• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Three start-ups get N10m in nutrition challenge

Nigeria’s start-ups show hunger for digital solution at Africa’s biggest pitch competition

Three nutrition-focused enterprises have emerged as successful winners in this year’s SUN Business Network Pitch Competition.

The event was organised by the FATE Foundation in collaboration with the Scaling Up Nutrition Business Network (SBN) and co-convened by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

The competition concluded on Thursday in Lagos, Nigeria, marking a significant milestone in the fight against malnutrition.

The winners of the competition announced amidst a gathering of industry leaders and stakeholders, include Babafemi Adejinmi, CEO of Gatob Multintegrated Services, securing five million naira; Gideon Olaoye, CEO of G.O.A Farms, awarded three million naira; and Saidat Dauda, CEO of Abisai Megatop Limited, receiving two million naira. These entrepreneurs demonstrated outstanding commitment and innovation in addressing the pressing issue of malnutrition in Nigeria.

According to the organisers, the competition aims to empower entrepreneurs and businesses with transformative ideas to enhance access to affordable, nutritious food for low-income communities across Nigeria.

This initiative comes at a crucial time when malnutrition continues to pose a significant challenge, particularly among disadvantaged populations.

According to the African Development Bank, approximately 216 million African children suffer from stunting and malnutrition, highlighting the urgent need for innovative solutions. In sub-Saharan Africa, malnutrition ranks as the second leading cause of death among children, trailing only behind malaria.

Adenike Adeyemi, Executive Director of FATE Foundation, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership with SBN and GAIN for the fourth consecutive year, highlighting the joint effort to support high-potential entrepreneurs in developing viable business models focused on enhancing access to healthy, affordable food. She remarked, “And that is what we have done here today.”

The overarching goal of the competition is to identify disruptive business models capable of achieving a dual objective: ensuring profitability for businesses while simultaneously increasing the accessibility and affordability of nutritious food for underserved communities. This win-win proposition is fundamental to driving lasting, sustainable progress in the battle against malnutrition.

Tomisin Odunmbaku, National Programme Coordinator at SBN, emphasised the importance of such initiatives, stating, “This is a critical step towards achieving sustainable food security and improved nutrition for all Nigerians.” The competition not only recognises entrepreneurial excellence but also catalyses scalable solutions that can address the root causes of malnutrition.