The African Diaspora Marketplace II Business Plan Competition finalists were invited to the Marketplace Event held in Washington, D.C. on January 22-24, 2012 to showcase their business ideas and concepts directly to the judges as well as to the development finance community, donors, and the general public. Finalists presented their business concepts in a trade show format. The primary objective of in-person interviews with the judges was to simulate real-world experience of pitching business ideas for funding to banks, venture capitalists, and other financial institutions. At the end of the event, the judges selected 17 businesses across seven countries to receive matching partnership grants of up to $50,000 each and other forms of technical assistance.
The Awardees are listed below:
African Boreholes Initiative, Ltd. (Kenya) is committed to providing high quality products and services which empower customers to gain access to the fundamental elements which ensure life and good health. This has been exemplified for four tears through ABI’s borehole drilling, pump installation and water management services across the country of Kenya where drought has impacted the society for the past decade. ABI has launched the Organic Amiran Farmer’s Kit. Designed to ensure farmers can raise the highest quality, natural, chemical-free, organic fruits and vegetables and get the increased economic return. Farmers will have access to local, regional and international markets. At the same time he will produce a harvest appreciated by every Kenyan mother who desires to provide nutritionally superior meals for the health of her family. Organic agriculture is a key to creating long-term food security. Chemical-free farming means soil and ground water preservation. The Organic Kit is backed by ABI’s agro-support contract in which its organic specialists work hand-in-hand with the farmer to make certain that every customer has the best opportunity to attain the maximum projected yield from his field.
Gonja Meat Company (Ghana) is a vertically integrated agribusiness engaged in the slaughter, processing and sale of fresh hygienic meat. The existing practices in Ghana’s meat industry hardly meet food safety standards. Gonja seeks to produce high quality and affordable meats using locally raised livestock, processed in the company's abattoir and sold through its own sanitary outlet stores. Its offerings will include fresh cut poultry and meat as well as packaged, kitchen-ready products including hamburger patties, sausages, corned beef, roast beef, ham, bacon, kilishi and smoked meat. Gonja owns a full value chain from abattoir (located in Kumasi, Ghana), processing plant and retail outlets. The integration model gives the company absolute control of quality, eliminates costly middlemen and offers savings to customers. Gonja will buy livestock from local farmers and add value to the economy. The slaughterhouse opened in 2004 to provide the local butchers with a modern abattoir that conformed to international food safety standards. Gonja had no control of the meat once it left for the market. The butchers continued to disregard sanitation. Gonja changed its model by building a processing plant with outlet store so we could control the whole supply chain.
Oribags Innovations Ltd. (Uganda) is a social and environmental enterprise in Uganda that deals in the manufacture of hand-made ecobags out of agricultural waste. The initiative ecologically recovers agricultural waste, waste paper and natural fibers to transform them into products useful for the local market. Oribags provides an eco-friendly alternative to the environmentally hazardous polythene bags provides a model of social entrepreneurship and empowers women and youth to create their own income. Oribags Innovations (U) Ltd. intends to establish a medium-sized ecobags processing factory to meet the unmet demand of ecobags in Uganda. The initiative has been recognized by UNEP, UNDP and IUCN through the SEED award 2010 as an exceptional social and environmental startup enterprise. Oribags Innovations’ vision is to be the leading producer of environmentally friendly products/services in the East African region by 2020.
Pork Delights Limited (PDL) (Kenya) is an established Kenyan Agribusiness pig farming entity looking to expand its annual pig production to meet a 50% supply deficit to the primary regional meat processors. In addition, PDL is expanding its business into the Renewable energy sector with the introduction of biogas and High Efficiency Organic Fertilizer (HEOF) pellets production for commercial resale and farm use. The company’s primary goal is to meet the regional food security demands with pork (the other white meat), while implementing sustainable environment farm practices - Zero Waste. PDL is owned by four passionate farmers who have identified a gap in the Kenyan pig market production and the management of pig waste and want to turn this challenge into a thriving business opportunity. In addition to Pigs, PDL will expand its revenue base through, Biogas and Fertilizer pellets. In the first three years, two of the products (Pigs and HEOF fertilizer) will be produced commercially, while biogas will be commercialized in the fourth year of production.
