Just so you know
- 4 new firms per 1,000 people are launched per year in industrialised countries, 1 in Latin America and the Caribbean and fewer than 0.6 in sub-Saharan Africa
- 80% of small business start-ups fail within 2 years of launching
- 87% of entrepreneurs who have received incubator support stay in business
What does the term Agripreneur mean: It’s basically a combination of two words agriculture and entrepreneur. So an Agripreneur is an entrepreneur that focuses on the agriculture sector.
Describe an Agripreneur:
Age: The literature suggests that Agripreneurs are usually expected to be the youths, usually under the age of 40. I find this a bit limiting and I don’t entirely agree.
Education: An Agripreneur must be educated to at least the secondary school level because of the complexities of running a successful business especially in an environment like Africa. It is preferrable that a tertiary education is completed but if this is not possible, an agripreneur must attend courses as and when needed to acquire the required knowledge. Good agricultural training is essential. But so too is training in business skills, marketing and ICTs. Agripreneurs need to know about costing and pricing, break-even analysis, production planning, marketing, book-keeping, contracts and financing.
Meet Ismail Mulindwa from Uganda. Is educated up to high school level. However he clearly knew which area of Agriculture he wanted to go into and completed courses in that particular field, saving time and money. He has successfully built a business focused on mushrooms, earning profits of around €500 with a potential of €1,300 per month and creating jobs for outgrowers who are mostly women . His success is based on the fact that as a true agripreneur he identified a commercially viable gap in the market and went straight to work. http://spore.cta.int/en/component/content/article/21-spore/dossier/21/1873-1600
Skill set & Traits: A wide range of skills are required for an agribusiness to succeed.
Becoming an agripreneur is not a career path to be undertaken lightly. Entrepreneurs have to be prepared to take calculated risks. They also need to be creative, innovative and resourceful, be ready to put in long hours of hard work, cope with stress, and weather the bleak periods as well as the good ones. They must be able to think outside the box, seeing opportunities where others see doom. An agripreneur must be able to add value, through processing, packaging or clever marketing. An agripreneur needs to have a clear idea of market forces. What do consumers really want, and what will they pay a premium for?
Challenges: Agripreneurs are faced with a number of challenges which include but not limited to: selling the business plan to the financier, lack of information and bureaucratic processes that consistently prevent growth of businesses, poor state of infrastructure and lack of sufficiently skilled workers. Agripreneurs must still thrive while seeking solutions. They must seek to build stong relationship with bankers and other potential investors, they must build their networks and key into relevant communities to access information they would not otherwise have access to, where possible they most position their businesses in strategic locations to minimise the impact of poor infrastructure on their business and train and mentor employees who show enthusiasm and potential.
The Next gen African farmers must be agripreneurs. There is more to be said about agripreneurs but lets stop here for now. Please share your views on what you think an Agripreneurs is.
Thank you for taking time out to read this post.