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Three Nigerian start ups win top prizes at AfDB’s $120,000 AgriPitch competition

Three Nigerian start ups win top prizes at AfDB’s $120,000 AgriPitch competition
November 20
08:31 2020

Three Nigerian entrepreneurs have won top cash prizes at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB)’s $120,000 AgriPitch competition.

Entrepreneurs in Africa’s agricultural sector pitched their agribusiness proposals to a panel of experts and investors who selected winners in early start-up, mature start-up and women-empowered businesses categories.

The competition, which was held virtually, had more than 2,500 applications and 605 proposals from 30 countries out of which 25 finalists from 12 countries were shortlisted.

The finalists qualified for a two-week business development boot camp, followed by the next stage where the top 9 candidates made their final pitches to an online panel of judges and investors.


Femi Aiki, chief executive officer (CEO) of Foodlocker, a smallholder farmer food procurement company in Nigeria, emerged winner of the $40,000 mature business category prize.

“Now we can afford to buy more inputs. We can now afford to bring on board more experts in those value chains who can support smallholder farmers more remotely…That money will support the company to get results,” Aiki said.

Ikenna Nzewi, representing Releaf, a food pre-processing technology company in Uyo, Nigeria, won the early startup category, with a cash prize of $20,000.


“We are very confident about the work that we are doing to catalyze industrialization in food processing. It is excellent to see the African Development Bank with its High 5s focus – one of them being industrialization – to also be supporting us,” Nzewi said.

Oluwaseun Sangoleye of Baby Grubz, Nigeria emerged runner- up of the women empowered businesses category, with a cash prize of $10,000.

The AgriPitch competition was organised in collaboration with UN Women, African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN) and the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) as part of programmes for the AfDB’s fourth African Youth Agripreneurs Forum (AYAF).

In addition to receiving seed funding prizes and post-competition mentoring, AfDB said AgriPitch winners will be invited to the AYAF online DealRoom, which connects expansion-ready, youth-led African businesses with global investors.



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