2019 has been an amazing year for us and we couldn’t have done it without our amazing farmers, farm followers, and sponsors. As we come to the end of the year, here is a look back at what we achieved this year:
– Earlier this year, we launched our first portfolio company, Farmgate Africa. Farmgate Africa provided major processors and international buyers with the opportunity to purchase commodities directly from local farming clusters. In July 2019, we unified Farmgate Africa and Agricsquare (a community of Agriculture enthusiasts) with Farmcrowdy to provide an all-inclusive platform and create a seamless experience for our sponsors.
– This year marked our expansion to various states to continue empowering rural farmers. We expanded operations to Sokoto, Adamawa, and Nasarawa. As of December 2019, Farmcrowdy currently operates in 16 out of the 36 states in Nigeria, empowers 25,800+ rural farmers, operates on 19,000+ acres of land, and has reared about 3 million chickens.
– We launched Farmcrowdy 2.0, our upgraded website with lots of new features to enhance the user experience. Some of the new features on the site were; an all-new dashboard, more payment options for local and international sponsors, and easier sign-in/login options.
– In March 2019, Farmcrowdy raised an additional seed funding of $1 million from Cox Enterprises, Techstars, and Ajayi Solutions to continue building our award-winning model while expanding across Nigeria to empower rural farmers. We also announced the Farmcrowdy Technical Field Specialist (TFS) App for our on-site Technical Field Specialists.
– In May 2019, we announced our partnership with Livestock247.com. Livestock 247 is an online Livestock Market established to bring together Buyers, Sellers, Ranchers/Feedlot Operators, Veterinary Professionals, Haulage Companies, Butcheries/Abattoirs, and Financial Service Providers. The partnership provided potential customers the ability to buy quality, traceable and fit for slaughter livestock, empower livestock farmers through the feedlot program.
– Farmcrowdy also announced its partnership with Best Foods Fresh Farm. Best Foods is one of Nigeria’s most respected agribusiness companies which has been in operation for over 16 years. The partnership will improve the livestock value chain across Nigeria. It will also improve the quality of meat production and processing in alignment with international standards. This will make lead it to becoming the best source of processed meat in Nigeria.
– As we grew, we decided to apply our winning business model to other sectors. This led to the launch of Crowdyest, with the goal of contributing to the achievement of the SDGs. Farmcrowdy became the first featured portfolio company in Crowdyvest.
– The Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Oluseyi Makinde unveiled a partnership with Farmcrowdy in August 2019. The purpose of the partnership is to empower 50,000 Oyo State rural farmers. We are the first digital agriculture platform in Nigeria to achieve a partnership of this magnitude.
– November 16th – November 18th, 2019 was a memorable period for Farmcrowdy. Our Managing Director, Kenneth Obaijulu attended the Global Business Forum in Dubai. At the forum, Kenneth spoke to Doing Business in Africa Club Members at the Hult International Business School, Dubai. He spoke to them about the African market, it’s challenges, and how to make an impact in the society. Kenneth also discussed AgriTech with the Vice President, Prime Minister (UAE) and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.
– In December 2019, we introduced a new farm – Cumin farm. Cumin is the dried seed of the herb, Cuminum cymium, a member of the Parsley family. It is available both as whole seeds as well as in ground form. It is a typical ingredient in chili powder and is also often found in other spice blends.
– We won our first global recognition and the United Nations “Global Disruptive Innovation in Agriculture” award in Italy.
– Farmcrowdy won The Next Bulls Award by the Nigerian Stock Exchange and BusinessDay.
– Farmcrowdy was presented with the award for Africa’s Innovative Business of the Year 2019 by the British Awards for African Development.
– Our founder, Onyeka Akumah was presented with the Leadership Award in Agriculture for 2019 by Global Leadership Institute.
– Farmcrowdy was included as one of Africa’s most inspiring businesses in the London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘Companies to Inspire Africa 2019 report.’
– The Financial Times/International Finance Corporation (FT/IFC) Transformational Business Awards 2019 shortlisted Farmcrowdy as one of the finalists under the category: Transformational Solutions in Food, Water and Land.
