Over 1000 small-scale businesses have benefited from Nourishing Africa and the MasterCard Foundation’s entrepreneur assistance program, which began in December 2020 and is now winding down.
The beneficiaries, who are Nigerian agri-food entrepreneurs aged 20 to 40 (57 percent of whom are women), were given a helping hand to help them enhance their business operations, as well as encouragement to make their business durable and adaptable.
The program gave expertise and support to these organizations to help them pivot and recover from the effects of COVID-19 on their operations, while also keeping staff engaged and supporting them in emerging even stronger from this crisis.
In 11 states, including Abia, Anambra, Delta, Edo, FCT, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, and Oyo, critical food and cash crop and animal value chains were targeted with the provision of inputs from primary production to processing, logistics, storage, and distribution.
The program was established with a business resilience diagnostic tool that enabled agri-businesses to examine the health of their enterprises and the competencies of their executives – both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic – by leveraging technology and creativity.
It also included a 12-day virtual training program called ‘Agribusiness Entrepreneur Development,’ which helped participants better understand their business operations and value chain activities as agri-food MSMEs. It also aided in the firms’ resilience, growth, profitability, and long-term viability.
Even though the initiative will come to an end, Nourishing Africa remains committed to helping these and other agri-food entrepreneurs across the country and continent maintain their current growth pathways, strengthen their capacities, and accelerate their business growth.
As the team continues to host strategic convenings and workshops to transfer knowledge and establish resilient agribusinesses, this support will be directed through the Nourishing Africa online resource and data Hub – the Membership Community and lively network.
Forums like the monthly session, which brings together entrepreneurs and other key players for a peer-to-peer exchange of thoughts, knowledge, and skills development, and the discovery of new solutions to shared difficulties, will continue to exist.
Currently, Nourishing Africa works with over 4,000 agri-food SMEs in 37 African nations, providing them with information, data, funding, advertising opportunities, new market access, and a community of like-minded agripreneurs with whom they may collaborate for long-term success and impact.