Ope Olanrewaju, founder of Kennie-O Cold Chain Logistics, was crowned SUN Business Network (SBN) Nutrition Champion and winner of the first ever Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Pitch Competition in October 2018, at the Nutrition Africa Investor Forum.
The competition showcased investment opportunities in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) working to improve access to nutritious food across Africa. Out of more than 450 outstanding entries from national pitch competitions in Nigeria, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia, 21 SMEs were shortlisted to participate in the Africa regional final, pitching their business to over 200 participants and investors, with Kennie-O Logistics winning the overall prize.
Kennie-O Logistics was established in 2014 to provide dedicated and reliable cold chain solutions for the Nigerian food industry, thereby contributing to the reduction of post-harvest losses, promotion of fresh food intake, and strengthening of local nutritional outcomes. Kennie-O Logistics is strategically positioned as a nutrient preservation business in the food value chain and also serves as a key enabler in supply chains for farmers, processors, retailers and final consumers.
As the winner of the 2018 SUN Pitch Competition, Ope received a technical assistance and mentorship prize at the end of April in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The extensive week-long business development training was provided by BoP Innovation Center (BoP Inc), a business accelerator supporting entrepreneurs around three core pillars of expertise; Marketing & Distribution, Inclusive Innovation and Inclusive Business Empowerment.
Over the course of the week, BoP Inc equipped Ope with knowledge and expertise to scale his business, ultimately contributing to improved access to nutritious foods in Nigeria. Mentors from BoP Inc developed a personalised training curriculum for Ope, focusing on marketing and distribution strategies, financing and enhancing the business’ value proposition. Parallel to this, Ope participated in a series of meetings with investors in the Netherlands to explore opportunities for the business to access investment to scale operations and its broader nutritional impact on especially vulnerable populations.
Pleased to facilitate #SunPitch2018 winner, Ope meeting with different #NL investors. Access to finance is crucial for scaling his business& improving #Nutrition in #Nigeria #InclusiveInnovation #InvestInNutrition #InclusiveBusiness @SUN_Movement @KcoldLogistics pic.twitter.com/87Wdltl93b
— BoP Innovation Center (@BoPInc) April 25, 2019
Reflecting on his experience in the Netherlands, Ope says: “I have had a wonderful experience and I am grateful to BoP Inc for the training. I met wonderful people and have benefitted greatly from the training on mapping our customers’ journey and finance. These have equipped me with knowledge on how to generate enough revenue for Kennie-O Logistics and position the business for the investments we are looking for. I also learnt that it is important for me to have a good financial track record which I can present to the investors in addition to highlighting the impact that Kennie-O Logistics intends to make in Nigeria through reducing food waste“.
The 2019/2020 SUN Pitch Competition will take place across Africa and Asia and we are excited to share more information very soon. Watch this space!
More details on the Nutrition Africa Investor Forum can be found here.
Kennie-O Logistics is a member of the SUN Business Network Nigeria.
Follow Kennie-O Logistics on Twitter.