Do you remember as children the story of ‘Stone Soup’? Depending on where in the world you come from the story is much the same. A stranger visits the village and says he will make some stone soup and invites the villagers to add a little bit of taste and texture by adding whatever they can bring to the pot. The message is that if everyone contributes a little something then the results are significant. Well the story behind the LadyAgri Impact Investment Hub is much the same. A little ‘stone’ or ‘idea’ was planted three years ago. The question was simple, “If we want to improve food production, food safety and food quality in Africa where do we start?”. The unanimous answer from myself and my co-founders was, “Invest in Women”.
No matter where we looked along the agri-supply chains, she is there! Sometimes she is hidden, invisible, just a flash of colour bent over in a field planting, ploughing, picking, sometimes she is yelling at a truckdriver to pack up her products and get to market, sometimes she sits behind her food stall from morning to sundown hoping to sell at a good price, sometimes she stands for hours at the border holding her basket up high in front of tired truckdrivers, sometimes she has fifteen workers packing, processing her product, rushing to make the next boat or airplane so someone far away can buy ‘A taste of home’. In all these scenarios, she gets things done! To us her name is LadyAgri.
Our ‘stone soup’ includes many ingredients because though the best food is simple, the skills to get that food from farm to fork are complex. Our LadyAgri, no matter where she is in Africa, Small Island Developing States, in rural or urban areas, needs to have access to all sorts of tools and knowledge, finance, insurance, legal advice, marketeers, packaging and logistics to get her product to its destination. She needs to be a multi-talented CEO mastering the art of Finance, legislation, HR management & training, upskilling of workers, ensuring health and wellbeing of her staff, sustaining loyal supplier and customer relationships.
We at the LadyAgri Impact Investment Hub are making ‘stone soup’ and have the most incredible family of multi-disciplinary professionals, men and women, all adding their expertise, knowledge, business networks to support women agri-entrepreneurs. Our experts span 27 countries across Africa, as well as the USA, Europe and India. They are an eclectic group coming from very different technical backgrounds yet driven by the same conviction that if we want positive wide-scale impact then investing in women is simply ‘Smart Economics’.
The LadyAgri Impact Investment Hub combines access to knowledge, finance and business partnerships for women to grow their agri-businesses to profitable, efficient status. Our aim is that our ‘LadyAgri’ beneficiaries stay ahead of the game. We are equipping our LadyAgri business women to see and take advantage of new market opportunities, to have secure high-quality sourcing in place with faithful producers and efficient market distribution systems for her products.
Our LadyAgri beneficiaries stand out as ‘social entrepreneurs’ in their ecosystem. By investing in ‘her’ we nurture and raise her capacity to contribute to building up ‘resilience’ both in her business and her local community. Then together they can weather any storm social, economic or environmental.
LadyAgri Impact Investment Hub