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Soy Innovations for increased soybean industry opportunities and competiveness By Martin Ssali, Bsc FST, MSc TIID CEO Smart Foods Limited

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Presentation on theme: "Soy Innovations for increased soybean industry opportunities and competiveness By Martin Ssali, Bsc FST, MSc TIID CEO Smart Foods Limited"— Presentation transcript:

1 Soy Innovations for increased soybean industry opportunities and competiveness By Martin Ssali, Bsc FST, MSc TIID CEO Smart Foods Limited International Symposium and Exhibition on Agriculture in the EAC, 4 th November /9/20151

2 Background Smart Foods Ltd, small scale company started in My motivation for R&D was dev’t of a low cost process for production of a healthy, nutritious plant based product as an alternative to animal based products. As a youth and a scientist, I had the desire to commercialize R&D outputs. 5/9/20152

3 Background We won a USD 5,000 grant from Rockefeller in 2009 and East African University and Business Research in Agricultural Innovations award in 2010 We launched in 2010 and so far we have a capital investment of USD 20,000 and an annual turnover of USD 17,000. We sell to health conscious clients and those who wish to taste some thing different. 5/9/20153

4 Business Impact and Achievements a.Special training in soy processing in USA b. After 1 yr of investment in promotion, two companies launched competing products with investments of over USD 1 million. c. In spite of our compromised market, their investment created market opportunities for over 5,000 soybean farmers in Eastern Uganda supplying over 10,000 MT per year worth USD 3.2 m/yr. 5/9/20154

5 Business Impact and Achievements Special radio programs on the opportunities of soya beans in Uganda’s industry The company currently employs a total of 10 staff (4 permanent, 3 casual workers and 3 distributors) In 2011, I won the Young Innovations Award in the Business and Trade category. 5/9/20155

6 Business challenges strategic solutions a. Lack of financing/business start-up capital As a company we have raised capital through; – Winning business plan competitions – Re-investment of profits b. Lack of access to equipment to start operations, poor processing facilities and high costs of electricity and water. 5/9/20156

7 Struggling with process improvement A rudimentary technique of pressing soybean curd with use of stones and a small stainless steel box in 2009 Use of a hydraulic press to out put quality product but maintaining the technical design at the Food Technology Business Incubation center in /9/20157

8 Struggling with design of machinery Juakali soy bean grinding and separating machine, locally fabricated in 2011 Imported soybean grinding and separating machine imported from China in /9/20158

9 Business challenges & strategic solutions Challenge of developing brand strength and customer loyalty Basic presentation of youth venturing into business 5/9/20159

10 Business challenges & strategic solutions d. Logistical challenges in sourcing raw materials and product distribution which stifles SMEs. e. Challenge in obtaining the best and affordable human resource – Obtained personnel with a desire to learn, and grow with the business. – In return the company has always promised and offered some shares to staff 5/9/201510

11 Business challenges & strategic solutions f. Lack of relevant SME industrialization policies in Uganda The lack of incentives discourages youth and SME to get involved in business innovation. g. Competition from new entrants Continuous innovation by use of differentiation, cost reduction and hybrid strategies is key. 5/9/201511

12 Business challenges & strategic solutions h. Delayed payments from clients which lead to poor cash flows and business failure I. Delay in graduation from the incubation center There is need for a strategy that will enable the business to progressively move from the business incubator to an industrial park or own facilities for further business commercialization. 5/9/201512

13 How to attract and retain youth the agribusiness sector a. Development of business support centers and more business incubators – The incubation centers need to recruit innovation managers b. Re-develop the current youth fund/venture capital to benefit the already struggling and progressing SMEs. 5/9/201513

14 How to attract and retain youth the agribusiness sector d. There is need to develop long-term equipment leasing and financing mechanisms e. There is need to develop a tax holiday structure for science/technology based small business to enable. 5/9/201514

15 Thank you for listening Martin Ssali, 5/9/201515


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