mentorship

Youth entrepreneur using ICT to grow agribusinesses

Business

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has grown many businesses in several sectors, and young entrepreneurs are now using ICT to tap into the gold-mine inherent in agribusinesses. Olawale Ojo, chief executive, Agropreneur Nigeria, provides business support services for farmers and young agriculturists. Apart from advocacy and capacity building for aspiring agro-entrepreneurs, the business provides information and business support to help them grow.

“We do research and share the information via social media to enable a proper understanding of what is happening in the sector. We also profile successful young agropreneurs and share their story so that others can learn, and this serves as an incentive to these hardworking young people. I started the business April 30, last year,” according to Ojo.

Background

Ojo has a degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Federal University of Technology Akure and a diploma in Integrated Farming Systems from the Songhai Centre for Production, Training, and Research, Porto Novo, Benin Republic.

Inspiration

He says: “My inspiration came after my course at the Songhai Centre. It served as an eye opener for me as I worked with other youths from different parts of Africa exploring the agricultural value chain. So, using my knowledge of ICT, I provide capacity building services using social media as a tool for knowledge and information sharing to help young entrepreneurs boost their agribusinesses. Though the main target are youths, we also work with older farmers and investors in agribusiness generally.”

Challenges

The business no doubt has its own fair share of challenges. “Building a team and a structure for my business was a bit of a challenge. Financing was also challenging. I got help from older ones in the field and mentors I have met along the way such as the CEO of Centre for Urban Agricultural Development, the lady Olatoye, who was really helpful in my starting up. I also learned a lot from materials I read from research organisations.”

Future prospects

I have joined my parents in running a family farm. But I want Agropreneur Nigeria to have its own farm, a very big one, where we can give youths practical training in agricultural production/agribusiness so they can start their own businesses. We also want to do market facilitation for farmers in rural areas as well as provide qualitative extension services for them. Fortunately, more and more youths are willingly setting up agrobusinesses in Nigeria and in other countries. They are beginning to see that the agricultural sector is a gold-mine that needs tapping. And it is now time to act and start employing innovative ways to key into the sector, despite the challenges we have.”

This article about me was published the Business Day Newspaper Edition of July 22 2013

Learning from the entrepreneurs themselves!

Add your thoughts here… (optKeron Bascombe share his experience at the ”5th Global Forum on Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship)

Tech4agri

Readers!

The 5th Global Forum on Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship which is hosted by the South African government (Department of Science and Technology) was  held in East London, South Africa, from 28 – 30 May, 2013.The Global Forum attracts around 500 – 600 business incubator managers, policy-makers, SME entrepreneurs, financiers and development agencies from all continents for a unique networking and knowledge-sharing experience. The Global Forum contributes to the “know-how” and the “know-who” in the global innovation and entrepreneurship community. Participants come to the event to be exposed to new business models, ideas and methodologies, as well as to meet people with similar interests in other countries and other industries and to explore partnerships and capacity-building opportunities.”

Fortunately thanks to the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation’sARDYIS project (Agriculture Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society), tech4agri was able to attend this event along with representative…

View original post 438 more words