Ghana-based Finer Foods Co and Nigeria-based Baby Grubz, won $15,000 and $10,000 respectively at the Affordable Nutrition Forum presented by Village Capital and The Hershey Company on April 21, beating 8 other entrepreneurs who went through sessions to evaluate their businesses and discuss key strategic challenges with mentors.
Finer Foods Co, makes fortified porridge and weaning cereals was selected by a vote of the ten startups for the $15,000 “peer selected prize”. Baby Grubz, which makes nutritious and locally-produced baby foods in Nigeria and an online community of nearly 127,000 mothers, was selected by the event’s audience to win the $10,000 “audience prize”.
“We know it’s essential that all children have access to the nutrition they need to learn effectively and become the next generation of leaders,” said Whitney Mayer, Social Innovation Manager for The Hershey Company. “Nourishing Minds is our shared social purpose to undertake this goal. And partnering with Village Capital and the West Africa Affordable Nutrition Program has been a terrific way to identify and support visionary entrepreneurs who share our commitment to improve access to safe, affordable nutrition for children and families.”
“Families in Africa want healthier food. But it’s still far too difficult for healthy food to reach the right people at the right price,” said Village Capital CEO Ross Baird. “The startups that participated in this forum are setting the foundation for more locally-produced food, better distribution of that food, and ultimately better options for families at lower prices.”
Anita Agyare, General Manager of Finer Foods Co, said the prize money will be used immediately, to automate its packaging line and get the necessary funding for machinery to produce very large volumes and reach more people, especially the vulnerable while Seun Sangoleye, Founder and CEO of Baby Grubz, said the money will help the firm procure a sachet filling and packaging machine and a ribbon mixer, to produce smaller quantities with fortifications which will enable its products to reach the bottom of the pyramid and make nutrition even more affordable and accessible.