Senegalese entrepreneur Adja Sembene Fall discovered herself propelled into the digital sphere when her nascent enterprise, Contanna fair-trade tea firm, commenced operations with a meager sum of $200.
“Due to financial constraints, opening a physical shop was out of the question. We started in my brother’s backyard, selling our teas via social media over three years,” defined Fall. She asserts that Contanna teas embody a “Senegalese experience,” championing a women-owned, 100% regionally sourced, and processed product steeped in recipes that mix familial and cultural traditions.
“Digitizing our purchasing process was pivotal. It allowed us to showcase and refine our product packaging online, emphasizing its premium quality and distinction from available offerings in Senegal,” added the 29-year-old entrepreneur.
In its inaugural yr, Contanna recorded $5,000 in on-line gross sales, primarily pushed by its Instagram presence and web site. As the digital enterprise burgeoned, Fall revealed that Contanna achieved $12,000 in gross sales and cultivated a group of round 2,000 patrons.
Recent strides noticed Contanna set up a pop-up stall at Dakar’s Sea Plaza shopping center. Moreover, in January 2022, it clinched the African Development Bank’s AgriPitch Competition, a platform supporting African youth agripreneurs to boost their enterprise viability and readiness for potential buyers.
The 2022 AgriPitch competitors drew near 750 entries from agripreneurs throughout 38 African nations. A judging panel, inclusive of women-led enterprise help advisory agency Private Equity Support, the Private Financing Advisory Network, and EldoHub, sifted by way of the submissions.
Edson Mpyisi, Chief Financial Economist and ENABLE Youth Coordinator on the Bank, counseled the revolutionary ideas showcased by the contributors.
Notably, 25 semi-finalists, with 68% women-owned or led companies, underwent a rigorous two-week digital boot camp. Following this, 9 agripreneurs had been chosen to advance to the finals.
“Pitching in front of my shop was inspiring; passersby were encouraging upon discovering that our company is entirely Senegalese-owned, particularly led by a woman,” shared Fall, who secured $25,000 because the winner within the AgriPitch competitors’s women-owned enterprise class.
She intends to allocate a part of the prize cash to improve the digital fee system and supply pc literacy coaching for Contanna’s feminine employees.
Emphasizing their inclusive hiring practices, Fall defined that ladies had been the preliminary candidates who had been certified for his or her roles. The firm is equipping them with digital abilities to streamline work processes, transitioning from handbook logging to using instruments like Google Sheets.
Contanna and different finalists will profit from post-competition digital experience, enterprise improvement, and investor engagement by way of the AgriPitch “deal room.”
“We anticipate collaborating closely with these entrepreneurs, offering individual business advisory support and fostering investor relationships in the deal room,” expressed Diana Gichaga, Managing Partner at Private Equity Support.
The forthcoming AgriPitch Competition, slated for 2024, seeks to fortify a tradition of innovation, stimulate agribusiness progress, generate employment, and improve livelihoods amongst youth—an endeavor price anticipating.