The 2020 edition of the AfDB Agripitch contest for African agricultural entrepreneurs kicked off on 2 November 2020. The competition pits young entrepreneurs with a focus on agriculture, dubbed Agripreneurs.
The contestants will exhibit startups plans from their respective businesses in an attempt to win seed funds up to a total of $120 000 as well as mentoring and training opportunities.
The prize money will be shared by the different winners of each category. Two of the categories are broken down according to the stage of the business with one category featuring early startups, the other for the mature startup phase. The third category is reserved for women empowered businesses.
The Agripitch competition will run in two segments including a series of webinars and a boot camp for selected entrepreneurs. The boot camp will see the business owner receive training on a number of key business shares including product development, marketing, and financing.
Some of the entrepreneurs will receive the chance to pitch their business to judges in a dragon den fashion. On top of that, winners will be able to participate in the African Youth Agripreneurs Forum (AYAF) deal room giving them the chance to connect with global investors.
This year the competition will be held online because of the COVID-19 pandemic and is running under the theme: Driving sustainable nutrition and gender inclusivity in Africa's agrifood systems: youth agripreneurs seize the decade.
Last year's winners include horticultural exporter Goshen Farm founded by Alex Muli of Kenya in the mature startup category.
In the early startup category, the $10,000 prize went to South African Future Farms run by Paul Sheppard. Future Farms is an agri-tech startup focused on hydroponic systems.
The awards are focused on stimulating agribusiness in Africa with the aim of creating jobs and standards of living for youth on the continent.
Innovative ideas and improving the way agriculture is done on the continent will go a long way in promoting efficiencies to not only ensure that the content is fed but also to drive economic impetus. With more than half of the world arable land in Africa, there is certainly room for much to be achieved.