Twenty-five young African agripreneurs have advanced to the final round of the African Development Bank’s AgriPitch competition, stepping closer to a share of US$120,000 in seed funding prizes, training and other benefits.
AgriPitch organisers received more than 2,500 applications and evaluated 605 proposals from 30 countries under the theme of “Driving Sustainable Nutrition and Gender Inclusivity in Africa’s Agri-Food Systems: Youth Agripreneurs Seize the Decade.”
The final round offers young entrepreneurs in Africa’s agricultural sector the opportunity to pitch their agribusiness proposals online to a panel of experts and investors who will select the winners.
The finalists are from 12 African nations, and all aged under 35.They were selected under the competition’s “Startup,” “Mature Business” and “Women-Empowered Business” categories.
Those selected in the “Startup” category are Agripoa (Tanzania), Bringo Fresh (Uganda), Digifarms Africa (Cameroon), Farm Kiosk (Uganda), Farmspeak Technology (Nigeria), One Kiosk (Nigeria), Premium Hortus (Benin), Releaf (Nigeria), Solar Freeze (Kenya), and Tropic Coffee Company (Rwanda).
The “Mature Business” finalists are Agwenda Investments (Malawi), Bee Happy Enterprises (Kenya), Carl Group (Rwanda), Dasfarm (Ghana), Foodlocker (Nigeria), Herdy (Kenya), Lentera (Kenya), Lono (Ivory Coast), Stawi Foods (Kenya), and Tilaa (Ghana), while the “Women-Empowered Business” finalists are AquaFarms Africa (Guinea), Baby Grubz (Nigeria), Farmz2U (Nigeria), INVXT Agro Investimentos (Mozambique), and Mhogo Foods (Kenya).
Finalists are now enrolled in the AYAF/AgriPitch online training platform, a two-week business development bootcamp, before pitching at the winners’ ceremony on November 16 and 17.
“It is encouraging to see that almost 62 per cent of all AgriPitch 2020 applicants self-described as being women-led businesses or having women make up at least 50 per cent of their management,” said Wambui Gichuri, the AfDB’s acting vice president for agriculture, human and social development.
“Word is spreading that AgriPitch is the competition where all qualified agripreneurs can get the training and support to grow their businesses.”