I LOVE this report because the true story it showcases provides insights into how smart thinking in use of the Internet (to get decision making information) coupled with a passion for excellence (and the right partner) can help an entrepreneur with no connections and a limited budget, overcome potentially crippling limitations to launch a food processing startup with export potential from Nigeria.
How this Nigerian started a food processing business with little capital
Ladipo-Ajai got the idea for starting the company while working for four years at Virgin Nigeria (a now defunct airline). During this time she often travelled to developed markets and would visit retailers that stocked Nigerian foods and flavours. She was surprised to discover, however, that many of these Nigerian spices and mixes were actually produced in Ghana.
“The population of Ghana is less than a fifth of Nigeria’s and I was taken aback, wondering why Nigerian food was being made or packaged in Ghana,” Ladipo-Ajai recalls.
“The reason is Nigeria doesn’t have the best reputation – it is known for cutting corners. So it is difficult to export our food because it usually fails the tests of developed countries. In fact, some Nigerians take food to Ghana and export from there, just to get it out.”