Start-ups projects participating in the AGEA Start-up Class 2022

Over the past two months, 15 start-up teams have been going through a series of tailored training sessions coupled with expert coaching to enhance the smooth operation and functioning of their start-ups. These start-up teams have so far gained expert knowledge in Value Proposition Design, Marketing & Distribution, Profit Model Design, and Business System development. In the remaining two sessions start-up teams will gain deeper understanding in Financial Planning and be equipped with resources to ascertain Start-up financing opportunities available. It is worth noting that these start-ups are a result of scientific university research outcomes where universities and HEIs staff, lecturers, doctoral students, and master’s students come together to gain expert knowledge in Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Business Formation, and Management. The vital resources and practical knowledge gained through the sessions make these start-ups stand out to become more sustainable. Below are the start-ups participating in the first edition of the AGEA Start-up Class 2022.

eTrash2Cash (Nigeria)

eTrash2Cash is a social enterprise that helps low-income people exchange their trash for cash, which they use to better their lives and the planet. Each major city in Nigeria generates up to 10,000 metric tons of waste daily, more than 80% of the waste is potentially reusable, but less than 32% on average is recollected from the environment. On the other end, more than 87 million people in the country who are the bulk waste generators are extremely low-income earners, surviving on less than $1 daily. eTrash2Cash helps both the people and the planet. It supports the people to exchange their trash for cash, which they use to better their lives. eTrash2Cash is solving the environmental challenges posed on the planet and social challenges posed to people as a result of abject poverty. eTrash2Cash is a simple technology or digital platform that helps low-income people to exchange their trash for cash, which they save and use to better their own lives. eTrash2Cash provides a local collection centre, also called the Green Centre, in local communities and the digital platform (web, mobile app + SMS) that helps people to monetize or earn money from their trash. Low-income people go to the local collection centre/green centre and exchange their trash for cash, which they save on the platform like a mobile bank, and redeem earnings anywhere and anytime for cash or social care services such as a micro-health insurance plan. After waste collection directly from the grassroots, eTrash2Cash also uses its own technology to reprocess and recycle all the collected waste into other sustainable and environmentally-friendly materials or products. For instance, plastic waste is reprocessed and recycled into biodegradable trash bags, paper wastes recycled into tissue papers, etc. eTrash2Cash provides an end to end circular economy model that supports the low-income to earn more attractive cash incentives through digital and mobile banking platforms, redeem it to better their lives, and also directly reprocess the trash into something both reusable and sustainable for the environment. eTrash2Cash helps both the people and the planet. eTrash2Cash targets the extremely low-income people, who are struggling to make ends meet under $1 daily.

Soon we will establish more green Centers or waste collection hubs in northern Nigeria to increase our waste collection and support base. With 15 more Centers, we will support an additional 20,000 low-income women to earn more from their trash. Acquiring more waste reprocessing machines and equipment, will help us to reprocess more waste, turn them into sustainable raw materials or products, generate revenue and become more sustainable. Conducting more grassroots education and awareness campaigns through both traditional and new media, engaging more stakeholders to make a coordinated impact on the environment is also important to us. Training 50 low-income women and girls in Nigeria on sustainable up-cycling, waste management, and educating them about issues around sustainable environment and climate change is another avenue we look forward to execute. Our team is made up of Muhammad Salisu Abdullahi the CEO who holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Biotechnology with a Distinction. He has over 8 years of experience in sustainable plastic waste collection and management. Khadija Aliyu the COO, who holds an MBA and has over 7 years of experience in business & entrepreneurship. Chiroma Hassan who graduated with a First Class Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Computer Science from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He is a top-notch software developer with many years of experience, and has worked with many national and international organisations. Chiroma is interested in making digital platforms work positively for the people at the bottom of the pyramid in fields such as the environment, health, and education. We are supported by 3 other team members, with many years of experience and background in social entrepreneurship, software development, finance, and marketing.

RealNutri Rice Flour (Uganda)

More than 70% of the human population globally has no access to a healthy comprehensive diet. This is further worsened by climate and economic shocks. One-third of the world’s population is relying on rice as the sole source of nutrition. However, rice grains and flour are poor sources of essential amino acids, fiber, and micronutrients. This has led to high malnutrition levels among children and the general population, especially in Africa and Asia. In Uganda, the native fish species Rastrineobola argentea (Mukene) is the third most-produced fish, but 80% is processed into animal feeds. Yet it is a well-known direct source of essential amino acids and micronutrients. In addition, women that process this fish and rice receive little earnings due to low-value addition and postharvest losses. To overcome the malnutrition and poverty issues, we produce Rice flour product (REALNUTRI rice flour) a nutrient booster, with all essential nutrients, by mixing it with appropriate proportions of Rastrineobola argentea (Mukene), mushroom, and pumpkin seeds. This comes at an affordable price in different flavors and package sizes (0.5 kg, 1 kg, 5 kg, and more) for our customers (pregnant women, children, schools, and refugees) who can get it from small retail shops, supermarkets, and regional depots. The product can be prepared as a meal, used in making porridge; rice noodles; rice bread; thickening sauces, or making rice pancakes.

