Wanjo Foods wins $25,000 investment prize

Wanjo Foods, a local beverage producing company, has emerged winner of the $25,000 investment prize set up by the Case Foundation to support start-up companies.

The company was judged the best among nine other start-up companies which vied for the prize at the ‘Pitch’ context held at the Impact Hub at Osu in Accra.

Wanjo Foods which produces juices, jams and syrups from local spices and fruits such as hibiscus and ginger for the local market was set up in 2013 by Ms Yaganoma Baatuolkuu, an entrepreneur.

Established by the internet pioneers, Steve and Jean Case, the Case Foundation, supports businesses that impact positively on society.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Case Foundation, Jean Case, told The Ghanaian Times in an interview that the Foundation was investing a total amount of $100,000 in four start-up companies in Africa and mentioned the beneficiaries as coming from Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria.

Mrs Case said the Foundation was established to support start-up companies and invest in businesses in developing countries that have strong social impact.

Mr. Steve Case, Co-Founder of the Foundation said his outfit has been investing in Africa for the past 10 years mostly through grants to innovative non governmental organisations (NGOs).

He said entrepreneurs and NGOs among the youth in Africa, have huge roles to play in addressing challenges such as unemployment and poverty to boost the growth of the continent’s economy.

Mr. Case noted Wanjo Food  was adjudged the best project because of the impact the  company was making in the agriculture sector  in the country and added that, the company offered opportunity to harness the country’s natural resources for the benefit of the local people especially women.

Ms.  Baatuolkuu, said, she was excited about the award as it would enable her to  procure new equipment  and  increase the production capacity of the company.

Currently, she said, the company produced between 10 and 40 gallons of beverages a day and intended to increase it to 500 gallons per day to meet the growing demand for her products.

The Executive Director of Ecobank Venture Capital in her remark said, Ecobank was proud to be associated with the programme, adding that, entrepreneurship was key to   promoting the growth of the African economy.

By Kingsley Asare

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