“No Business is easy to build,” Regional Director of Yara International, Mr. Danquah Addo-Yobo has reiterated to agric students and beginner agripreneurs participating in this year’s Agricultural Students’ Career Guidance Mentorship Dialogue and Bootcamp (AG-STUD-AFRICA).
According to him, even as they strive to start their own farms and agribusinesses, they must know that, it is not going to be an easy feat to achieve, but with hard work, planning and business strategies in place, they can make it happen.
“Adapt and find solutions through the difficulties; your ability to overcome challenges takes you to the next level,” he stressed.
Mr. Addo-Yobo was speaking on Monday, April 19, on the first day of the 4th Agricultural Students’ Career Guidance Mentorship Dialogue and Bootcamp (AG-STUD-AFRICA), annually organized by Agrihouse Foundation, to bring together agricultural students, beginner agribusinesses and start-ups to appreciate the pivotal role they are expected to play, in building resilience and preparedness towards sustaining the food security of the nation through creative and innovative agriculture.
This year, the Bootcamp is on the theme, “We have Enabled and Established the Agri-youth! Time to Scale-Up them-Up to Feed Ghana.”
Mr. Addo-Yobo also urged the young agripreneurs to avoid repeating mistakes, but instead learn from others, “there are business principles that work across all industries, so it doesn’t matter which area of agric you are in, understand your market and you can learn from others,” he encouraged.
Touching on the importance of stakeholders in building a reputable and sustainable organization, the Regional Director urged the agric student and entrepreneurs to consciously undertake a stakeholder mapping activity, as they work on their business ideas.
“This will enable you to build relevant relationship with each of them,” he stressed, “Some people think their stakeholders are only their customers. That is not true. Stakeholders are people who you impact and also impact you. And you need to know that each stakeholder requires a different approach. So you cannot deal with your supplier the same way you deal with your customer” he stressed.
Highlighting the importance of a business strategy, Mr. Addo-Yobo encouraged the young agripreneurs to work on solid business strategies that will help them navigate the vision and missions they have for their agribusinesses, “hope is not a strategy. So, you must have a conscious plan to build your business,” he stressed.
He said branding is also important and therefore urged the participants to establish a quality brand and ensure to protect it, “whiles you’re building a strong brand, it creates additional responsibility for you to be to protect your brand because there are people out there who will be working to take undue advantage of your brand,” he noted.
About AG-STUD – AFRICA
The bootcamp employs Military disciplinary drills, Mentorship sessions, coaching, educational tours, dialogues, role play, strategic competence-based capacity building and leadership sessions, to contribute to the mindset change, whiles attracting campers to appreciate the entire value chain cycle, the roles and career path, they can create and ultimately, assisting them to develop their business ideas and ensuring implementation of their business.
AG-STUD AFRICA, has introduced participating students and groups to several opportunities within the agricultural value chain; the platform continues to educate them with relevant knowledge and skills on how to harness such opportunities. As a result, over 600 students from 30 different schools who have participated in previous editions of AG-STUD have been have taught to be self-reliant, and supported with start-up capital to help them start their own agri-businesses.
Indirectly, the bootcamp has benefitted over 1000 agri-business students and beginner agribusinesses enabling them to develop strong and bankable business plans. About 43 successful businesses are presently, being run by students who have participated in AG-STUD.
This year the list of supporting organizations includes, Agriculture Development Bank, OCP, MyBarnes, Holland Akokor, CDF Canada, ADDFRA, Sonal Global. 4R Solutions, B-diet, Kovi and Nanaam Ventures.