Harvesting Success: Focused support enables YES group to access finance

YES group

YES Group was founded in 2015 with a clear vision: to improve the livelihoods of young people and women in the Kagera region of Tanzania through sustainable farming. This vision led to the creation of the Youth Entrepreneurs Special Group (YES Group).

Avit Theophil, the Co-founder and Director of YES Group, recognised a pressing need in his community. Farmers, especially youth and women, were cultivating sunflowers but lacked the means to process the seeds into oil or sell their crops effectively. To solve this problem, Avit and his team bought small machines that could process sunflower seeds. This not only helped farmers produce sunflower oil but also created a market for their crops, ensuring they could earn a steady income.

As YES Group began to grow, Avit realised that to take his organisation to the next level, he needed more advanced business skills and a robust strategy. Avit joined AMI and AGRA’s AgriXcel programme where he saw an opportunity to gain essential knowledge in business management, financial planning, and market strategies.

“The programme was a game-changer for us,” said Avit. “I learned about the importance of critical business documentation required to access finance, which had been a significant barrier for us.”

The practical tools and templates provided by the programme for business planning and financial forecasting were invaluable. These tools included a business model canvas, financial projection templates, and market analysis frameworks.

With this newfound knowledge, Avit secured increased funding from local banks, which recognised the potential in YES Group’s improved business strategy.

Since completing the AMI programme, YES Group has achieved remarkable success.

One of the most significant outcomes was the introduction of an organic fertiliser product in 2022, which attracted considerable interest and helped YES Group reach a larger market.

This strategic shift not only enhanced YES Group’s market position but also allowed them to provide better support to local farmers and increased the YES Group’s revenue by 39%. Farmers in their community now had access to improved seeds and inputs, as well as training on organic farming techniques, which improved their productivity and income.

“Our new business strategy made us more efficient and effective,” Avit noted. “It also allowed us to better support our farmers with training and resources.”

To read more stories in our 2023 Impact Report click here: ‘10 Years as an African Champion for Africa’s Business Champions’.

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