Poultry Health Products Nig. Ltd. (PHP) (Nigeria) was established and registered as a Limited liability company in 1988. It is an importer and exporter of agricultural raw materials, and as such, a mandated manufacturer’s representative for several farm products, including poultry, livestock and fish farming, in Nigeria. As an expert in the field of Agriculture, PHP was recognized and crowned with the national award-Best Farmer of the Year in 1999 and 2001. PHP is a household name in the supply of livestock feeds, battery cages, veterinary drugs and other products for the agricultural industry in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, and Osun states, and in Northern and Eastern Nigeria. PHP has clients outside Nigeria, including Ghana. PHP is passionate about introducing superior products into the Nigerian market for the benefit of the people. PHP’s has two primary goals: 1) bridge the prevailing supply gap of poultry equipment by building a modern manufacturing plant and hatchery to meet the need of Nigerian farmers; 2) create jobs and drastically lower production costs, thereby producing high quality chickens and eggs affordable to the general population.
Riol Enterprises (Nigeria) is an integrated livestock rearing and crop production farm. The Farm is located in Osoba village, Ogun State, about 50 miles from Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city with a population of over 16 million people. Riol Farms’ mission is to become the premier provider of high quality and nutritious organic poultry products including table eggs and live poultry for the Lagos marketplace. Riol Farms’ products include table eggs (all natural and nutritious, packed with high quality protein and essential vitamins and minerals), and live poultry. Birds are fed on the best organically grown grains sourced from our crop production business as well as local cooperatives. Riol Farms’ cage free eggs are produced from pullets that are reared into layer birds on site at the farm. Riol Farms is committed to its customers, workers and the community in which it operates. As a close knit operation, its workers are empowered in decision making and encouraged to contribute ideas for continuous improvement. Riol Farms gives back to the community by employing local citizens, organizing local cooperatives and sponsoring local activities.
Sardis Enterprises (SEI) (Ghana) is an international import/export agency specializing in agricultural goods and other products from West Africa. It is based in Delaware, but offices are maintained in Philadelphia, Denver, and West Africa. The West African office is managed by Ghana-based Corporation Sardis Enterprises L.T.D. - a wholly owned subsidiary of SEI. As the exclusive importer, SEI's vision is to establish a strong brand for the Ashanti line of produce and have a strong, positive impact on the lives of the local farmers and residents in Africa by providing a large, ready marketplace. The Ashanti Pineapple is SEI’s flagship product. SEI’s cooperatives use natural fertilizing methods. The cooperative farmers weed their fields by hand thus avoiding the need for pesticide application. No chemical means are employed before, during, or after harvest to induce flowering. SEI is currently certifying its farms and cooperatives as organic. By exporting agricultural produce for import and sale in the U.S., SEI intends to expand African pineapple production and export capacity from approximately 4,900 pineapples to 42,000 shipped per month by 2013. The expansion in organic export capacity will be supported by existing producing farms and planting in currently dormant farms.
Viable Vision Industries (Ghana) is a private limited liability company registered under the company codes and incorporated for operation in the republic of Ghana. It has been in operation since March 2010. Viable Vision is the only commercial mushrooms farm in Ghana that produces and distributes master cultures, spawns, mushroom bags, and mature mushrooms all under one roof. As a result, Viable Vision is virtually in competition only with itself and therefore taking advantage of the entire existing market. The company plans to set up training centers and support programs aimed at capacity building for small scale mushroom producers and hobby growers. Viable Vision currently produces only one species of mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus, commonly known as Oyster mushroom. Viable Vision was awarded District Best Mushrooms Farm in 2011 after just 13 months of being in operation. Majority shares in the company are owned by two experienced scientists with the requisite knowledge and competence to direct and supervise the full scale operations of the company.
