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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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Womenpreneur Digital Hub to Promote Digital Skills & More for MENA Women

Womenpreneur Digital Hub

The Entrepreneurship Academy of the SANAD Fund for MSME and Womenpreneur Initiative have once again teamed up to champion women’s economic equality in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In March 2021, the partners launched the Womenpreneur Digital Hub, an online knowledge and resource-sharing platform that aims to expand women’s access to skills-building tools in a time when lockdowns and economic contraction have disproportionately impacted female employment in the region.

The coronavirus crisis has forced many women out of the workplace through a constellation of factors: Economically, it has taken a particularly heavy toll on sectors where women are overrepresented, such as retail, care, and food service. School and daycare closures have added further pressure, with many households placing the responsibility for at-home schooling and childcare solely upon women. As a result, although women in MENA comprise only a quarter of the region’s total workforce, they account for over half of COVID-related job losses.

The Womenpreneur Digital Hub aims to help women regain their economic footing through a three-fold approach. First, online training will be offered free of charge for hub members to hone skills that empower them on the job market, such as financial knowledge, digital literacy, and business management. High-profile speakers will provide insights into current industry trends and tips on accessing career opportunities. Second, the hub will connect users for mutual information and support, experience exchange, and valuable network-building. In this way, the platform intends to accelerate the third factor, which is to open up potential employment paths for those whose careers have been upended by the crisis.

Womenpreneur Digital Hub

Ines Ebrecht, Chairperson of the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility which runs the SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy, said: “Women’s employment is not only a social justice issue, it is also an economic one. Women’s ability to participate in the workforce not only provides them with financial stability and freedom on an individual level, it also enables an economy to fully open the tap on creativity, entrepreneurship, productivity, and income generation. The SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy is glad to once again join with Womenpreneur Initiative to advance gender parity as a key to prosperity in the Middle East and North Africa.”

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Womenpreneur CEO and founder Sana Afouaiz said: “The pandemic provoked a major setback in gender equality and threatens to walk back decades of progress. Yet we can also pivot to grasp the opportunities. As the world entered into lockdown, the transition to online work has created a growing demand for digital jobs. The Womenpreneur Digital Hub is targeted toward equipping women to future-proof their skills and give them valuable knowledge for the employment market. Our aim is to ensure that every woman and girl in MENA has access to the tools that will help her realize her full economic potential.”

Sign up for the hub at: www.womenpreneur-digital.com

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