, vegetable and chicken production, the production of bio-char briquettes, reducing the need to fell trees for charcoal production and others that maximise the use of fruit and vegetables that might otherwise be lost as post-harvest waste. 

Goodbye message from John Mugonya, Programme Manager

“It is with mixed emotions that I bid farewell to this incredible family of the Agripreneurship Alliance. For the next four years, I will be pursuing a PhD to study ecosystem services-based business models for coffee at Makerere University, Uganda and the University of Copenhagen. As I embark on my new academic and professional challenge, I am filled with gratitude and nostalgia for the transformative experiences that I have had during my time with the Agripreneurship Alliance.

As a participant in the inaugural Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness course at Gulu University, little did I know that this course would shape my academic perspective and pave the way for a fulfilling career journey. The Agripreneurship Alliance has presented me with unique challenges and opportunities for growth. Serving as the Programme Manager (Uganda) has been a privilege, allowing me to contribute to the Alliance's mission of empowering agripreneurs across Africa”.

Portrait of one of the young entrepreneurs

Sandra is a 25-year-old agripreneur and student at Makarere University in Uganda pursuing a bachelor's degree of Commerce and Accounting.Sandra’s business is called "Sandra Matooke Enterprise Limited" and is located in Mbarara. It processes matooke, a variety of starchy green banana, into instant matooke flour and raw matooke flour. Matooke is a staple food in Uganda and is widely consumed by people of all ages. It can be eaten on its own but is usually paired with meat or groundnut stew.

Sandra came up with the idea of producing matooke flour in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. At the time everything came to a stop, and reduced means of transport resulted in increased post-harvest losses and lower demand. As a result, large surpluses of matooke were left to spoil. She realised she had a solution that could help solve this problem in her community and country at large; processing matooke into flour could dramatically extend its shelf life, reducing farmers’ losses and improving access to the foodstuff to people in urban areas.

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Organization Information

Agripreneurship Alliance

Project Leader:
Anne Roulin
Montreux , Switzerland

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