– Pagan Research listed Farmcrowdy as one of the 23 Amazing Startups in Nigeria that are revamping the Tech Ecosystem.
– On World Food Day 2019, we visited Victoria Island Nursery and Primary School, Eti Osa LGA. There, we educated the children on agriculture, World Food Day, and the role children can play towards achieving Zero Hunger. We also showed them some fun exercises they can engage in to stay fit and healthy.
– On October 7, 2019, the Lagos State Government introduced a Veterinary Health Certificate for Trade of Meat, being a requirement for major food vendors to ensure that the animals slaughtered and sold for consumption are under hygienic conditions. Farmcrowdy is a proud holder of the Veterinary Health Certificate for Trade of Meat. This means that beef that comes from the meat production arm of Farmcrowdy has been processed under hygienic conditions, tested and marked safe for consumption.
– Farmcrowdy turned three (3) on November 14th. We used that day to appreciate our farmers, farm sponsors, partners, stakeholders, and everyone who has supported us in the past three years. It was also a time to reflect on our growth in the past year and discuss ways to ensure growth by our fourth year.
– We had our annual mid-year conference on July 6th and July 7th. Guest speakers, Yemi Davids and Olakunle Soriyan were invited to speak to the staff. The conference helped reaffirm our commitment to the company goals and vision.
– In December 2019, we had our annual end of year retreat at Park Inn Radisson, Abeokuta where we spoke on our plans for next year. On our way there, we stopped at the famous Olumo rock where our brave climbers made it to the top.
It’s been a great year and we are grateful for all the love and support from everyone. We cannot wait to have an even better 2020. Until then, Happy holidays!
Tokunboh Ishmael Joins Endeavor Board
Tokunboh Ishmael, Managing Director and co-founder of Alitheia Capital (Photo: Endeavor Nigeria)
Endeavor Nigeria announced today the appointment of ‘Tokunboh Ishmael, Managing Director and co-founder of Alitheia Capital, to its board of directors.
Tokunboh Ishmael is an impact investor with over 20 years of experience spanning investment banking, private equity investing, technology, and business development in Africa, Europe, and North America. She is the Managing Director, and co-founder of Alitheia Capital, Nigeria-based investment management and advisory firm focused on channeling private equity investments into small and medium-sized businesses in West Africa.
“We are thrilled to welcome Mrs. Tokunboh Ishmael to the board of Endeavor in Nigeria,” said Tosin Faniro-Dada, Managing Director and CEO of Endeavor Nigeria. “Mrs. Ishmael is an inspiration to the digital ecosystem, and we’re certain she will add tremendous value as well as a unique perspective to the team with over 20 years of experience in Private Equity and Venture Capital in Africa; ESG and Impacting Investing; Gender Lens Investing; and Diversity and Inclusion.”
Ishamael joins Endeavor Nigeria’s board members, including Atedo Peterside CON (Board Chairman, Endeavor Nigeria and President & Founder, Anap Foundation), Bolaji Balogun (Board Vice-Chairman, Endeavor Nigeria, and CEO, Chapelhill Denham), Jaideep Gulab (CEO, Rosemonde), Halima Aliko Dangote (Group Executive Director, Dangote Industries Limited), Yemi Lalude (Managing Partner, TPG Growth), Andrew Alli (Group CEO & Partner, SouthBridge Group), Mitchell Elegbe (Founder & GMD, Interswitch Group), Faysal El-Khalil (Chairman, Seven-Up Bottling Company), Suresh Chellaram (Chairman, Chellarams Group), and Tosin Faniro-Dada (Managing Director & CEO, Endeavor Nigeria).
Endeavor Nigeria’s board of directors comprises top business leaders who actively support the organization’s efforts to advance the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and economy.
Commenting on the appointment, Atedo Peterside CON, Chairman of the Board, said, “We’re honored to welcome ‘Tokunboh Ishmael to the Board of Directors of Endeavor Nigeria. We are certain that she will bring tremendous value to the Endeavor network, drawing on very relevant practical experiences. It will also further enhance the strong role that Endeavor Nigeria has been playing in supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nigeria as a whole.
