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Twenty-five African agricultural entrepreneurs have been announced as the finalists of the African Development Bank’s AgriPitch competition. The finalists have been shortlisted across three categories namely; Startups, Mature Startups, and Women Empowered Businesses.
After completing the Agripitch online training programme, the selected finalists will have the opportunity to pitch their innovative agricultural proposals to a panel of investors and experts.
Each finalist will go head-to-head in the pitch round to be selected as one of the winners. The selected winners will secure a share of $120 000 in seed funding prizes, receive training, and more.
Winners of the AgriPitch competition will be announced on 16 and 17 November 2020.
The AgriPitch competition
The AgriPitch competition aims to create jobs and wealth to improve the livelihood of young African agricultural entrepreneurs. The competition raises funds to assist entrepreneurs and grow inclusivity across Africa.
Over 2 500 entrepreneurs showed interest in the competition and over 600 applications were submitted from 30 countries.
In an official press release, Wambui Gichuri, African Development Bank Group’s Acting Vice President of Agriculture, Human and Social Development, commented on the percentage of women applicants and the growth of the competition.
“It is encouraging to see that almost 62% of all AgriPitch 2020 applicants self-described as being women-led businesses or having women make up at least 50% of their management. Word is spreading that AgriPitch is the competition where all qualified agripreneurs can get the training and support to grow their businesses.”
Driving inclusivity in Agri-Food systems
The theme for the 2020 AgriPtich competition is, “Driving Sustainable Nutrition and Gender Inclusivity in Africa’s Agri-Food Systems: Youth Agripreneurs Seize the Decade.”
AgriPitch falls under the African Development Bank’s fourth African Youth Agripreneurs Forum (AYAF) which is a platform for Africa’s youth who are interested in the agriculture startup scene.
The competition hosted its first session on 3 November and discussed potential policies for sustainable nutrition and gender inclusivity. On 10 November a webinar was held to address empowering the youth and women in agricultural value chains in order to drive sustainable nutrition.
The 25 finalists are currently enrolled in the AgriPitch online training platform, referred to as the bootcamp. The AgriPitch online programme includes a training session on strategic partnerships for equity in agriculture, nutrition, and financing the youth and women.
Edson Mpyisi, Coordinator of the Bank’s Enable Youth Program, explains what’s on offer during the boot camp for the 25 selected candidates.
“In this two-week-long business development boot camp, AgriPitch competitors can attend virtual sessions on product development, revenue channel identification, logistics, marketing, business management, investment readiness, financing, and other issues, led by trainers and coaches. The cash prizes may be the most ever awarded at AgriPitch, and the skills offered to all the finalists are invaluable.”
The finalists in all three categories
- Agripoa Company Limited (Tanzania)
- Bringo Fresh (Uganda)
- Digifarms Africa (Cameroon)
- Farm Kiosk (Uganda)
- Farmspeak Technology (Nigeria)
- One Kiosk (Nigeria)
- Premium Hortus (Benin)
- Releaf (Nigeria)
- Solar Freeze Limited (Kenya)
- Tropic Coffee Company (Rwanda)
Mature Start-ups Category
- Agwenda Investments Limited (Malawi)
- Bee Happy Enterprises Limited (Kenya)
- Carl Group (Rwanda)
- Dasfarm Limited (Ghana)
- Foodlocker (Nigeria)
- Herdy Limited (Kenya)
- Lentera Limited (Kenya)
- Lono (Côte d’Ivoire)
- Stawi Foods (Kenya)
- Tilaa Limited (Ghana)
Women Empowered Businesses Category
- AquaFarms Africa (Guinea)
- Baby Grubz (Nigeria)
- Farmz2U (Nigeria)
- INVXT Agro Investimentos (Mozambique)
- Mhogo Foods (Kenya)
Finalists were selected from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Benin, Tanzania, Cameroon, Mozambique, Guinea, Malawi, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire contributing to the goal of inclusivity. The 2020 AYAF and AgriPitch competition partnered with UN Women, the African Leaders for Nutrition, and the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa initiative.
The winners’ ceremony will take place on 16 and 17 November. Selected winners will be invited to the AYAF/AgriPitch online DealRoom, which aims to connect expansion-ready, youth-led African businesses with global investors.
Qualified applicants who were not chosen for the AgriPitch competition will be given the opportunity to join the AYAF/AgriPitch online DealRoom.
Featured image: Joshua Lanzarini via Unsplash