A container farming company, a motorbike delivery service and an online medical procurement platform went home as the winners at the 2016 She Leads Africa Demo Day. The Demo Day was the closing ceremony to the six-month She Leads Africa Accelerator entrepreneurship development programme.
The Chief Executive Officer, Fresh Direct Nigeria, Angel Adelaja won the 2016 She Leads Africa Contest, smiling home with N2 million, while Adaora Nweje (Delivery bros), and Vivian Nwakah (Medsaf.com) had the second and third positions with a giveaway cash prizes of N1,000,000 and N500,000 respectively.
Fresh Direct NG, an agricultural technology company which grows produce within shipping containers, is an urban farm within the heart of Abuja, within a 20ft shipping container. With the N2 million cash prize from the Guaranty Trust Bank, the founder said her company can grow the same produce as a football pitch and a half.
Speaking during the presentation, the winner expressed that the company (Fresh Direct) deals with the production of premium organic veggies and meats, creation and sale of hydroponics equipment and accessories, training and consultancies, adding that “we have added seed production to reduce our dependence on importing seeds and found another avenue for revenue by selling excess that we don’t use or store in our seed bank.
“There are none like us in Africa. We are an urban farm within the heart of the city, cutting out a lot of risks most farmers experience. We do this with our container farm technology. Within a soft shipping container, we can produce the same as a football pitch and a half, we are now operating on 1000 metre square of Land and there are two fully functional container farms on the facility, a chicken house, and outdoor growing space.”
Supported by the Work in Progress! Alliance and Guaranty Trust Bank, the SLA Accelerator worked with 10 promising companies looking to grow and scale their businesses. At the Demo Day five of the companies were able to pitch their businesses in front of esteemed business leaders to win cash and prizes.
The judges included: Dr Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien, Founder and President of the Growing Business Foundation; Ben White, Founder of Venture Capital for Africa; Ololade Fadoju, Head of Guaranty Trust Bank’s SME MarketHub e-commerce platform; and Eloho Omame, CEO of Amari Ltd.
The second place winner, DeliveryBros, a motorbike delivery service which aggregates individuals and SMEs who need pickups with riders from various delivery companies who are in the area, aims to reduce the stress of moving packages around Lagos, Abuja and Accra and won N1,000,000 to invest in building the technology and mobile app to optimize the process.
Vivian Nwakah, co-founder of Medsaf.com, an easy-to-use online platform built for medical service providers such as hospitals, pharmacies and clinics, to purchase and manage medication, came third and won N500,000 at the demo event.
Speaking about the event She Leads Africa’s co-founder, Afua Osei said “since July, it has been absolutely amazing to see the growth and development of these entrepreneurs.”