YAP Proposal #417: Groundnut oil and cakes (Mercy Haruna, Nigeria)



My Name is Mercy Haruna Wakawa. I’m from Hawul Local Government Area of Borno State, Nigeria. I was born on the 25th of April, 1986. I studied Food Science and Technology B. Sc. (Hons) from the University of Maiduguri, Borno State.

I’m a simple businesswoman who has taken up agriculture not just as the area of doing business but also as a way of life. I’m the CEO of Confianza Global Resources (Food Production and Processing Services) located at Number B8 State low cost Biu Borno State, Nigeria.

I have a cottage nut oil industry currently employing 2 young women and 2 young men. We have processing machines of 2 tons per day capacity that process groundnuts into groundnut oil, groundnut cake and sludge.

The Industry processes on average 0.5 tons of groundnuts per day due to inconsistency in power supply which has affected the output and the availability of…

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How to Start a Business: Step-by-Step

Start up picture
Credit: Startup optimism image via Shutterstock

So you want to start your own business? You’re not alone. Nearly half of all Americans say they want to become entrepreneurs. Running a small business isn’t without its challenges, but being your own boss and doing what you love can be incredibly rewarding. If you’re thinking of launching a startup, this step-by-step guide will walk you through all you need to know, from coming up with an idea to building your brand.

Brainstorm ideas

Every new business starts with an idea. Maybe there’s something you’re really knowledgeable and passionate about, or perhaps you think you’ve found a way to fill a gap in the marketplace. Come up with a list of businesses you could see yourself starting. You could start a home-based business like an event-planning company or child care service, or maybe an Internet business like app development or online tutoring is more your speed. Wherever your interests lie, it’s almost guaranteed that there’s a way to turn it into a business.

Another option is to start a franchise of an established company. If you choose to go this route, a lot of the legwork has been done for you. The concept, brand following and business model are already in place; all you need is a good location and the means to fund your operation.

When you’re thinking of ideas, you’ll also want to consider your business model — the logistics of where you’ll be doing business and how you’ll make money. This article on Startup Nation outlines a few different types of business models with the pros and cons of each.

Once you’ve narrowed your list of ideas down to one or two, do a quick search for existing companies in your chosen industry. Learn what the current brand leaders are doing and figure out how you can do it better. If you think your business can deliver something other companies don’t (or deliver the same thing, but faster and cheaper), you’ve got a solid idea and are ready to create a business plan.

Build a business plan

Now that you have your idea in place, there are a few important questions you need to ask yourself. What is the purpose of your business? Who are you selling to? What are your end goals? How will you finance your startup costs? All of these questions can be answered in a well-written business plan.

A business plan helps you figure out where your company is going, how it will overcome any potential difficulties, and what you need to sustain it. A full guide to writing your plan can be found here, but these are the basic sections you will need to cover:

  • What your business is about and how you will accomplish your goals.
  • Your extended goals and how you will fill your market’s needs.
  • Your research on your target market.
  • Organization and management of your company.
  • Your service or product line, including copyright information and R & D activities.
  • Strategies for market penetration and growth.
  • Estimated costs and funding request (if you need financial assistance).

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought of writing your business plan, there are plenty of online resources and sample plans for you to use as a reference. This may seem like a daunting task, but it’s a critical step to getting your company off the ground.

Click here to read more

Originally published on  Business News Daily June 26, 2013 09:24am ET

Written by Nicole Fallon, Business News Daily Assistant Editor


THE #AgribizChats

IITA Youth Agripreneurs


This is #AgribizChats: Facilitating solutions to youth unemployment.

The issue of youth unemployment has caught the attention of both the local and international bodies. Government, private and public institutions have come up with initiatives to tackle the menace. One of such initiatives is the IITA Youth Agripreneurs. The IITA Youth Agripreneurs (IYA) initiative was IITA’s contribution in stemming the tide of unemployment. IITA under the leadership of the DG, Dr Nteranya Sanginga believes that by reorienting youth towards more productive engagement in agriculture, unemployment will become history. Although involving youth in agriculture reflects hope for unemployed youth but there are several issues and challenges in achieving this. For suggestions and contribution in tackling these challenges, join us on #AgribizChats. This is a platform for facilitating solutions to youth unemployment through e-discussions.

What is #AgribizChats?

#AgribizChats is the first Twitter chat platform of IYA that will provide…

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IITA Youth Agripreneurs prepare for an Entrepreneurial and Business training workshop

IITA Youth Agripreneurs

IITA Youth AgripreneursIITA youth Agripreneurs (IYA) will be sharpening its entrepreneurial and business management skills by participating in a three-day Entrepreneurial and Business Management Training Workshop organized and sponsored by Ekimiks Nigeria Limited.

IYA with some of their other counterparts from other 5 selected African countries such as Kenya, Zambia, DR Congo, Tanzania and Uganda will convene at IITA’s conference center in Ibadan, Nigeria between 3rd and 5th of February to gather experience that will facilitate effective management of their agribusiness enterprise.

Ekimiks Nigeria Limited is a consulting firm that seeks to empower business owners and managers including budding entrepreneurs on financial and management related issues that will  facilitate effective and efficient running of the organizations.

