Finalists for the Business Stay-up Award 2018
The ABE Business Stay-up Award is part of ABE’s campaign to support sustainable entrepreneurship #BusinessStayUp. The Award is for ABE entrepreneurs who have demonstrated learned business practice to give their enterprises the best chance of sustainability and growth.
The Award has received strong entries from around the world and we are pleased to report that the judge’s job has not been made easy. But, after deliberation, five worthy finalists have been selected. The ultimate winner will be announced on 21 August - World Entrepreneurs’ Day.
In keeping with our diverse global membership, our finalists represent a varied group of entrepreneurs, some are operating on a small scale and some have long-established enterprises. What they all have in common is that they have all demonstrated the application of core business skills to overcome challenges.
So, without further ado, here are the finalists:
- Agrifor Limited, Kenya
- Benmac's ICT Solutions, Malawi
- Gambibgo Anongtaaba Basket Weavers Association, Ghana
- Moonlight Events and Lolas Frozen Food Ltd, UK
- Multitex Fashionwear, Bangladesh
Read on to see how the selection was made:
Founders: Mrs Teresia Nduku Mwanzala and Mr Samuel Mawia Muema
Agrifor’s business model:
Agrifor is a social enterprise that empowers and helps generate income for poor rural and commercial farmers by supplying high quality germplasm (seed and seedlings), and consultancy services for farm production and produce.
What impressed the judges about Agrifor’s entry:
To overcome the common challenge faced by most start-ups which is inadequate finance, Agrifor developed a clear pricing strategy. The founders also worked to build long-term relationships with customers thereby securing pre-orders and developing an assured income flow.
In addition, they tackled the seasonal nature of their business by diversification and now offer training, seminars and demonstrations to support the enterprise all year round.
Founder: Lightwell Kachigamba Benjamin
Benmac’s business model:
Catering for the primary education institutions, Benmac’s services include typing, printing, photocopying. Benmac currently serves three schools with on average 230 learners each.
What the judges liked about Benmac’s entry:
Although limited capital remains a business challenge, Lightwell applied his financial management skills and used his initial trading surpluses to acquire his own equipment and repay his loans which has put him in a strong position for future growth.
Founder: Mr Joseph Ayamga
Gambibgo’s business model:
A social enterprise designing and selling baskets providing work for around 100 basket weavers.
What impressed the judges about Gimbibgo’s entry:
Joseph used his business skills to create a high-quality product providing employment and reducing poverty among women, many of whom were widows.
He added value to the product by producing different colours, designs, shapes and sizes. He sourced funds by applying to the US Embassy under a self-help programme. In addition, he applied marketing segmentation methods to increase sales by recognising the type of basket products different market segments wanted and ensuring the co-operative produced the right product for the right market at the right time. He also used his business communication skills to work effectively with his customers and the community.
Business owner: Mr Imran Syed Iqbal
Moonlight’s business model:
Supplying frozen food to grocery shops and supermarkets and offering catering services for Asian weddings and conferences, and other formal gatherings.
What impressed the judges about Moonlight’s entry:
Imran inherited a business that was not breaking even. It has now doubled its turnover and is expanding rapidly. Imran has done this by increasing production levels whilst lowering costs through schemes such as paying suppliers cash on delivery in return for cheaper prices.
He has also motivated his workforce so that people work on their own initiative and he has virtually zero staff turnover.
Business owner: Mr Mohammad Zahid Hossain
Garment trader, sourcing clothing for export.
What impressed the judges about Multitex’s entry:
Zahid has had to use a variety of business skill during his entrepreneurial career. He became a factory owner at the young age of 19 when his father sadly passed away. This forced him to leave university and work to repay the business’s debts whilst having to content with not being taken seriously because of his young age.
Despite this, he built the business and paid off its debts. He then sold the factory and relaunched the business as a trading company - recognising that this was where his personal strengths lay. Knowing your personal strengths and weaknesses is an essential entrepreneurial skill and he enrolled on the ABE marketing programme to improve his expertise in this field.
He has also had to use strong business communication skills to build a customer base and source the right factories to fulfil his orders. His business growth and sustainability has been built by following ethical business practices such as always paying contactors on time. This has led him to build a loyal customer and supplier base.
Congratulations to all, we will announce the final winner on 21 August.