Sector: Renewable Energy
Comprehensive Design Services (Nigeria) is a US and Nigeria-based organization that provides responsive and responsible design, engineering and project management services for sustainable or green and affordable projects. CDS’ most important product, the Passive House Prototype or PHP is designed to help Nigeria achieve her Millennium Development Goals. It provides a vehicle, the Passive House Prototype, for widespread use of renewable energy, provision of affordable housing and enhancing the beauty and livability of the Nigerian built environment. CDS aims to be a “small but mighty organization” - small in size but mighty in creative capacity and impact. Its ultimate goal is improve the lot of, and raise the standard of living of millions of Nigerians by creating designs for affordable housing, clean water, renewable power and improved sanitation, amongst many others.
EcoPower Liberia (Liberia) uses innovative power generation technology combined with a new power distribution business model to make reliable, cheap electricity the new reality in Liberia and its neighbors. EcoPower Liberia distributes, installs and operates an electricity generating system that uses agricultural waste for fuel. Agricultural waste such as nut shells, peels, bagasse and other refuse is plentiful and cheap. This results in electricity costs as low as $0.10kWh. The only other way to generate electricity in Liberia is with diesel, but this costs over $0.50kWh, rendering anything made in Liberia uncompetitive (average world price for electricity is $0.15kWh). EcoPower Liberia’s generator dramatically reduces the cost of mechanized crop processing. Just as important, it enables processing right in the village, eliminating spoilage and greatly increasing the incomes of farmers. Its compact power plants produce power-on-demand, up to 24/7; this is necessary to enable manufacturing, cell towers, refrigeration of meat and dairy, refrigeration of medicines in hospitals, and many other uses.
Infinicity PLC, Inc. (Nigeria) - AfricaNewsNet is a project of Infinicity PLC, Inc. The project is designed to provide well-written, well-curated, and professionally-presented online news, opinion, analysis, and multimedia content about and relating to Africa. It was set up to address a gap for news and content with a continental perspective, at a time when Africa is moving steadily towards greater regional integration, when cross-pollination between African business people and countries is picking up momentum. Infinicity PLC believes that a central place for content that is both local and yet continental would be a timely and appropriate addition to the mix of voices telling an increasingly exciting African story. Its goal is to become an indispensable and valued channel for the latest news, analysis, opinion, commentary and multimedia for consumers within Africa and the Diaspora, on whatever device they use – from the traditional computer desktop or screen to the mobile device. AfricaNewsNet plans to set up editorial, sales and marketing operations in three key African cities, and eventually to establish a presence in every African country.
MedEnhanz Resources Ltd (Nigeria) is a start-up venture with a mission to make up-to-date medical information readily available to healthcare professionals and to drive the use of quick reference medical information to improve patient care delivery in Nigeria. The flagship product, its website, www.medenhanz.com, is an accessible and affordable web-based and mobile application for point of care clinical reference information and continuing medical education. The website has been developed to empower clinicians and other healthcare providers with cutting-edge knowledge to manage their patients through instant access to current world-class content such as clinical practice guidelines and algorithms, disease conditions, clinical trials, and drug information all at once at an affordable cost. With a multi-million dollar market size, and the rapid advances made in Information and Communication Technology in Nigeria in the last decade, MedEnhanz is poised to deliver value to care providers, patients and the company while closing the gap in medical service system, and make Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa a competitive quality healthcare destination.
Mobile Payment Solutions Ltd. (Zambia) is a software company specialized in payment systems, electronic and mobile commerce. Established in 2008, its mission is to transform Southern Africa into a cashless economy. By harnessing the efficiency of technology, we are significantly reducing the cost of doing business and fueling economic growth in the region. MPS products are appropriate for this market and designed with functionally, cost effectiveness and efficiency in mind. MPS has already created UtiliPay Payment Gateway, which allows bills to be presented and paid via mobile phone, internet or ATM, as well as a Mobile Banking Platform, which expands the reach of financial services to mobile phones and allows financial institutions to increase efficiency and expand their geographical reach without high operational costs. MPS is currently working on a Mobile Marketing Platform which will allow insurance companies to present simple micro-insurance products to the client through a mobile handset; communicate with clients; accept electronic payments via the mobile phone; and make payouts using mobile phone companies’ network of agents.
