Zambian Youth Agripreneur wins 10,000 US dollar at the 1st African Agribusiness Incubator Network (AAIN) Conference and Expo in Nairobi, Kenya (28 – 30th September 2015)
AAIN was initiated and supported by Forum for Agriculture Research (FARA) in Africa under the Universities, Business and Research in Africa (UniBRAIN) project to strengthen agribusiness incubation capacity; and commercialize agriculture technologies and innovations in Africa.
UniBRAIN incubates incubators to achieve three programme objectives of; Agriculture technology / Innovation commercialisation: Agribusiness graduate mentoring into Agripreneurs and networking/ experience sharing and upscaling. The programme approach has been working in a consortium that brings together universities, research institutions and private sector to create synergies and achieved desired objectives.
There are currently six pilot incubators in 5 countries: Kenya, Uganda, Mali, Ghana and Zambia.
Agribusiness Incubation Trust (AgBIT) being of one the six pilot incubators based in Zambia. AgBIT is Zambia’s pioneer agribusiness incubator, focused on accelerating innovation and the growth of scalable enterprises in the sector. Established with the initial support of Danida through the UniBRAIN Facility, AgBIT is a unique public-private partnership initiative bringing together the private sector, research and university community to provide the requisite environment critical to enabling the sustainable take-off and growth of agribusiness startups and SMEs.
AgBIT participated in AAIN conference and Expo along with three (3) Agribusiness entrepreneurs; Kauti Kaoma of Kauti beverages, Pamella Mwasile of ABSSY – Organic fertilizer and Martin Simunchembu of Simunchembu Agriprise who are currently in the AgBIT business incubation program. During the event the AAIN was officially launched .The three (3) Agripreneurs participated in the best incubatee competition which attracted participants from all over Africa. The best Incubatee competition involved pitching of the business to the AgBIT panel, who selected 3 of the best entrepreneurs who are currently in the AgBIT business incubation program. The 3 along with several entrepreneurs from other African countries later pitched at the AAIN conference and Expo to a panel of experts which included; professors in Agribusiness, entrepreneurship, successful entrepreneurs and business experts. The youth entrepreneur from Zambia, Martin Simucnchebu’s business model immerged as the most innovative business in the competition. Martin scooped the 1st prize in the best incubatee category which included among other prizes a cash prize of 10,000 US Dollars.
Martin Simunchembu, 23yrs old Agribusiness management graduate from Natural Resources Development College (NRDC) was initially enrolled into the AgBIT internship programme which aims to provide graduate interns with hands on practical experience and enhancing their entrepreneurial capacity. As a result of the programme, Martin established an enterprise called Simunchembu Agriprise. The enterprise deals in the production of horticultural seedlings and jumbo Quails for quick protein while using droppings for organic fertilizer production.
In an effort to encourage youth agribusiness entrepreneurs, an initiative has been developed by AgBIT in partnership with Sylva University dubbed The Young Agripreneurs Innovation Camp Zambia 2015 aimed at identifying, encouraging and supporting high – potential youth entrepreneurs in agribusiness sector. AgBIT and Sylva intends to partner with the private sector, public sector, non-profit organizations and other development organizations to enhance and coordinate their contributions towards increasing youth economic participation in agribusiness through this initiative. The program focuses on young people under the age of 35. It involves business concepts competitions, a two (2) week intensive agribusiness boot camp, 5 monetary prize categories, and entry into AgBIT incubation program. For those that are interested in supporting this initiative and for youths interested in participating contact us on:
firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com or visit www.agbit.co.zm