BusinessDay

1000 businesses benefit from Nourishing Africa, Mastercard support program

Over 1000 small-scale businesses have benefited from the entrepreneur support program launched by Nourishing Africa and the MasterCard Foundation which started in December 2020 and is currently wrapping up.

The beneficiaries who are Nigerian agri-food entrepreneurs between the ages of 20 and 40 (57 percent of which are women) were given a helping hand to help them improve their business operations with encouragement to make their business resilient and adaptive.

The program provided knowledge and support to these businesses to help them pivot and recover from the effects of COVID-19 on their businesses, keeping employees engaged and assisting them to emerge from this crisis even stronger.

Critical food & cash crops and livestock value chains were targeted with the provision of inputs and primary production to processing, logistics, storage, and distribution in 11 states which are Abia Anambra, Delta, Edo, FCT, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, and Oyo states.

Leveraging technology and innovation, the program was developed with a business resilience diagnostic tool that enabled agri-businesses to assess the health of their companies and the capabilities of their leaders – both pre-and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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It also had an intensive12-day virtual training themed ‘Agribusiness Entrepreneur Development,’ for participants to understand their business operations and value chain activities as agri-food MSMEs. It also helped to increase the resilience, growth, profitability, and sustainability of these businesses.

Although the initiative will be concluded, Nourishing Africa remains committed to providing ongoing support to these agri-food entrepreneurs and others across the country and continent to maintain existing growth paths, strengthen their capacities, and accelerate their business growth.

This support will be channeled through the Nourishing Africa online resource and data Hub – the Membership Community and vibrant network, as the team will continue to facilitate strategic convening and workshops to transfer knowledge and create resilient agribusinesses.

Forums such as the monthly session that converges entrepreneurs and other critical stakeholders to engage in a peer-to-peer exchange of insights, build knowledge and skills, and discover new solutions to shared challenges will continue to hold.

Currently, Nourishing Africa supports over 4,000 agri-food SMEs across 37 African countries, providing knowledge, data, funding, advertising opportunities, access to new markets, and a community of like-minded agripreneurs to partner for long-term success and impact.