I look forward to working closely with her on the board and strategy level.”
Speaking on the appointment, ‘Tokunbo Ishmael said, “I am pleased to join the board of Endeavor Nigeria, an institution that has played a key role in placing high-impact, transformative African entrepreneurs and businesses on the global map. I look forward to contributing my unique experience to the energetic and visionary leadership of the organization to unlock further growth and impact through Endeavor Nigeria’s robust initiatives and network.”
Endeavor is the world’s leading community of high-impact entrepreneurs. Founded in 1997, Endeavor is a global organization with a mission to unlock the transformational power of entrepreneurship by selecting, supporting, and investing in the world’s top founders. Today, Endeavor’s network spans 41 markets and supports more than 2,300 entrepreneurs whose companies generate combined revenues of over $42 billion US and have created more than 3.9 million jobs. Endeavor’s unique entrepreneur-first model and network of trust provide a platform for founders to dream big, scale up, and pay it forward to the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Endeavor launched its Nigeria office in 2018 to select and support the best founders of companies at the scale-up and growth stage who recognise a responsibility to pay it forward and multiply their impact in Nigeria’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. In Nigeria, Endeavor aims to select 4-6 companies a year, and today there are 33 Endeavor Entrepreneurs leading 16 companies in their portfolio.
mPharma acquires majority stake in HealthPlus
mPharma, Africa’s leading patient-centered technology-driven healthcare company, has acquired the majority stake in HealthPlus, the leading pharmacy chain in Nigeria. mPharma and the former investor, Alta Semper, have signed an agreement leading to the acquisition of a majority stake in the HealthPlus Group.
According to the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of mPharma, Gregory Rockson, the acquisition is in line with the company’s mission to build an Africa that is in good health by delivering life-changing healthcare services and drugs to improve health outcomes for patients. He stated that the acquisition of the HealthPlus Pharmacy chain by mPharma complements mPharma’s deep commitment to increasing patient access to affordable and quality healthcare in Nigeria.
“mPharma is deepening its long-standing commitment to Africa by reimagining primary healthcare in some of the most vulnerable communities on the continent. We continue to transform community pharmacies into primary care centers to provide affordable and accessible healthcare to all patients so they can live not just longer but healthier lives. We are optimistic about the future of healthcare for Nigerians through the acquisition of HealthPlus.”, said Rockson.
In her remarks on the acquisition, Afsane Jetha, Co-founder and CEO at Alta Semper Capital, said: “We are delighted about HealthPlus’ partnership with mPharma. We have a strong conviction in mPharma’s strategy of revolutionizing primary care across Africa and believe mPharma is the ideal steward for HealthPlus’s next chapter of growth. We believe mPharma’s vision is consistent with that of HealthPlus’s shareholders and employees, and we are enthusiastic to support the business through a relationship with mPharma going forward”.
While mPharma plans to continue to keep and strengthen HealthPlus as Nigeria’s leading pharmacy brand in Nigeria, the acquisition will also provide expansion opportunities for mPharma within Nigeria and a platform to expand mPharma’s mutti pharmacy retail footprint across the continent through its fast-growing QualityRx program. Powered by mPharma’s proprietary Bloom software, HealthPlus will provide patients access to affordable primary care services within its pharmacies, in addition to affordable and quality medications it currently retails across 12 states in Nigeria. The HealthPlus pharmacy chain will also launch mutti®, mPharma’s health membership program, which will provide both existing and new customers with discounts, interest-free “heal-now-pay-later” plans, free health screenings, and other primary care services.
By combining HealthPlus pharmacies with mPharma’s growing portfolio of partner mutti pharmacies and GoodHealth shops (PPMVs),mPharma’s network will grow from 224 to over 320 health facilities in Nigeria and will provide care to more than 100,000 Nigerians each month.