IYA’s Head of Capacity Development Unit Owoeye Molayo stated that the workshop became imperative because of the roles being played by IYA among youths in the agricultural sector. She added that the workshop will…

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IITA Youth Agripreneurs celebrate with FARA at Jo’burg as they showcase youth’s involvement in agriculture

IITA Youth Agripreneurs

CSC_0143 (Copy) IITA Youth Agripreneurs, IITA Scientists and other participants at the session discussing youth engagement in agriculture

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Dr Nteranya Sanginga, the Director General, received commendations at the 15th anniversary of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) held at Johannesburg, South Africa, 26-29 November 2014.

At the event, there were various sessions and panel discussions where representatives of the IITA Youth Agripreneurs: Odusanya Oludare and Owoeye Molayo, championed the cause of youth engagement in agriculture.

The panel discussion began with presentations from the two agripreneurs who showcased some of the activities and the prospects of involving the youth in agriculture to reduce the level and effects of youth unemployment in Africa.

In their presentations, the IYA representatives stated that the importance of youth involvement could not be over-emphasized as this would re-shape the agricultural sector and give it…

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Nigeria targets youths in new initiatives

IITA Youth Agripreneurs take step to showcase their activities on a national level, while engaging in mind-set changing, income generating activities through Agribusiness.

IITA Youth Agripreneurs

20141216_102851 (Copy) President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (M), Vice-President Namadi Sambo (2nd from left), and the Minister of Agricultue and Rural Development of Nigeria, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina (2nd from right) with the representatives of IITA Youth Agripreneurs: Bekee Barituka (far left) and Ohanwusi Evelyn (far right) at the exhibition booth during the YEAP launch

The Nigerian government has launched two initiatives to encourage young people to become more involved in agriculture, and stem the rising unemployment in the country.

The two initiatives which were inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan in December are Youth Employment in Agriculture Program (YEAP) and the Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (FAFIN).

The YEAP which is similar to the IITA Youth Agripreneur (IYA) model is designed to reposition the agricultural sector by involving, developing and raising 760,000 youths in agribusiness within the next five years.

FAFIN on the other hand is a financing vehicle targeting Nigeria’s…

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Marketing isn’t somebody’s responsibility; Marketing is everybody’s responsibility (Jack Welch, CEO, 1981-2001, General Electronic Co.)

Many enterprises have been exploiting the opportunities inherent in the use of social media which has become an integral part of human lives and one of the powerful marketing tools over the years. Incredibly, a proportion (though small) of business owners is yet to find reasons to tap the many opportunities in its use as a report from Social Media Examiner (one of the world’s top 5 business blogs rated by AdAge and Technorati) posits the statistics.

How marketers agree on the use of social media for marketing
Source: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com (Social Media Marketing Industry 2013)

Social media marketing is a trend in which social media tools/channels are being used to reach out to target customers easily, instantly and effectively. It can be used to promote your enterprise and market your products and services at very little or no cost while establishing a wide reach.

Social media is characterized by the ability to; mass communicate and mass market (present your products and services to large communities and individuals that could be interested in your products and/ services). The viral quality of social media makes it an appealing tool for businesses to market products and services (Ziang and Gretzel, 2010).

There is quite a number of social media sites and each has its own uniqueness and features. Unarguably, the first social media site that comes to mind is Facebook, followed by Twitter which are among the most popular and widely used channels for networking, but are far from being the only ones used especially in marketing. Others that have been identified include YouTube, Blogs, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Photo Sharing sites (e.g. Instagram), Forums, Podcasting, Social Bookmarking (delicious), Geo-location (e.g. Foursquare), Q&A sites (e.g. Groupon )and Daily deals(e.g. Quora).

But despite the many benefits associated with the use of social media as a marketing tool as illustrated by Social Media Examiner in the diagram below, many marketers and entrepreneurs are still struggling to integrate social media into their marketing and marketing strategies, while those who have done so are yet to consolidate their efforts.

Benefits of Social media
Source: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com (Social Media Marketing Industry 2013)

However, among many questions being asked by entrepreneurs and marketing personnel interested in the use of social media, these few questions stand out.

  1. What is the best social media tool?
  2. Which most effective methods can I employ to engage my target audience?
  3. How do I create a social strategy?
Commonly used Social Media platforms
Source: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com (Social Media Marketing Industry 2013)


Facebook (established in 2004) still remains the most widely used medium for networking and marketing with more than 1 billion active monthly users (Social Media Marketing Statistics, MDG Advertising), majority between 18 and 25 years of age, followed by Twitter, LinkedIn, Blog and YouTube. This trend has been established since 2012.

African Facebook users

For enterprises that link up with customers directly (B2C) or with other forms of businesses (B2B), you may want to consider the charts below to prioritize the social platforms to employ.

Platforms used by B2B versus B2C

B2C vs B2B
Source: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com (Social Media Marketing Industry 2013)

This shows that people who buy direct products take passion largely in Facebook compared to LinkedIn that measures up with Facebook for business –to-business transactions. However, this does not mean a marketer or entrepreneur should ignore other useful social platforms, as  Social media examiner reveals that marketers plan to increase their use of YouTube by 69%, Blogging by 66%, and Twitter by 64% irrespective of their nature of business.

According to one of the presentations by CTA:

  • Social Media must be ENGAGING (to build relationships, trust and loyalty).
  • Social media strategies are based on creating lasting relationships with customers and not just providing information on your products and services
  • Social media creates value that can lead to financial results in the future but not necessarily immediate dollars and cents.
  • Its Return on Investment is harder to measure (Friends, Followers etc do not equate to money).

Take time to research the best tools and strategy for your enterprise to achieve your marketing goal.

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