This product is to improve the nutrition of both rural and urban communities through this well-processed supplementation. Reduction in malnourished children and disease cases due to malnutrition secures resilient livelihood for them. In value addition, there are; employment opportunities, heritage for this indigenous fish, and its conservation in a sustainable development approach. In addition, post-harvest management is improved, hence reducing losses for local farmers. We are willing to partner will health and community development organizations, business investors, and certified local and international suppliers of food products. We need more high-quality stainless steel machines to scale up the production. The team is made up of Dr. Ssanyu Grace Asiyo (Team leader, Technical expert on production and quality assurance), Kiwanuka Marvious (Community engagement and marketing), and Dr. Bamuwamye Michael (Nutritionist/specialist in food security and safety).

Modern mill line for the production of biofortified maize and cassava flours in West Africa (Nigeria)

After following a food poisoning tragedy that struck a whole family after the consumption of maize flour that was processed in conditions that did not respect any hygiene and safety standards, we carried out a small survey to inquire about the state of the mills and the conditions in which the various flours consumed are manufactured in the Benin Republic. The results showed very poor hygiene in the mills as the workers are not following any standard food processing procedure; hence high-quality flours are scarce in the country and surrounding regions. That led us to the idea of installing a complete line of modern mills for the production and marketing of improved flours made from maize and cassava. We will mainly use Biofortified maize and cassava varieties with a high level of essential nutrients such as vitamin A, iron, zinc, and Iodine. The production will be under optimal hygienic conditions and standard food processing procedures to preserve the vital nutrients contained in the raw materials. We are trying to solve the following challenges: the scarcity of improved cassava and maize flours on the local market, poor quality of flour on the market, inappropriate quality of packaging, and inappropriate storage conditions. Also, the implementation of this project will contribute to reducing the alarming rate of malnutrition in Sub-saharan Africa as well as the achievement of some of Africa’s Sustainable Development Goals, including Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Decent Work, and Economic Growth. Besides, this project will also alleviate the burden on the population, especially women, of domestic work related to the milling of cereals and other raw materials.

Production of high-quality cassava and maize flours using modern machines of the latest generation will allow us to reduce production costs significantly. Also, marketing of improved local cassava flour, appropriate biodegradable packaging to preserve product quality and modern storage facilities that meet hygiene standards are some pain relievers. These flours will be packaged in 1; 2.5; 5; 10; 25 and 50-kilogram biodegradable packages that comply with environmental standards. Our key highlights are using biofortified cassava and maize varieties in a health-friendly approach; appropriate packaging to avoid nutrient losses in the processed flours; and our competitive price. Our target markets are households, restaurants, bakeries, feed mills, and breweries in West African countries. To achieve the objectives of this project, we will need a team composed of one (1) Managing director, one (1) Financial officer, one (1) Production and plant manager, one (1) Stock manager, two (2) Laboratory technicians, one (1) Accountant, one (1) Bilingual secretary, two (2) Commercials, one (1) Cashier, four (4) Specialized workers, ten (10) Unskilled labor, two (2) Technical maintenance workers, two (2) Drivers, one (1) Bonding Agent, and two (2) Guardians. For the implementation of this project, we need financial support of 366,000$ (dollars) with a projected income of 675,000$ and 2,700,000$ in the first and third years, respectively.

Nutri-kid – A locally developed Ready-To-Use-Therapeutic-Food (RUTF) for Management of Malnutrition in Children (Kenya)

In 2020, globally, 149.2 million children under the age of 5 years were stunted and 45.4 million wasted according to a recent report by the World Health Organization. Even though an effective cure has existed in ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTF) for many years, many children are left untreated, making wasting one of the largest mortality drivers for children under 5, responsible for up to 2 million deaths annually. While RUTF has revolutionized community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) across 70 countries, only one in three severely wasted children can have access to this treatment and life-saving commodity according to UNICEF. At present, models to scale up this intervention in a cost-effective manner do not exist. Despite the billions spent, efforts to address malnutrition have failed to tackle this massive global problem. The dominant public sector “supply-driven” models have not worked and cannot achieve the scale required. We redefine the future through a revolutionary product – Nutri-kid, whose manufacture involves using local foods to make a novel low-cost nutrient-dense food with the required daily dietary requirements for malnourished children. Our product is of 10% superior quality, 40% cheaper, and 30% energy-dense as compared to existing options. The Global market size for global ready-to-use therapeutic food is about US$ 307.3 Mn and is projected to reach over US$ 617 Mn by the end of 2024. Our target customers are working mothers/professionals, day/baby care centers, holidaymakers, hospitals, teaching facilities, NGOs, and the general population.