Chantel Cooper: The Epitome of Empathy and Care
Chantel Cooper, CEO of The Children’s Hospital Trust (Image: Supplied)
Chantel joined the Children’s Hospital Trust in 2013 as the Head of Fundraising and Communication and was appointed as CEO in 2019. For her, 2020 was a year that reinforced the importance of the core purpose of the Trust and the difference the organisation wants to make in the lives of children. “Our cause is driven by the need to make a difference in the lives of sick and injured children. We are people who work together to save the lives of the children who matter. We all have a purpose!” she says.
Sharing excerpts from her journey, Chantel says:
“My purpose in life is to serve those who are most vulnerable: women and children. My career was driven by my passion to make a real difference in the lives of women and children. When I was 18 years old, I volunteered for an organisation that provided support for women who had been raped. While volunteering, I started working with women in rural areas in the Eastern Cape where we found opportunities to grow their businesses.
“My passion for women led me to Cape Town where I became Director of Rape Crisis Cape Town when I was 27 years old. After the birth of my two children, I moved to an organisation called St Joseph’s Home for chronically Ill Children. St Joseph’s is a step-down facility for tertiary hospitals like the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. It was a profound move for me as I was able to work with children who inspired me.
“One of the most valuable lessons I learnt is the power of love. You can offer a child the best healthcare in the world, but what a child wants most is their parents to love them and be by their side. This is the value I most appreciate about the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and my past experiences. This hospital believes in child-centered care and knows that a child heals when their parent or caregiver is by their side – even during the COVID-19 pandemic. All other hospitals had restricted access to patients, but the presence of a parent is imperative to their sick or injured child’s healing.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic taught our team that life can change in a blink of an eye and that we need to be prepared for all possibilities. The pandemic hit the world with such speed and velocity that we had no choice but to find a way to not only sail through the storm but also find ways to get out of the situation stronger than before.”
Chantel also states that 2020 provided the Children’s Hospital Trust with the opportunity to learn extraordinary lessons that they would not have normally had the opportunity to learn and some of these include:
- The value of deep listening and the importance of demonstrating kindness.
- Working in collaboration created the opportunity for meaningful impact for our beneficiaries.
- Opportunities do exist during challenging times; positivity exposed the opportunities.
- Adapting to change during uncertain times helped to build a resilient team.
“Our Trust team demonstrated ingenuity, compassion, resilience, commitment, and fortitude during a very difficult time. As a result, we surpassed our goals, and this enabled our organisation to reach more children and families. We are grateful for the contribution from every individual,” adds Chantel.
“Walking through the corridors of a children’s hospital during a crisis gave perspective on the real value of care, kindness, and collaboration. While children were not the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Social Work Department experienced first-hand the profound impact the pandemic had on children’s health and well-being.
“Unemployment, food insecurity, child safety and schooling were common concerns for many patients and their parents who entered the doors of the Hospital. The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital values patient and family-centred care which includes care for the whole family from a holistic perspective.
“In response to the needs of the families, the Trust secured funding to enable the social workers to provide additional counselling services and material support such as the provision of food, hygiene, and home-schooling supplies to vulnerable families when children were discharged from the Hospital.” Read more on the Family Care Project here.
The core to achieving our vision is upholding our values of Integrity, Accountability, Kindness, Dynamism, and Collaboration in every aspect of our work. The Trust has a sound financial record in administration and good governance. For the past 28 years, we have raised funds to address many pressing needs, but much has yet to be done. With the help of many donors, we continue to give hope and healing to our little ones who need it most.
The Trust raises funds for the upgrade and expansion of the Hospital’s buildings, the purchase of state-of-the-art medical equipment, and new medical treatment projects and funds the training of medical professionals across Africa – ensuring that the Hospital not only retains its world-class stature but is able to continue providing life-changing and life-saving care for children.
The Trust relies on donations to fund these needs. When you donate to the Trust, 100% of your donation goes towards funding projects that change children’s lives (and the lives of the people who love them). The operational costs of the Trust are funded from an endowment, so your generous contributions are never used to cover administration costs.
Donate to the Children’s Hospital Trust today! www.childrenshospitaltrust.org.za