A lack of skills and access to capital are major challenges facing small and growing agribusinesses in eastern Africa.
In order to access credit, businesses need to provide financial institutions with some form of financial statements to determine their eligibility. Lack of training and business skills means that often agribusinesses are unable to provide this, limiting their ability to access wider markets and potential to grow.
Business development services enable agribusinesses to function more efficiently and increase access to capital. The services enable them to realise their full potential, improve their profitability, create additional jobs, and provide market access to small-scale farmers, leading to higher incomes.
With support from the Vitol Foundation, Farm Africa has established Cultivate, our business development services hub based in Kenya. Cultivate will increase demand and facilitate the supply of appropriate business development services to rural small and growing agribusinesses across eastern Africa.
Cultivate will provide expertise to enable agribusinesses improve their operational efficiency, access to investment and capital and new markets. It will focus on helping start-up and early-stage businesses with a $50k-$1m turnover in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and DR Congo.
Cultivate is able to draw on Farm Africa’s experience of supporting first-mile agribusinesses (those businesses that buy produce from small-scale farmers and supply goods to them) as well as our knowledge and analysis of a range of value chains. This will enable Cultivate to identify which businesses have the most potential to grow and provide those businesses with the support they need to capitalise on market trends.
Cultivate will then seek to commercialise its services over the medium to long term to increase its reach regionally and to establish itself in the business development service sector.
Cultivate is funded by Vitol Foundation over a period of three years and will work with rural small and growing agribusinesses (SGBs) in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and DR Congo.