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Founders of Swappaholics Have Launched AgroCenta: An Online Sales Agribusiness

AgroCenta

The founders of Swappaholics, Obirikorang and Michael Ocansey have launched another startup, an agribusiness company called AgroCenta.

Both founders were former employees of the agro company Esoko, providers of access to smallholder farmers with inputs and finance through their virtual marketplace.

In a previous interview with TSH, they explained that, Swappaholics was reinventing the ancient barter trade into an online platform where users were able to connect and swap products, skills and services. The main advantage of Swappaholics was that people did not need money to trade hence giving equal access to everyone irrespective of their financial status.

In spite of the support the company had from TURN8, a Dubai based accelerator and other quarters, the business didn’t fly because as explained by the CEO, Francis Obirikorang, “We were faced with user growth. Our numbers trickled down over time because we faced stiff competition from other classifieds in Ghana who had a lot of financial muscles to spend on advertisement.”

They were faced with the difficult decision of either persevering or pivoting. They’ve chosen the latter by going to where they came from, agribusiness with AgroCenta.

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agrocenta

AgroCenta, they believe brings forth a lot of opportunities as the agric-sector currently faces the lack of access to market for smallholder farmers in the rural areas, subjecting them to activities of exploitations, and the lack of a coordinated truck delivery system to cart their commodities from farms to markets to sell.

Their solution with AgroCenta is the introduction of an online sales platform that connects smallholder farmers directly to an online market to sell their commodities.

Once farmers get orders for their produce, the company has an Uber-like patented truck system called TrucKR solution and just at the click of a button, farmers gain access to transportation in any village in Ghana. They have a target of serving over 15,000 farmers in 2017 alone with over 8000 presently under their belt.

The company is ably backed by GreenTec Capital Partners  who signed an investment agreement partnering with AgroCenta and will be supporting them with funding, business development and network access as an active partner.

With their new found company, the team believes by the adoption of technology, the lives of smallholder farmers are being changed for good!

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Find out more about AgroCenta at agrocenta.com


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9 Startups Accepted into the First Next Health Accelerator with $15K Seed Funding

Next Health Accelerator
image courtesy: Valorigo

Intrepid Entrepreneurs, a non-profit designed to catalyze the power and promise of young people and women to fundamentally advance their societies, recruited nine startups for the inaugural cohort of the Next Health Accelerator.

Female, African entrepreneurs with a minimum viable product (MVP) from 26 countries applied to the program. After a rigorous review process, nine startups from seven countries were selected to begin the program in March 2021. The investor readiness accelerator is six months long and includes $15,000 seed funding, international mentors and partners, business support services, and value chain access.

The Next Health Accelerator’s focus on sexual and reproductive health is founded on the premise that unmet needs for sexual education, menstrual hygiene management, family planning, medication abortion, and STI diagnosis and treatment will be most sustainably delivered by local African enterprises.

Sexual and Reproductive Health issues directly affect 300 million women and girls on the continent and the productivity of the entire continent. For the continent to prosper and support its burgeoning youth population, it must harness the demographic dividend with access to equitable healthcare and economic opportunities. Next Health Accelerator addresses both.

Next Health Accelerator

The 2021 cohort includes:

  • Rocket Health: Provides telemedicine and pharmacy services for SRH needs including convenient lab test retrieval and medication delivery in Uganda
  • Verifie: Delivers STI self-tests and treatment products via doorstep delivery in Ghana
  • Pharmaserve: Specializes in delivering high-quality pharmaceuticals in Nigeria through a fully integrated inventory monitoring system
  • Girls Pride: Provides menstrual hygiene management education and skills training to create reusable pads in The Gambia
  • Pad-Up Creations: Employs over 100 people in Nigeria to produce single-use, chemical-free pads sold in 16 countries
  • Valorigo: Manufacturers single-use sanitary eco-friendly pads made from locally grown bamboo in the Congo
  • The Grace Cup: Delivers SRH education and reusable menstrual cups in Kenya
  • Kosmotive: Provides SRH information and access to SRH self-care products in Rwanda
  • Massira: Delivers SRH information interactively as well as access to SRH services and products through an online community in Ghana 
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Lindsey Simmonds, the Co-founder of Intrepid Entrepreneurs in a press statement said,

“After 15 years in philanthropy, I believe now more than ever that it is women who will solve women’s health challenges and it is Africans who will solve Africa’s development challenges.”

She continued that, development policies made in Washington, D.C. or London need to make room for the power and promise of the youth and women on the African continent. And on this premises, their Next Health Accelerator catalyzes African startups to investor readiness to make scalable, sustainable impact imbued with the commitment and determination that only comes from homegrown ideas.

Visit the intrepidentrepreneurs.org to learn more about the Next Health Accelerator 2021.

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