Nigeria-based agricultural value chain social enterprise Soupah, is preparing to go head-to-head in a series of spirited pitches with 25 of the hottest start-ups from around the world.
Ifeoluwa Olatayo, CEO and founder of Soupah has won the Nigerian final of the Chivas Venture, a global competition from leading blended Scotch whisky Chivas that gives away $1m ( in no-strings funding every year to social businesses that blend profit and purpose to have a positive impact on the world.
Soupah tackles inefficiencies in the food supply chain in Nigeria by connecting small scale rural farmers with urban retailers. The innovative corporation engages in rooftop farms, fortified food processing and farm linkages for rural smallholders into urban markets.
“Soupah’s mission is to change rural farming’s relationship with urban retailers by tackling food supply chain inefficiencies. We’re taking ‘farm-to-fork’ to the next level. Our team is so excited to be supporting local farmers and their communities,” said Olatayo. “This year’s Chivas Venture is the perfect opportunity to show the world what we’ve done so far and what’s coming next.”
Olatayo will now embark on the journey of a lifetime that will put her business to the test on a global scale. In the run-up to the global final in June, the 26 social entrepreneurs will travel to London to take part in a three-day accelerator programme – providing exposure to experts and industry professionals, and a range of networking opportunities. The entrepreneurs will engage in one-on-one coaching sessions, taking their businesses to the next level and ensuring a pitch-perfect performance.
Last year’s winner, Javier Larragoiti, founder of Mexico’s Xilinat, said: “Taking part in the Chivas Venture has been an unbelievable and life-changing experience for me and my business; to see all my years of hard work and belief in my product shared on a global scale was a dream come true. The competition has provided Xilinat with a global …pretty sweet, right?”
Chivas believes in blending ambition with generosity and in using success to enrich the lives of others – a belief instilled by founding brothers, James and John Chivas, who shared their success with their local community as their business grew.