OTGPlaya Entity LLC (Nigeria) is a patent-pending affordable platform & infrastructure solution that combines cutting edge networking technology, emerging market wisdom and wide application to bring technology solutions to critical sectors where it is deployed. Foremost among these sectors is mass media, where it connects people in frontier markets to media content affordably by leapfrogging bandwidth constraints, and linking advertisers to the rising “next one billion” through a proprietary OFFLINE CLOUD, modern technology and social networking through content sharing and rewards paid for primarily by advertisers. OTGPlaya takes the iPad fad beyond “i” to “We” by incorporating an army of OTGPlaya device users into content acquirers, sharers and rewards beneficiaries. OTGPlaya seeks to leverage an armada of available content from the fastest growing and third largest movie industry in the world, Nollywood, with a network of kiosks with high-speed movie download capabilities across strategic urban areas in Nigeria. This network of kiosks bypasses the bandwidth limitation in broadband poor nations like Nigerian and resolves last mile reliability issues.
PromoTunisia (Tunisia) offers historical, cultural and Saharan journeys to Tunisia that are focused on themes such as archaeology, music, cuisine, arts & traditions to provide our travelers a unique Tunisia people experience. PromoTunisia is based in Tunis with a sales & marketing branch in the U.S. Its founder and General Manager, Mohamed Malouche, is the President of the Tunisian American Young Professionals (TAYP) Diaspora network. PromoTunisia differentiates itself from other companies in the Tourism industry by the authenticity of its trips, and the genuine desire to immerse visitors in Tunisian culture. PromoTunisia chooses small boutique hotels (called Dars which is “home” in Arabic) that are traditional, often luxurious and reminds guests that they are in Tunisia, and restaurants chosen serve fresh “menu du jour”. All guests attend traditional music concerts, plays or participate in making their own dinner. PromoTunisia is expanding its travel offerings and building upon the recent notoriety that Tunisia acquired in the US to include the sites of the Tunisian Jasmine revolution as well as WWII sites such as Carthage and the Kasserine Pass. PromoTunisia is building an e-tourism portal that will enable travelers worldwide to pick and choose their desired travel features and book Tunisia cultural travel online.
TrafficAfric Limited (Nigeria) is a company setup to provide information on traffic flow to road users. TrafficAfric developed an application designed for notably congested metropolis with a view to complementing efforts to alleviate traffic congestion and its effects in a cost effective and efficient manner. TrafficAfric intends to leverage the proliferation of smart phones, the concept of crowd sourcing, and the deepening internet penetration in Nigeria for delivering metropolitan wide traffic reports to road users in key cities where traffic congestion is a challenge. The increase in the number of cars on the roads, the resulting congestion and its adverse effects creates opportunities for individuals and organizations seeking to alleviate the adverse conditions through infrastructure development or information management. While infrastructure development creates more roads and transportation infrastructure which should be the long term solution to transportation challenges, optimizing available resources leveraging technology and information management is always a viable option, and creates a unique business opportunity for organizations like TrafficAfric who can do so in a cost effective and scalable manner.
Tunilab (Tunisia) is a legal technology service and business solutions company catering primarily to lawyers, courts and government agencies in Tunisia and other North African countries. Tunilab was founded in April 2012 as the first legal technology provider in Tunisia. TuniLab is helping law offices and businesses around the North African region move toward a paper free environment that offers more document security, reliability and cost efficiency. Tunilab is developing a document management system that can provide a platform to lawyers to better manage their cases. TuniLab also offers computer forensics services, staff training and expert testimony in cases involving digital evidence. Tunilab is building its state of the art secure facility with controlled access and video monitoring, and has the capability to digitize millions of pages of paper per month. The focus of Tunilab is on personalized service, quality and turnaround time. The Tunilab staff is very responsive regardless of the project size. Tunilab's main mission is to build a legal technology consulting group that will help modernize the legal and judiciary system in Tunisia.
To see the list of ADM I Awardees, click here