We are currently undergoing a market-readiness program supported by Kenyatta University Medical Innovation and Accelerator Hub, and also we are part of the African German Entrepreneurship Academy AGEA 2022 class. Our main aim in the financial year 2022 is to source funds and/or grants to facilitate commercialization by setting up a manufacturing plant with automated systems in the production and packaging line. We have truly hit the jackpot when it comes to relevant expertise for the business foundation and success. The team has been together for more than ten years implementing several projects. Our team is made up of Sussyann Miriti, a recipient of an advanced degree in nutrition and dietetics who takes pride in more than 10 years of experience in food security and management of malnutrition while Donatus Njoroge is a multi-award winning serial social entrepreneur having launched three organizations and act as lead consultant for Anti-poverty business development international, a US not for Profit.

Hackcess Feeds and Additives (Nigeria)

Amidst the rising cost of poultry feed is the burden of antibiotic resistance in poultry, pigs, and their end products’ consumer; humans. Although the world health organization (WHO) had widely warned about the interconnectedness of this rising menace with misuse of antibiotics; many farmers in Nigeria are still largely in the practice of utilizing heavy synthetic antibiotics for sub-therapeutic (growth-promoting, prophylactic) purposes. This poses a serious threat to public health, food security, and safety in Nigeria; as pig and poultry meat account for one of the most consumed meats in the country. Our business thus through research successes, is developing relatively affordable fortified feeds and phytogenic additives, nature-based, residual-effect free, and functional feed soon to be commercialized, for use in poultry and pig nutrition. These feed additives are functional in nature and are produced from carefully selected naturally phytogenic tropical leaves. They perform functions similar to antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) for improved health and growth performance in the animals, but without residual effects on both the animals and its product’s end consumers as obtainable with AGPs.

As a start-up in incubation, we are particularly industrializing these fortified feeds and packaged nature-based functional feed additives for pigs and poultry nutrition. To put it short; we are introducing functional nutrition in livestock farming. In doing so our products are relatively affordable, nature-based, residual-effect free, and functional. While we commercialize our products, our primary customers are pig and poultry farmers as well as veterinary stores that will stock up on our products and serve customers. We will need financial assistance in the early stages of the business as a spin-off i.e. funding for the setting up of a feed mill, feed additives production facilities, and initial business operation. 

Our team is made up of two researchers (Dr. Ayeni Akinlolu Oluwafemi and Mrs Olateju Imoleayo Sarah) experienced in finding alternative feed and feed additives for improved health and performance of monogastric nutrition and an entrepreneur (Mr. Obadare Israel Gem) with experience in both fields of research and business. Our target market is the subsistence and commercial poultry farms; poultry feed depots and veterinary drug stores. Some resources needed include but are not limited to a standard feed milling facility, feed milling machines and equipment, feed and additive packaging equipment and materials, and trucks for transport. Soon we will see Hackcess Feeds and Additives increase the drive for sustainable ingredient sourcing; by setting up plantations for plants used in the production of the phytogenic feed additives. 

Enhancing Value Added Chain in Poultry Farming (Nigeria)

We are an e-commerce shop that will help poultry farmers in Kano State sell their products conveniently to consumers. We will also provide veterinary services to the farmers to help them maximize profit and reduce losses. As a business, we aim to enhance the value chain of poultry farming by helping poultry farmers gain access to quality poultry inputs, on-demand veterinary services, market visibility, and cold storage facilities to increase productivity and profit.

These services can be accessed via our online website at gonavet.com. This website has been sustainably developed to cater to farmers that have access to the internet and technology. We also have an onsite facility via our office outlet for our customers who do not have access to the internet or technology. Our business model is both commission and subscription-based to cater to seasonal and regular farmers respectively. In the near future, we look forward to partnering with other companies and industry experts in this field to continue providing viable solutions to our customers and extending our reach to other states in Nigeria. Yvonne Igo Ogah, Joseph Ifiemi Ikogi, Nnenna Nwachukwu, Sajo Mohammed, and Anyayi Chinedu are the team members.

