Saturday, 24 May 2014

Call for Applications: GrowthAfrica Agribusiness Accelerator Programme 2014

Are you an entrepreneur in agribusiness? If yes, then this is a great opportunity for you to get investment and mentorship. The growthhub is running a program called the agribusiness accelerator program where it targets entrepreneurs in the agribusiness sector looking to grow/accelerate their businesses. The growthhub has had previous such programs which have been successful with entrepreneurs raising over $30 Million deal flow.

So, what is the program all about? The program is an 18-20 week long program that seeks to bring together entrepreneurs in the agribusiness sector, train them on ways to improve their businesses (supply chain, market analysis etc) as well as get funding.
Who should apply? Entrepreneurs in agribusiness should apply. There are several categories businesses should fall under. This does not however include farmers who only plant and sell produce, some level of value addition should be available.
The core team should be working full time in the company
The product should be already launched and have customers in Kenya and revenue generated. The amount does not really matter. So ideas do not qualify. Having customers shows proof of concept.
You are in need of venture capital and resources to grow and scale your business to the next level.
The cartegories include:
Companies that increase income generation for farmers
  1. As suppliers to their value chain (out-grower components)
  2. As agents/distributors of their products/services
  3. As employees (seasonal or part-time)
Agro-processing businesses
  1. Where value addition locally/regionally is increased/improved
  2. Where uptake from local/regional farmers is increased or done at better unit prices
Agriculture Tech Start-ups
  1. That improve farmers access to information, inputs, services and markets
  2. That improve farming efficiency and output of crop yields, livestock etc
  3. Improved services and products (farm inputs) for farmers
Training & education
  1. Financial solutions (credit, insurance, mobile transactions) for farmers
  2. Improved quality or affordability, e.g. to agronomic practices, extension services
  3. Agribusinesses that improve the logistical infrastructure towards farmers
For improved efficiencies in distribution of farm inputs and products
  1. For easier uptake by markets of farm outputs
  2. Adoption of “modern” farming practices & products
 Businesses in the Agriculture Value chain that improve food security
  1. Encouraging use of new crops or new applications of traditional crops
  2. Business ideas that focus on improved nutrition and a healthy food culture
 Innovations in Agribusiness
  1. Organic products
  2. Fair-trade schemes
  3. Irrigation technologies & solutions
For the 2014 program, the deadline is on the 31st of May. After closing date, applications will be reviewd and those who have made it through the first stage will be contacted for a one on one interview to discuss the business in detail. A total of 15 startups will be admitted into the program that will run for 16-18 weeks where they will be helped to develop their businesses in many ways including getting mentors and funding. Entrepreneurs ill however have to be present for all the sessions except when really necessary. A team can have upto 3 team members attending the sessions. This Is to ensure commitment of the entrepreneur to his/her business Businesses. A lot of emphasis is made on commitment. A commitment fee of KSH 30,000 is charged to entrepreneurs. This catters for curriculum materials, and meals which are provided during the program. The money can be paid at a later date or over a long period of time. This is strictly a show of commitment. They can raise funds from other investors worldwide so funding opportunities are limitless.
I would advice everyone in the agribusiness sector to apply. Remeber the deadline is 31st May 2014
Check out some of the agribusiness ventures that got funding here
Interested entrepreneurs can apply here

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Marriage Bill: Are polyandrous unions are a good idea?

Should ladies fight for this?

Women should also be allowed to have two husbands- if the second one is over 40. If that was to happen, the number of senior bachelors in this neighborhood and my village will drastically reduce. I said 40 not 25 or 65- for purposes of getting some support from a section of the church, a nod from Maendeleo ya Wanaume and a pat on the back from other feminists- the media too won't see the big story so there will be no buzz around that wedding!

Back to our plot| where I live and there's a straight guy~ mid 40s, still does his laundry, dishes and makes his chapatis~ so eligible. The dude doesn't drink, leaves early and is always in the house before 9pm. I would recommend this guy any day to any unhappily married woman out there. Def the guy deserves a single lady but at 40 he has seen them all and perhaps just wants to be with his teenage sweetie who left him and got married to another guy.

However this would really complicate issues~ who moves in or out? Who will have the remote during prime time news? What if one says the salt was too much while the other asked for the salt shaker? How much sugar is okay for them? What about the different size, colour and look + feel of the boxers in the bathroom wall? Ugly! Who sits where? Who gets to slaughter the chicken and have the thighs? If one of them is Luhya sijui itakukuwaje! Choma that mbuzi over Xmas? Both guys? No! One will burn the ribs and pin it on the other one. Sunday outings? The mlevi one wants a place with a bar, the other one thinks snacks in the arboretum is a great idea~utaenda wapi! Watoto je? Come to extended family relations~how will you manage two mother in laws and keep them happy? Most women can't handle one so why add another one?

There's a Swahili saying that goes like "Fahali wawili hawakai zizi moja" so the woman has to split days between the guys~ two homes.
Think of a situation where one of the guys is explaining to the kids why their mum is with Uncle| Baba X for the weekend~ how about the telling yo kids unaenda holiday na yule mwingine just baba yao hana pesa?

Now I will leave the ladies to decide if polyandrous unions are a good idea. Should you fight for that?