Everyone knows that food business is good business, yet, only a few entrepreneurs that we have met think of starting a company to address food related opportunities like production, packaging and food security. For some, changing the world means tackling more complex high tech problems, but what better way to transform a country than by disrupting something we do everyday…eat.
A view that is still prevalent in Nigeria is that agriculture is just a means of survival; it is not seen as a true business that can transform an entire country. ~ Abisoye Habib
Today, we interview one lady who plans to take on the food and agriculture industry in Nigeria by making packaged fruits and vegetables readily available for all.
What does your company do and how would it change the world?
We grow, process and package fresh fruits and vegetables for consumption within Nigeria and worldwide.
A view that is still prevalent in Nigeria is that agriculture is just a means of survival; it is not seen as a true business that can transform an entire country. So, our mission is to be a catalyst for food security, job creation and youth empowerment in Nigeria, and all over Africa.
We want to play a pivotal part in transforming what agribusiness should really be, by increasing food production, limiting our dependence on foreign imports, spurring job creation, and creating a new reality in our society of what positive changes agribusiness can bring about.
How did you feel when you heard you were one of the selected Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs and what was the most difficult part about applying?
I wanted to jump out the window. lol 🙂 I was so excited, I was shaking! It felt great to see that this idea I’ve had in my head for so long is being validated by other people and it definitely gave me the extra boost of confidence to keep pressing forward.
The most difficult part about applying was trying to put all my thoughts down into a coherent plan that can be executed within my business environment. When you have a business idea in your head, you have so many thoughts swirling. Putting all those thoughts down into a format that someone else can clearly see the benefits of what you are trying to achieve can be very challenging.
What is your major business challenge and how do you intend to address it?
The number one business challenge we are facing right now is navigating the terrain. How can we locate resources and sift through all the noise and distraction that comes with running a business in Africa.
Thankfully, being part of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme, we get assigned a mentor who is seasoned in the African business climate and brings a wealth of knowledge that will help me avoid pitfalls. With their help, in the coming year, I expect aggressive growth for my business.
Any words of encouragement to someone who is thinking of starting a business?
Don’t be afraid to take that first step, no matter how little. Once you make that initial move, the fear melts away and is replaced by an adrenaline rush like no other. You can do this. And you will succeed.
We’ll be on the look out for packaged fruits and vegetables from Abisoye Habib’s company. To find out more about her, follow Abisoye on Twitter.
Every day for the next few days, we will share the stories of 30+ African women entrepreneurs whose ideas can change the world. These women are idea and early stage entrepreneurs, with businesses less than three years old, who are beneficiaries of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme.
We are sharing their experiences in hopes that their stories will inspire someone out there to take the leap and go after their dreams. Hope you enjoy their stories as much as we enjoyed putting them together. Follow our daily stories using the hashtag #TEEPcofoundHER or visit cofoundHER (www.cofoundher.com) for updates.