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Aruwa Capital invests in Taeillo, a tech-enabled furniture company

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Aruwa Capital Management (“Aruwa”), an early-stage growth equity and gender lens fund investing in Nigeria and Ghana is pleased to announce an investment into Taeillo (the “Company”), a technology-enabled furniture company that locally manufactures and retails mass market and premium Afrocentric furniture and lifestyle products across various product categories, selling directly to its B2C and B2B customers through its e-commerce platform.

Founded in 2018, Taeillo launched as a custom furniture designer serving its B2B clientele, however, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity for the Company to serve B2C customers who needed locally manufactured high quality, affordable, furniture pieces. The Company took advantage of this opportunity and pivoted to a D2C business with the launch of the Amakisi table at an affordable price point of ₦29,999/c.$85. The table quickly gained popularity due to its quality, elegant design and affordability, resulting in the Company selling over 1,000 pieces of the Amakisi table in short period of time. Since then, demand for the Company’s furniture has continued to increase rapidly, causing the team to expand into 10 additional product categories and into East Africa, to meet growing demand.

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As a local manufacturer of quality and affordable furniture pieces, the Company’s solution is critical for the African continent where the alternative is to import bulky, expensive furniture from the United Kingdom, United States or China, incurring significant costs combined with an unstable exchange rate, and enduring long wait periods of 3 – 6 months before furniture is delivered. Taeillo is revolutionizing this space by providing locally manufactured well-designed, flat-pack furniture using raw materials sourced from Africa to provide customers with aesthetically pleasing furniture pieces at a fraction of the importation price and with a 50% reduction in delivery time to about 4 – 8 weeks. As a local manufacturer of finished goods, the Company is also creating jobs, and providing economic opportunities for players in the value chain as all its raw materials and fabrics are sourced locally.

The Company has also incorporated augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology into its e-commerce platform to enhance customers’ shopping experience, by creating an immersive experience on the website where customers can shuffle between materials, colours and furniture dimensions before making a buying decision. Leveraging VR technology, the Company is also able to rapidly expand across regions without incurring additional showroom costs, typical with traditional furniture businesses as they offer virtual showrooms to customers. Taeillo is now present in two African countries: Nigeria and Kenya, shipping c.10,000 pieces of furniture to over 5,000 customers in Nigeria and Kenya, with complete ownership of its value chain.

Jumoke Dada, Founder & CEO of Taeillo, said: “We are excited to partner with Aruwa Capital on our journey and welcome them as equity investors in the business. The Aruwa team has been instrumental in providing strategic guidance and making necessary introductions to facilitate our global growth and expansion plans. This investment by Aruwa Capital will take us closer to our goal of becoming the IKEA of Africa by providing quality, ready-to-assemble, made-in-Africa furniture pieces at an affordable price point for the mass market, while also optimizing our operations, delivery time, and customer experience. We are grateful to the Aruwa Capital team for their belief in our vision.”

Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes, Founder & Managing Partner of Aruwa Capital, said: “We are thrilled to announce this investment into Taeillo as it aligns with nearly all of our investment objectives. Since inception, the Company has maintained its innovative model in a traditional brick and mortar industry, creating a unique value proposition for its customers in a fast-growing, underserved market. By leveraging technology in its value chain, Taeillo has been able to achieve exponential growth in less than 2 years, achieving results that take traditional furniture companies decades to achieve.

In line with Aruwa’s gender lens investing strategy, Taeillo is founded and led by a woman, and has a 50% female representation in its management team. We are very confident in the Company’s ability to scale across Africa and are thrilled to be partnering with the team for the exciting journey ahead.“

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Press Release

InnoPower Launches Digital Impact Network to Elevate Minority Business Success in Indiana

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Innopower, powered by Metaimpact’s multi-stakeholder platform, is proud to announce the public launch of Indy Biz Pass, an innovative digital ecosystem designed to spur economic growth and wealth creation within Indiana’s minority business community. This cutting-edge initiative marks a significant milestone in providing underrepresented entrepreneurs enhanced access to essential resources for business success.

Indy Biz Pass is built on Metaimpact’s robust digital infrastructure. Metaimpact enables organizations to design, build, and deploy digital impact networks where multiple stakeholders can act on shared goals to create collective impact. 

Indy Biz Pass is the first network of its kind to focus specifically on empowering Black, Brown, and other minority-owned businesses in Indiana. Funded with philanthropic support from JPMorgan Chase through a grant to Sagamore Institute and operated in coordination with Innopower, Indy Biz Pass is a new resource to help connect minority business owners with a comprehensive network of support, including funding partners, industry experts, educational institutions, and talent development resources. 

For the past year, the focus has been on building a strong network of supporting organizations. Current contributors include the Indy Urban League, Business Equity Indy, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Sagamore Institute, and many more. By joining Indy Biz Pass, these organizations can make their services widely discoverable to all entrepreneurs, actively contribute to pivotal initiatives, and gain a comprehensive understanding of the work being done across the state. This collaborative environment is crucial in driving forward the collective mission of empowering minority business ownership and success. 

Today’s public launch of the impact network marks a crucial next step by providing access to the entrepreneurs the network aims to support. Understanding the dynamic needs of modern business owners, the impact network is accessible via a specially designed web app. This ensures that resources and collaboration opportunities are just a tap away, facilitating real-time business development and networking. 

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“With Indy Biz Pass, we are setting a new standard for how we support and elevate minority businesses,” said Emil Ekiyor, Founder and CEO of Innopower. “This network is more than just a platform; it’s a community dedicated to fostering success and growth for Black and Brown entrepreneurs across Indiana.

