Samis Online African Foods is an African food business founded by Segun Akande and Oyetola Akande. The Couple (Akandes) held a media round table on Tuesday 1st August. The roundtable was moderated by Joshua Ewere Lead Strategist at SoMe Solutions, who introduced Samis Online African Foods by praising them for their consistency over the years. Founded in 2019, Samis Online African Foods has been on a mission to ensure that there is access to quality African ingredients and seamless local and international deliveries to your doorstep.
It was a great opportunity for the couple to speak about their partnership and running a successful business in the diaspora.The longstanding relationship between Mr Segun Akande, a chemical engineer and Mrs Oyetola Akande, a chemical engineer by profession, shows that a married couple can indeed work together and accomplish great things. The two entrepreneurs have grown over the years, relying on each other’s strengths to build an innovative, community enabled brand.
The Akandes’ success is an inspiration to other couples looking to build businesses together. Their partnership is built on a foundation of mutual respect, trust, and a shared vision for the future. They have leveraged each other’s strengths to create a successful business that is making a difference in the Nigerian community in the UK.
The story of Olusegun and Oyetola Akande and their Samis platform is a testament to the power of passion, hard work, and partnership. Their commitment to authenticity and quality has earned them a loyal following and a reputation as a top African food platform in the UK. As they continue to grow and expand their brand, they are sure to inspire others to follow in their footsteps and pursue their own entrepreneurial dreams
Regardless of the challenges experienced during Covid-19, Samis Online African Foods was able to embrace the tumultuous realities and moved swiftly in digitizing their processes in order to remain competitive and relevant in meeting the needs of their customers in the United Kingdom.
Speaking on running a business, Mr Segun Akande mentioned – Over the last 6 years Samis African Foods has not only faced challenges but also acquired numerous wins.
During the roundtable there were discussions about scarcity of foreign exchange and its impact and the brand’s stance on it. Mr Olusegun Akande mentioned The effect it is having on us is that we can’t directly translate that increase to the consumers because it will really be unaffordable and that is one of the things that brings down a business. We keep our products as affordable as possible. We have to keep managing the costs and our margins.
While the Co-founders are optimistic about raising capital from more alternative financing options, they expressed gratitude to friends and family who have supported the business venture thus far. The African logistics sector is on an upward trajectory as more innovative companies secure growing amounts of funding. Samis possesses great potential for disruption, acceleration and is open to growing even more with the help of investors and partners.
Harris M: Keeping the craftsmanship alive through African fabrics
Harris M was created by Congolese entrepreneur Harris Mayoukou, Harris M. is a young fashion and accessories brand inspired by the bustling streets of Château Rouge, a colourful district of Paris. This project is above all a family story that begins with a sewing machine belonging to the great uncles of the designer in Congo. A machine that was offered to his father in the 70s and that the latter offered him in turn at the launch of the brand. Moreover, she still uses it today in the production of pieces in her Parisian workshop.
Coming from a family of artists and talented couturiers, Harris was keen to carry on this family legacy through his brand Harris M. She makes it a point of honor to take only fabrics produced in Africa in order to support the crafts and printing works still present. The brand offers accessories and casual wear mixed clothing, comfortable and quality. The founder defines the brand in 3 words: KANDA which means family in lari. Because she wanted to perpetuate one of her father’s first jobs.
Harris took her first classes in a very small workshop in Montreuil in order to keep this practice in the family and keep this precious link. Then PASSION because all the pieces are made according to the desires and the favorites. Finally ETHICAL, because it tries to ensure that small craftsmen, whether they are in France or in Africa, continue to be paid at the right price
APINAPI is reducing waste and supporting the autonomy of women
APINAPI is a social business focused on zero waste and symbolizes the meeting between France and Senegal. It all began in 2010, when Marina Gning and Jeanne-Aurélie Delaunay founded the company APINAPI in Paris, with the aim of democratizing washable diapers and natural baby products. After 10 years working in the cinema industry, they wanted to raise awareness about washable nappies and natural care products for babies.
During her travels in Senegal with her husband, Marina finds that the products she offers in France are perfectly suited for Senegal. Indeed, she sees how plastic waste litters the streets of the country, especially disposable diapers. These, which were a few years ago a “luxury product”, have become very accessible with the arrival of low-end brands.
These layers, of poor quality, give irritation and are not reliable. The family budget is reduced and women with low incomes use a single diaper for their baby all day! By offering washable diapers to her sister-in-law in Dakar, Marina sees how much easier her life is: less redness, less expense, less waste. In addition, the diapers were a great success with the friends of the young mother.
The trigger is born from there. What if these washable diapers were the solution? In 2015, she got fully into the project with her partner, her husband and Marianne Varale. The team was born, and in 2016 Marina and her husband decided to sell their apartment in France to settle in Senegal and launch ApiAfrique.
Today, ApiAfrique is a Senegalese social enterprise, which offers innovative, local and environmentally friendly solutions for the hygiene of women and babies. Its vision is to promote sustainable solutions that contribute to women’s empowerment, waste reduction, the fight against exclusion and job creation.
Meet French-Senegalese mothers after black babies
Douce mélanine Founders
N’dioba DIONGUE and Astou diongue, two French-Senegalese mothers have both had bad experiences with baby cosmetics products that contain potentially dangerous or allergenic substances. Looking for a solution, they found out that products adapted to black and mixed-race children can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Following these bad personal experiences, they decide to react and remedy them by offering healthy products, especially for babies. This is because they are fragile. The beginnings were not simple: market research, business plan, search for formulators, etc. It took several months before they could find a lab to work with. Not being in the trade, they also had to train in formulation.
Douce mélanine was born in 2018, with the aim of offering a range of care products with 98% natural ingredients, traditionally used in Africa for baby care. The goal is to transmit care rituals with products from the African pharmacopoeia. For example, we can find touloucouna oil, with unsuspected virtues which is relaxing and is used in Africa for infant massage. A necessary return to the roots, to allow babies to enjoy all the benefits of this treatment with ancestral oils.
Then in 2020, as for many entrepreneurs, the coronavirus came knocking on the doorbell. After several questioning and restructuring, they decided to stay the course. New tests are carried out, formulas are retouched, and the adventure resumes in 2021 to never stop. Today, Douce Mélanine has made her way and has found her place in many bathrooms all over the world.
DOUCE MÉLANINE fights every day to offer mothers products with healthy compositions. Its products are formulated and manufactured by a French laboratory certified Ecocert and COSMOS. Without perfumes, tested under dermatological control and composed of ingredients from the African pharmacopoeia, babies will appreciate its care which will bring softness, hydration and relaxation.