Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the agriculture and food sector in Africa, which is projected to exceed a trillion dollars by 2030. This book is the first practical primer to equip and support entrepreneurs in Africa through the process of starting and growing successful and resilient agriculture and food businesses that will transform the continent. Through the use of case studies and practical guidance, the book reveals how entrepreneurs can leverage technology and innovation to leapfrog and adapt to climate change, ensuring that Africa can feed itself and even the world. The book will:
- Inspire aspiring entrepreneurs to start and grow resilient and successful businesses in the agriculture and food landscapes.
- Equip aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs with practical knowledge, skills, and tools to navigate the complex agriculture and food ecosystems and develop and grow high-impact and profitable businesses.
- Enable aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs to develop scalable business models, attract and retain talent, leverage innovation and technology, raise financing, build strong brands, shape their ecosystem, and infuse resilience into every aspect of their operations.
The book is for aspiring and emerging agribusiness entrepreneurs across Africa and agribusiness students globally. It will also inspire policymakers, researchers, development partners, and investors to create an enabling and supportive environment for African entrepreneurs to thrive.
Table of Contents
Foreword (Dr. Lawrence Haddad)
1. Overview of the Food & Agriculture Sector in Africa
2. Developing a Compelling & Sustainable Business Mode
3. Talent for Scaling
4. Leveraging Innovation & Technology to Leapfrog
5. Building your Brand & Amplifying your Impact
6. Financing Growth
7. Shaping your Ecosystem
8. Building Resilience
Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli is a social innovator and entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience. She is the cofounder of Sahel Consulting and AACE Foods, as well as the founder of LEAP Africa and Nourishing Africa. A graduate of the Wharton School and Harvard Business School, she serves on the boards of the African Philanthropy Forum, AGRA, Godrej Consumer Products, Nigerian Breweries, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Africa’s demographic dynamics are rightly cited as one of the megatrends which will shape the Continent’s path and trajectory. Ndidi’s book throws that much needed focus on what that means for Africa’s agriculture, farmers and entrepreneurs. No one could have done it better. Ndidi brings to the fore the critical importance of African ownership and the centrality of those responsible for over three quarters of what Africa consumes: the local entrepreneur. Ndidi’s life long-commitment and rigorous study of the issues pertinent is all evident in this timely publication.
Dr. Donald Kaberuka, 7th President African Development Bank
Food Entrepreneurs in Africa is a unique book that sets forth the requirements to be a successful African change maker at each level of the vertical food chain from seed to the kitchen table. Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli emphasizes that change makers be more creative in responding to the health, economic, and environmental needs of both producers and consumers. To my knowledge, I know of no other book that has done this for Africa. This book will be useful to entrepreneurs, public policy makers, educators, and to all those who want to improve this much needed and too long neglected important part of the global food system.
Professor Ray Goldberg, Emeritus George M. Moffett, Professor of Agriculture and Business, Harvard Business School
This book, through the voices of active entrepreneurs, distills the building blocks necessary to fortify courage for the brave few who will dare to rise to the challenge of feeding Africa, and the world. Through eight chapters, readers are carried along on a journey of discovery; parsing the challenges, motivations and value proposition for embarking on agribusiness entrepreneurship. This should be the first reference material for anyone, in the public or private sector, willing to contribute to Africa’s prosperity in agribusiness. I am proud to recommend this book to governments, entrepreneurs and students of agribusiness. Mrs. Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli continues to demonstrate her leadership in fostering agriculture transformation in Africa.
Dr. Debisi Araba, Managing Director, African Green Revolution, Forum (AGRF)
Food Entrepreneurs in Africa is a must-read for anyone who cares about building a more inclusive, fair and sustainable world, both within food and agriculture and beyond. Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli is an exceptional entrepreneur and story-teller. She offers a rare combination of hard won, on-the-ground practical experience, intellectual and analytical rigor and a deep-seated passion and personal commitment for driving transformational change. She knows first-hand how difficult it is to implement, let alone scale new financing and business models, new technologies and new mindsets – both at the firm-level and more systemically. She also understands the enormous positive potential when such change can be achieved. This book is both a practical guide for action and how to overcome obstacles as well as an inspiring vision and reflection on what is possible.
Jane Nelson, Director of the Corporate Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution
Ndidi Nwuneli describes extensively in this book the need for scalable entrepreneurship in the agri-food industry in Africa. This is critical to make Africa self-supporting in its own food-production and more independent regarding food import and aid programs. By developing knowledge and experience, Africa can become more resilient with respect to the adverse climate impact, natural disasters like locusts or infection diseases. This book is very welcomed and enhances the entrepreneurial spirit in Africa.
Feike Sijbesma, Honorary Chairman Royal DSM, Africa Improved Foods, Global Climate Adaptation Centers