Scott McCorkle, CEO of Metaimpact, added, “Our digital infrastructure is uniquely poised to unite diverse stakeholders and resources in a holistic, impactful manner. We’re excited to see how this network transforms the landscape of minority entrepreneurship in the Hoosier state.”

JPMorgan Chase’s commitment to this initiative underscores its dedication to fostering inclusive economic growth and supporting diverse communities. “One of our top priorities at JPMorgan Chase is ensuring communities and businesses have the resources needed to break down barriers and access economic opportunities,” said Phylicia Manley, Vice President and Program Officer in Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase. “Through Sagamore Institute, in coordination with Metaimpact and Innopower, we’ve been able to assist in strengthening an ecosystem dedicated to helping diverse business owners find access to capital and network support.” 

Entrepreneurs can access Indy Biz Pass at network.indybizpass.com. Organizations seeking to make their services discoverable on Indy Biz Pass can request to join the network at www.metaimpact.com/impact-network/indy-biz-pass/

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Beta Glass Partners Wecyclers to Launch Cullet Trucks, Enhancing Recycling and Sustainability Efforts

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Beta Glass PLC, a member of the Frigoglass Group and the leading manufacturer of glass packaging, crowns and crates in West and Central Africa, has partnered with Wecyclers, an innovative waste management company, to launch a fleet of cullet trucks. This strategic initiative aims to enhance recycling efforts, promote sustainability, and reinforce environmental responsibility across Nigeria.

The official launch event took place on Wednesday, 22nd May 2024, at the Beta Glass headquarters in Lagos, marking a significant milestone and commitment by both parties towards a more sustainable future for Nigerians.

The new trucks will be instrumental in collecting and transporting cullet, the term for bottles and jars for recycling, from various collection points to the local production facilities of Beta Glass. By integrating these specialised trucks into the supply chain, both companies aim to increase the volume of recycled glass used in manufacturing, thereby reducing the quantity of virgin raw materials and minimising the environmental footprint.

Key Benefits of the Partnership:

  • Enhanced Recycling Efficiency: The cullet trucks will streamline the collection process, making it easier to gather larger quantities of glass for recycling,
  • Environmental Impact: By using more recycled glass in production, Beta Glass will reduce its carbon footprint.
  • Economic Opportunities: This initiative will create new job opportunities in the recycling sector, supporting local communities.
  • Public Awareness: The partnership aims to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and environmental stewardship among the Nigerian populace.

Commenting on this new partnership, Darren Bennett-Voci, CEO of Beta Glass, stated: “Our partnership with Wecyclers represents a significant step forward in our commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. The launch of the cullet trucks will not only enhance our recycling capabilities but also set a benchmark for the industry. We are excited to see the positive impact this initiative will have on our environment and our community.”

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Olawale Adebiyi, CEO of Wecyclers, further added: “Wecyclers is dedicated to providing innovative recycling solutions that empower communities and protect our environment. Partnering with Beta Glass to launch the cullet trucks is a testament to our shared vision of a sustainable future. We look forward to working together to foster a recycling and environmental awareness culture across Nigeria.”

The launch event featured a demonstration of the cullet trucks in operation, along with presentations from key stakeholders about the anticipated benefits of the initiative.

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Press Release

The Gender Mainstreaming for Climate Entrepreneurship

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The Gender Mainstreaming Programme 2024 organized by the Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre aimed to close the gender gap in climate entrepreneurship. NCIC achieves this objective by collaborating with industry players, and stakeholders to drive and gain support for women in the industry, across Nigeria and the world at large. WeClimeEquallyWorkshop and the G-FIVE Business Accelerator by NCIC are the two instruments the organization uses to foster gender equality and climate-focused entrepreneurship. 

The Gender and Climate Workshop Event 

This Year’s WeClimeEquallyWorkshop 2024 with the theme: Equity and Sustainability Towards a Prosperous Future was held on Thursday 21, March 2024 at Four Points by Sheraton. The welcome address was led by Mr. Adamu, the Chief Operating Officer who represented Bankole Oloruntoba, the Chief Executive Officer, of NCIC. He emphasized the work of NCIC in championing projects that drive gender equality and entrepreneurship.

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 Mrs. Titi Oshodi, Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Climate Change and Circular Economy rendered the Goodwill Message and raised the need for effective communication to spur the needed change as there are many communication nuances in the Nigerian landscape. Rendering the speech of His Excellency Babajide Sanwolu, Governor of Lagos state, Mrs. Oshodi plauded that the WeClimEqualityWorkshop provides a pivotal platform to exchange knowledge and amplify women’s voices and ensure their meaningful participation in climate and circular economy because there is a link between gender, women, and marginalization is essential.

The workshop also featured 4 expert paper presentations delivered by industry experts from KPMG, FC4SLagos, Fate Foundation, and academia. In addition, attendees were treated to an intriguing panel session on applying a gender lens to the triple Es of Employment, Environment, and Entrepreneurship. Following hours of interactions, attendees were allowed an opportunity to co-create practical strategies to infuse gender lens in organizational programming, policies, and framework. 

Green Females in Venture Enterprise Business Accelerator 

Building on some key outcomes of the #WeClimeEqually Workshop, 50 climate-focused women entrepreneurs entered a 4-day hybrid business accelerator program delivered in partnership with the Lagos Business School Sustainability Center. Core modules of the accelerator centered around sustainability, innovation, legal regulatory frameworks, business management, and grant writing amongst others. 

Additional program support included a nursery for mothers, accommodation, a virtual learning platform for long-distance learners, and bonding activities. Participants were also certified at the end of the program. The Gender Mainstreaming for Climate Entrepreneurship is sponsored by Climate KIC; Europe’s leading Climate Innovation and Irish Aid. To learn more about the Nigeria Climate Innovation Center Visit the website here https://nigeriacic.org/about-us/

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