This is part of a series of blogs from the four entrepreneurs participating in the Women’s Venture Xchange-Africa initiative. The Xchange is a mentorship and exchange program for high-growth women entrepreneurs based in Africa. The initiative is being run by the Case Foundation, the Mara Foundation, the Global Entrepreneurship Network and the U.S. Department of State.
I am the founder and managing director of Your Choice Agro Processor, Ltd. My company works with 3,000 women farmers who have been mobilized under a cooperative society based in Eastern Uganda. I arrived in Nairobi on Nov. 14, to participate in the Women’s Venture Xchange-Africa initiative. I have met the three other ladies from Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Tanzania.
I also met the hosts from the Mara Foundation who introduced us to our schedule for the next week and our mentors. The program included attending events at the WECREATE | KENYA offices for Global Entrepreneurship Week.
The first mentor I met with was Kate Kibarah, and she was amazing. Kate shared the story of starting her business which was inspiring. We discussed a lot, including, but not limited to: linking my company to a new market in Nairobi called the Nakumatt Supermarket; visiting the patenting office to get a picture of the requirements needed for registering a patent; and visiting some companies that are in agro processing to share ideas of how it is done in Nairobi. Marketing strategies and techniques were other hot topics that we discussed. We also had an interesting discussion about packaging and labeling, and determined that there is need for me to visit packaging companies around Nairobi.
I also had an introductory meeting with the Africa Agribusiness Academy (AAA,) which is an entrepreneur network seeking to foster the innovation and growth of small and medium scale agribusiness firms in Africa. The ultimate aim is to improve economic growth and rural income and food security in Africa. I have been invited to join AAA as soon as I return to Uganda.