Afri-Hope Services (Cameroon)

Afri-Hope Services is a Pan-African and innovative social enterprise intended to offer context-relevant and robust solutions to aspiring, junior, and mid-career professionals as well as specialized research and development institutions across Africa. Our goal is to radically transform un-skilled and in-experienced graduates, junior and mid-term career professionals through customized soft-skills development packages, professional exposure to credible corporate entities, and networks that offer the best job creation and employment opportunities in Africa and beyond. We equally seek to offer both virtual and in-person specialized skills training based on prior individual and or organizational diagnosis and customer demands. Hence, our services are uniquely delivered through a combination of Consultancy packages and a Think-Tank with seasoned and multidisciplinary experts from across Africa committed to boosting research and sustainable development.

Our Services

Consultancy solutions

Among other services, we provide:

  • Social enterprise-based solutions include the conception of business plans, projects, design, start-up, operationalization, and sustainability of community-based organizations, young entrepreneurs and or business owners, resource mobilization, coaching, and mentorship;
  • Skills-development support to young graduates, aspiring, junior, and mid-term professionals through needs-based training packages in strategic leadership, corporate communication, social media marketing, public speaking/relations, report writing, customer care, strategic negotiation and lobbying, e-service delivery, M&E, etc.;
  • One to two months of intensive specialized skills ignition and two (2) to six (6) months of internship and or service-learning/community outreach placement in specialized corporate entities across Africa and beyond.

Think-tank solutions

As a Think-tank, we provide:

  • Action and policy-oriented research and analysis using a multidisciplinary approach with our pool of credible and dedicated researchers and experts in humanities, and social sciences, from across the five regions of Africa. Among our key domains of interest and expertise include governance, regional integration, gender, economy, public administration, international affairs, education, environmental management, youth, and women empowerment;
  • Organization of international events including workshops, panel discussions, and debates, on current research findings, targeting policymakers, government officials, INGOs, NGOs, CSOs, development partners, and experts across Africa;
  •  Regular publication of policy briefs, web-based reports, periodicals, and commentary blogs to effectively contribute towards positively shaping governance and regional integration in Africa.

We are registered in Cameroon, and currently searching for operational support, seed grants, and potential clients to begin with our service delivery while working towards establishing other offices across the five regions of Africa. Our team is made up of Dr. Sakah Bernard Nsaidzedze, the Team Lead, Country Representative- in Cameroon(Central Africa), and Co-founder who has a Ph.D. & M.A in Governance & Regional Integration and a BSc. Sociology & Anthropology (bernard.nsai@gmail.com), Dr. Maryse Ogounchi who is the Co-founder/Operations Manager and Country Representative- Benin/Nigeria (West Africa) and holds a Ph.D. & M.A in Governance & Regional Integration, MSc. International Relations and Political Science and B.A Diplomacy & International Relations. Dr. Victor Moinina is a Co-founder/Senior Research Analyst and Country Representative – Sierra-Leone (West Africa) who holds a Ph.D. & M.A in Governance & Regional Integration and B.A in History & Political Science. Dr. Brivery Siambele Co-founder/ Senior Research Analyst and Country Representative – Zambia (Southern Africa), a Ph.D. Candidate holds an M.A In Governance & Regional Integration, and B.A in Development Studies. Ms. Haoua Moussa a country representative in Niger and Assistant Research Analyst holding an M.A in Governance & Regional Integration and a B.A in Public Health.

Bioremediation of Brine Wastewater for Agricultural Purposes (South Africa)

South Africa is an emerging and developing country dependent on mining industries, yet it is also a big producer of waste. In addition, South Africa has to deal with climate change, deforestation, and the pollution of water resources. Therefore, our team (Armando Corporation) would like to manufacture a biological product capable to purify wastewater and also providing services to maintain equipment for agricultural purposes. There is a need to investigate alternative brine treatment technologies that will be cheap and fast with low energy requirements. Briefly, we are offering services aimed at the purification of polluted soil and groundwater. Our services are related to the bioremediation of the polluted groundwater by using moderately halophilic bacteria collected at Emalahleni Reclamation Plant and sequenced at Inqaba-Pretoria/South Africa. Our customers are farmers from coastal and mining activities environments, and our services are only biological, because we are using certified moderately halophilic bacteria to purify (to desalinate) polluted groundwater.

Currently, we are under an incubation program where we received funding to manufacture Afrobacteria capable to purify brine wastewater, in case anyone is interested and able to do so, the support that we need will be related to having more partners to extend our products and services in the marketplace. Armando Corporation is a team of two scientific researchers (Ph.D. candidates). We are Armand Aime Eroko Zintchem and Celia Muzeza. We seek to tap into the Coastal and mining activities environments where environmentally friendly halophilic bacterial strains for the purification of the brine (salted water) are used.

