Over 450 SMEs from across Africa applied for the SUN Pitch competition and through rigorous selection processes at various levels, 21 top businesses qualified as finalists, five of which were NutriPitch entrepreneurs from Nigeria, namely:
- Veggie Victory, Hakeem Jimo
- Soupah Kitchen, Ifeoluwa Olatayo
- Augustsecrets, Oluwatoyin Onigbanjo
- Prothrive, Oluyemisi Obe
- Kennie-O Cold Chain Logistics, Ope Olanrewaju.
Other countries represented at the final competition are Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique. The award which included specialised technical assistance worth $15,000 to be provided at country level and in Switzerland and the Netherlands.
- KCCL(Kennie-O cold chain logistics) is an indigenous company to provide dedicated cold chain solutions that meet the growing demand for reliable logistics services for the food industry particularly, in the fruits and vegetable sector.
- Kennie-O Cold Chain Logistics was established in 2014 to provide reliable cold chain solutions for Nigeria’s food industry, thereby reducing post-harvest losses.
- See: Kennie-O Cold Chain Logistics from Nigeria Crowned Champion of Africa’s First Scaling Up Nutrition Pitch Competition
Another promising entrepreneur is a journalist and founder of August Secrets, Mrs Oluwatoyin
Onigbangbo, who produces baby food, using local recipes.
- She won the Gender Lens Investing Award by the Graca Machel Trust. The award was given to deliver mentorship and technical assistance worth $10,500 to scale a promising business that has substantive impact on the empowerment of women and in nutrition in Africa.
- Her start-up is a growing food company with a focus on natural, home-grown innovative meals for babies.
- While working as a journalist with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mrs Onigbangbo started making her own range of baby meals from her kitchen in 2016 and has since expanded to selling in 15 cities, Ghana, the United Kingdom and the United States, reaching over 60,000 mothers from all over the world, who use the digital media. While having her son abroad, she bought all sorts of pre-made baby foods, but at six months the baby rejected them and as a mother she became frustrated and started looking for a solution.
- She had to start looking for locally-made weaning foods as an alternative and started trying
homemade foods with the support of her mom and nutritionists close to her. Her experience made her to start the business. She recently launched her Baby and Toddler recipe book, selling to hundreds of mothers within and outside Nigeria.
- She was the first runner-up at the food art competition, organised by Samsung Nigeria in 2016. Her company, Augustsecrets, was listed among the 100 Most-Innovative Female-owned businesses in Nigeria by SME100. It also won the Bell-Africana Award for the Most Innovative Company in Nigeria in 2017.