Over 3,000 businesses are currently supported by WIDU.africa - across six partner countries on the African continent. Behind the large number are many individual stories of courageous entrepreneurs and committed supporters who believe in the business ideas of their friends or family members. We would like to introduce you to some of them on this page.
Twelve hectares of farmland and a vision for Ghana
Sonia Folikumah, the owner of Farmhub Limited, has a vision: "I want to improve food security in Ghana and the region” To make her vision come true, her business focuses on two main areas: On the one hand, the graduated agronomist advises and trains other farmers. On the other hand, she grows vegetables and fruit on her farm, buys agricultural products from local farmers and sells their and her own products.
Through the support of her donor and WIDU, she was able to buy more land for her farm. Sonia also had equipment installed to irrigate her fields and was able to purchase seeds:"The impact of this project has been huge. Our field is fully irrigated and the plants are showing really good yields." reports Sonia. So good, in fact, that she was able to hire four new employees. Sonia is thus taking the first step towards fulfilling her vision: making her contribution to improve food security in Ghana. She continues her entrepreneurial journey by applying for a second Original WIDU Grant.
From Togo with Flavour: Production and Sale of Spices
"The investments have enabled me to increase my production capacity. I am able to meet the increasing demand from customers," is how entrepreneur Ablavi explains her success as a spice trader in Togo. The founder of PHILAB processes and packages various spices so that end consumers can use them easily.
The PHILAB spice trade entrepreneur convinced her brother Yao, who lives in Germany, to become her diaspora donor. Her WIDU coach confirmed in both free and professional business coaching sessions that Ablavi has greatly developed her business. "The entrepreneur works with diligence, which puts the project on a path and makes it grow. On top of that, the entrepreneur exhibits her products in supermarkets in France."
Thanks to WIDU, PHILAB has not only been able to further establish itself as a business, but also to continue to grow sustainably. The founder commented, "I can increase my turnover and recruit new staff."
Promoting with films: Media production for and with young people in Kenya
Eunice Gicheha runs a small media production company in Nairobi: Kidawa Entertainment Production. Her company produces films that are educational, entertaining and inspiring. "I am also keen on further young people who have talents in acting or reporting," she says. In the past, Kidawa Entertainment had to rent camera equipment when films were to be shot. That was expensive, so the entrepreneur invested the WIDU grant in her own equipment and bought a camera, a flash and microphones, among other things. Now Eunice can use the money she saves on equipment rental to employ more young people in her company.
Charles Kente Ventures
Cultural heritage you can touch: Hand-woven Kente fabrics from Ghana
The weaving of Kente fabrics has a long tradition in Ghana. The Ashanti - an ethnic group in Ghana - have been making the colourful fabrics since the 17th century. Charles Boakye Mensah has been practising this traditional craft for 15 years: "I design, weave and produce commercial kente clothing of all kinds, such as adwinasa, sika, chief kente and kente for traditional weddings. For this, I buy my own cotton and silk, design patterns, weave and produce the fabrics." His aim is to preserve this cultural heritage. By participating in WIDU, he is able to pass on his knowledge: in addition to buying raw materials for production, he has been able to hire apprentices.
"Energy and water for all in Cameroon and Africa"
Patrick Weti is a renewable energy engineer and start-up founder in Cameroon. His company OreoleTech wants to buy and sell solar systems. However, renewable energies are not yet popular in Cameroon – even though Patrick sees an enormous potential: "Solar energy is not only environmentally friendly, but also for free. Free access to electricity and hot water will no longer be a myth, but accessible to all levels of society." Patrick therefore invested his WIDU grant in equipment for his business - but also in marketing to increase the acceptance of solar systems in Cameroon.
Food for the community in Kenya
"My goal is to make products that help my community," is how entrepreneur Judy Kageni explains her project. "Aweke Farmers" is about livestock and cow milk production. Fighting the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Judy wants to use the WIDU funding to contribute to the food supply of dairy products for her community. In the future, she plans to buy additional livestock such as pigs and chickens. Thanks to WIDU, she has not only been able to buy two cows, but also to hire two employees.
Self-produced organic care products made in Ghana
Deborah Addo lives in Kumasi, Ghana and runs the start-up Cedar Women, which develops and sells its own organic care products. Before the project started, she already had a shop where she offered hair and skin treatments with her products. The grant from WIDU enabled her to buy new equipment for the production of her organic beauty products and thus increase production. In addition, the funding has enabled her to rent her own space to manufacture her products and offer trainings for young women.
Stopping the spread of Corona in Cameroon - with spoiled food
Disinfectants are more in demand than ever since the start of the pandemic, whether in hospitals or in private households. That is why the Cameroonian chemical company GIC Bellomar developed a process to convert food waste into bioethanol - to produce disinfectants. "With our own resources, we were able to start production and distribution of bioethanol on a smaller scale. But that was not enough to satisfy the demand for our product. It quickly became clear: we wanted to start mass production. But we lacked the financial means to do so," recalls Martial Gervais Oden Bella, owner of GIC Bellomar. By participating in WIDU.africa, the company was able to continue paying the salaries of its employees, finance the transport of fruit to the company and thus expand the production of its disinfectant.