Presently we are using the facilities (laboratories and greenhouse) from the University of South Africa and look forward to getting partners who will work hand in hand with us to build fully equipped laboratories and greenhouse facilities that will increase our capacity. We look forward to increasing our presence in the market by introducing customer-intriguing and involving marketing platforms and techniques as well as finding the most sustainable price of the product and service.

PlantLife (Namibia)

Plant diseases and pests are a threat to farmers realizing optimum yields and proceeds from their crops. They reduce the quantity and quality of the produce, and this is especially so for smallholder farmers who have relatively small farming land. Any technological advancement to aid small farmers has to take into consideration the available resources that they have at their disposal for it to have the desired impact. The objective of this project is to further develop the PLANTLIFE mobile application prototype which can be used by smallholder farmers to identify plant diseases and pests which are affecting their crops through Artificial Intelligence. The overall impact of the application is aiding smallholder farmers to be able to ward off financial and yield losses caused by diseases and pests using smartphones that they already have. This contributes to the overarching theme of realizing food security. The initial target country is Zimbabwe concentrating on three customer segments which are farmers, agrochemical dealers, and institutions which include NGOs and Government ministries.

The farmer will gain a quick and cheap way of identifying pests and diseases by having readily available information on the control and treatment of pests and diseases. The application will provide linkage to Agrochemical dealers to access detailed information to control and treat pests and diseases. The Agrochemical dealers will be able to quickly and efficiently advertise available Agrochemicals directly to farmers. They will also be able to easily know different agrochemicals to stock in different geographical areas, and detailed information on customer demand for certain chemicals which in turn increases product sales. The Government and NGOs will have a web application that will allow efficient access to updated information on crop pests and diseases and direct access to farmers to disseminate important information. Through the platform they will also be able to easily get detailed analytics of pests and diseases for different regions in the country, increase access to real-time information, and access to current and previous data to predict future events. To promote our application, the advertisement will be conducted on social media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter), Messaging Apps (WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal), and on the PLANTLIFE website.

The use of sale promotions will be implemented through the use of monthly subscriptions to NGOs and the government who will use the web application. Farmers will get the application for free and the information that they generate from the use of the application will be used to offer paid services to other customer segments such as Agro-chemical dealers, NGOs, and the government. Some services will be offered for free with advanced features on a subscription basis for a Freemium and Subscription strategy for Agro-chemical companies. Publicity and public relations will be conducted through seminars, blogs, and sharing success stories of farmers through the use of short videos, field visits, and speeches/ reports. For the application to be production-ready, investment is needed for the collection of images and AI model training infrastructure. The collection of images will pave way for additional real field images for a comprehensive dataset. The infrastructure will allow for thorough training and evaluation of AI models for better-performing models in the field. The PLANTLIFE team comprise of Blessing Sibanda, Lonnie Matsa holders of MSc Computer Science, and Josephine Pasipanodya Ph.D. student agriculture (plant breeding).

DishiAsili (Kenya)

Our mission is to provide high-quality dried fruits and vegetables at affordable prices and curb post-harvest losses in Africa. Our business is to dehydrate and process fruits and vegetables by utilizing solar energy to give agricultural produce a long shelf-life, curb post-harvest losses, enhance sustainable farming and fight hunger in Africa. Our dried fruit product line includes mangoes, bananas, and pawpaw. Also, our dried vegetable products include tomatoes, onions, carrots, and kales. Our startup solves the problem of high post-harvest losses in fruits and vegetables, high seasonal gaps, and price fluctuations.

Our target market is the supermarkets and SMEs, and to export our products abroad. Our competitors are Sweetunda and sweet n’ dry in Kenya. The marketing channels we use are supermarkets and online platforms. We have a comparative advantage in producing our products because of three main factors:

  1. Introducing dried vegetables into the target market
  2. A new package of mixed dried fruits
  3. Utilizing solar energy (Go green, save the world) 

We see DishiAsili transforming the Kenyan food processing industry in the coming years as the startup is seeking some US$126,280.00 from potential investors and partners. In this light, we have projected the following financials for the next one (1) to three (3) years. In the next three years, DishiAsili project annual sales of $483,600.00 in the first year, $486,720.00 in the second year and $491,720.00 in the third year. We expect a gross margin of $226,460.40 in the first year, $306,580.00 in the second year and $328,580.40 in the third year. In the end, we foresee a net profit of $28,450.39 in the first year, $37,410.93 in the second year, and $71,515.16 in the third year. The group is made up of Lilies Kathumbi the Chief Executive Officer, Aloys Dushimimana the Project Manager, and Michael Maina the Finance Manager.