According to the Africa Agriculture Status Report 2019, published by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the African private sector handles 80% of the food consumed on the Continent. A large share of these are small and medium enterprises- or agri-SMEs. Referred to as the “hidden middle,” these companies are often driving growth and innovation and play key roles in providing inputs, logistics, processing, and distribution in many value chains, particularly serving domestic and regional markets.
Many of these small and medium-sized entrepreneurs struggle in difficult environments. They face challenges developing and implementing sustainable business models, finding and retaining talent, raising appropriate financing, and building strong brands. The current COVID-19 is compounding all these challenges, but it also puts pressure on African agri-SMEs to develop innovative business models that can transform agricultural value chains to be more resilient this and other possible shocks and stressors in the future. In this context, efficient access to timely information, partnerships, technology and financial services is more critical than ever for these entrepreneurs.
In this webinar, jointly organized by SAFIN and Sahel Consulting, Ndidi Nwuneli will introduce www.nourishingafrica.com, envisioned as a home for 1 million entrepreneurs in the agriculture and food landscape. The focus will be on the offerings of the platform at a time when African agri-SMEs are particularly in need of knowledge and resources to develop new business models for the sector under COVID-19.
Managing Partner at Sahel Consulting Ltd.
Ndidi Nwuneli is the managing partner of Sahel Consulting which works across West Africa, unlocking the agriculture and nutrition potential in the region. She is also the co-founder of AACE Foods, which was established in 2009 to fight malnutrition, reduce post-harvest losses among smallholder farmers and displace imports. She is the founder of LEAP Africa which inspires, empowers and equips a new cadre of principled, disciplined and dynamic young leaders in Africa. Ndidi started her career as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, working in their Chicago, New York and Johannesburg Offices. She holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She was a Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government at the Harvard Kennedy School and an Aspen Institute NewVoices Fellow.