“The multinationals of today were the start-ups of yesterday!” was the inspiring message to the Generation Africa Fellows during a meeting with Bayer East Africa at their Nairobi office on 16 November 2022.

As industry leaders, the Bayer East Africa team, led by Mildred Nadah Pita, shared their deep knowledge of Compliance, Working Capital Management, Patenting, Quality Assurance and Leadership with young agripreneurs from Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya. Their valuable input provided an opportunity for the Generation Africa Fellows to refine their business ambitions with best practices that smooth their path to success as they scale their operations. 

At the AGRA offices: (from left) Jolenta Joseph and Baraka Jeremiah discussing their business models with Vanessa Adams – Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Julius Kagamba – Special Advisor to the President

The Generation Africa Fellowship Program (GAFP) is specifically designed for high potential SMEs, drawn from the GoGettaz and Pitch AgriHack competitions. The program, which is a tailored practical course for 3-6 months, incorporates exciting bespoke coaching that is personalized to individual needs and involves both business and personal development. Generation Africa is investing both in country programs and in the growth of high potential youth SMEs, by supporting their journey through incubation, coaching and investment through GAFP.

From Left: Baraka Jeremiah (Kilimo Fresh), Mildred Nadah Pita (Bayer), Esther Kimani (Farmer Lifeline Technologies), Amanda Namayi (GoGettaz Lead), Jolenta Joseph (Sanavita), Sophie Nabuliri (Generation Africa), Elisha Otaigo (representing Diana Orembe of NovFeed), Alexandre Nshimiyimana (SanitWing Ltd.) and Allan C’oredo (FarmIT).

The Generation Africa Fellows of the inaugural GAFP are Baraka Jeremiah (Kilimo Fresh), Esther Kimani (Farmer Lifeline Technologies), Jolenta Joseph (Sanavita), Diana Orembe (NovFeed), Alexandre Nshimiyimana (SanitWing Ltd.) and Allan C’oredo (FarmIT). These inspiring young agripreneurs are making the most of their learnings from the Generation Africa’s partners, guiding them on the path to real growth.

The Bayer East Africa Team speaking to our Generation Africa Fellows

For all of Africa’s youth agripreneurs and agritech entrepreneur, here is some of the valuable remarks and guiding advice from the meeting with Bayer:

– As agripreneurs grow they must ask themselves: “how does climate change and  digitization feature in what I am doing?” These are bound to affect you especially as you scale.

– Compliance is key as you grow your businesses. Shortcuts will catch up on you and can damage your reputation that would consequently impact on investor confidence. 

– Patent is critical in the growth of your brand. Though the process may be tedious, long and demanding, it’s important in the protecting your innovation and brand.

– Competition will always be there. What matters is how you keep improving on your product to get ahead of the competition. There needs to be incremental innovation.

– There will always be challenges and hurdles along the way. The key is that when you fall, you shouldn’t give up but rather pick yourself up and keep pushing. Do not to sell yourself short but believe in what you are doing.

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