Innovate for agriculture: Young ICT entrepreneurs overcoming challenges and transforming agriculture
This booklet (PDF) by CTA and Ashoka presents 20 ICT-enable entrepreneurial ventures created by young innovators form African and Carribean countries. Increasing the productivity and sustainability of agriculture depends, to a large degree, on engaging young people in the sector, drawing on their energy and innovations. The innovations by the young entrepreneurs feature the use of mobile phones, social media, websites and a new generation of tractors. Services offered target various segments and facilities along the agricultural value chain, from pre-production to production, financing, marketing, trade and consumption. The case studies offer analyses by the young entrepreneurs themselves of the factors that triggered them to start the initiatives, challenges faced and strategies to overcome them. Hereby they provide useful advice to other young people interested in ICT-enable agro-entrepreneurship. Although the ventures presented are still in early stages of development, they already demonstrate successes. Many innovators have launched their companies after winning competitions, or have been acknowledged as successful endeavours and benefited from programmes. A key message that comes out from these stories is the need for all stakeholders to develop holistic strategies that can build youth agribusiness capacities and advance this novel type of agro-entrepreneurship. Advise for aspiring entrepreneurs is: 1) Understand your user; 2) Find the right team; 3) Just get started; 4) Talk about your initiative and get feedback; 5) Read business books; 6) Be creative with the business model; 7) Stay focused; and 8) Practice self-care. Starting a venture is stressful.