Miyonga Farms wins $10k at Sinapis Business Plan Competition

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Kenyan organic agriculture startup Miyonga Farms won US$10,000 at the Sinapis Business Plan Competition organised to coincide with the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) pre-summit expo in Nairobi at the end of last week.

The annual competition saw Yvonne Otieno walk away with the prize for Miyonga Farms, which grows and sells French beans and sweetcorn. Otieno started the business on a one-acre piece of land in Ruai but has since grown to 10 acres in 18 months.

Otieno will use the prize money over the next year to expand Miyonga’s horticulture products to passionfruit and chilli, while she will also start leveraging technology to scale her business.

Sinapis executive director and co-founder Courtney Mills said her organisation had recorded improvements from the entrepreneurs they incubated, having worked with over 350 since 2008.

“On average the entrepreneurs grow revenues by 166 per cent annually, create three new jobs per year and raise 15 times more in investment capital after going through the Sinapis Entrepreneurship Training Programme,” she said.

“They’re also 46 per cent more likely to still be in business after three years as compared to the national average. Sinapis entrepreneurs make average annual revenue of US$7million.”

Disrupt Africa reported in May Sinapis had opened applications for its second programme at the iHub in Nairobi, Kenya, which looks to empower startups with business skills and mentorship to help businesses grow.

The Sinapis programme – the first of which ended in February of this year – is an advanced four-month mini-MBA customised for startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), run in conjunction with Acton School of Business in Austin, Texas.

It targets business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with highly innovative and scalable business ideas, with the programme taking place each Saturday over a period of 16 weeks and including training on aspects such as customers, financials, human resources and operations.

Upon completion of the programme, entrepreneurs are eligible to compete in the business plan competition. Finalists are then invited to join Fast Track Fellows Programme, which is a six-month accelerator programme that provides entrepreneurs with access to high quality generalist consultants, professional advisors, successful entrepreneur mentors, advanced trainings, and investor matchmaking.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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