14 WOMEN MAKING STRIDES IN THE NIGERIAN FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY.
It’s really no news that we at Foodpro believe in the economic empowerment of women. Women make up about 75% of our workforce and we celebrate and empower these women daily with the resources they need to be and do better.
For International Women’s Day this year, we decided to celebrate other successful women in the Nigerian Food Industry who have carved a niche for themselves and contributed in no small measure to the success of the industry.
Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli
The co-founder of AACE Foods, she is a social entrepreneur with a vision to contribute to the transformation of Africa.
She is the creator of LEAP Africa, a youth-focused leadership development non-profit organisation, the co-founder of Sahel Consulting, a private equity and investment advisory firm, the co-founder of AACE Foods, an Agro-processing company that gets produce from smallholder farmers and process them for the local market; and NIA; Ndu (which means life), Ike (meaning Strength), Akunuba (Wealth), which focuses on women empowerment.
In a bid to lose weight by eating healthier meals, Nelly founded her company NELLIES Nigeria; a healthy food and snack company in Nigeria.
Instagram was a huge tool that she used to promote her business and because she understands the way Instagram works, she created a platform NAIJABRANDCHICK which she uses to teach and help other small business owners on Instagram to get notice and use the platform well for their businesses.
is a development sector professional and the current CEO of FATE Foundation, a non-profit, private sector-led organisation founded to harness the strong entrepreneurial culture of Nigerians by providing the business incubation, growth, and accelerator support required to fully explore their innovative potential. She is also a Director on the Boards of Budgit; Afritickets, Oxbridge Tutorial College Foundation, and the Nigerian Association of Franchise Business Owners.
is a management consulting firm employee turned founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nuts About Cakes.
Nuts About Cakes Ltd, is a manufacturing bakery company which specializes in cakes, pastries and bread. She also owns and manages a chain of bakery retail stores in Lagos and the business currently employs over a 100 people.
Nike is also a business coach and is passionate about young women empowerment and she drives this through her training programs.
Nwando Okonkwo Ajene
is the marketing services Manager at Nestle Nigeria responsible for strategic planning and executions of Brand Communications, Digital/Media, Consumer marketing and experiential marketing.
Prior to her role at Nestle, she served as Head of Corporate Communications for the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE). She has also worked as the Business Development Director for EXP supporting Telco’s and CPG companies to develop brand strategies in Africa. Nwando has spent over a decade in a range of roles for leading global companies including ABN AMBRO, Quaker Oats, and Northern Trust Bank in the United States.
is among a new crop of women farmers. She owns and runs Next Generation Innovative Farm in Lagos State and has adopted drip irrigation and greenhouse technologies to grow a variety of vegetables for sale.
At NextGen the belief is that there will be a time when Africa will achieve Food Security and then go on to feed the world and the company is determined to play a fundamental role in ensuring Africa becomes food secure and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process.
Is the co-founder and the Managing Partner of M.E. Solutions Limited, an Agricultural Technology company focused on finding gaps in the agricultural sector and creating value through technology.
Over the years she has worked on
•Developing Technology for low energy consuming irrigation systems that have applications in soil-less as well as conventional farming
• Connecting soil-less farming solutions (aeroponics and hydroponics) and low power irrigation systems to the existing market.
• Building an off-taker network for bulk commodity trade as well as fresh produce for retail customers from their farming systems.
is a food explorer, culinary anthropologist and food historian passionate about food in its entirety – cooking, eating, dreaming, researching, writing, photographing and styling it, especially on her blog, Kitchen Butterfly. A ‘Traveller by plate’, she uses foodways – the social, cultural and economic practices relating to the production and consumption of food to explore the world. because ‘Food is more than eating’.
is a first-class graduate of Economics and Finance from the University of Reading UK and holds a Master’s Degree from Imperial College Business School London.
She started her career in 2007 at KPMG UK as an auditor before relocating to Nigeria in 2010 to complete her NYSC at the Central Bank of Nigeria and joined the Bank subsequently as a full-time staff as an Asset Manager at The Infrastructure Bank of Nigeria.
In 2017 she started Bonita Foods a few months after experimenting with several flavours of crunchy coconut chips.
is the owner of BUBEZ FOODS a company equipped with modern, leading-edge machinery for the processing and packaging of raw Pap (Akamu/Ogi) that comes in different flavours with an ever-growing product portfolio.
She used to run a high-end clothing store but lost interest after 7 years before she decided to start Bubez Foods.
is the co-founder of So Fresh neighbourhood market, a premium healthy food brand established in 2010. She also runs a consulting agency called AB consults, where she leverages on her HR expertise to help businesses build great teams and deliver profitable growth.
SoFresh is the largest healthy food company with multiple branches in Nigeria. She was listed amongst the 100 most inspiring women by YNaija in 2017 and 2019. She is an associate member of the chartered institute of personnel management.
Is the Founder of SACFruits, a Nigerian company that produces healthy fruits snacks in the form of dried fruit slices. Her company was born out of a need to tackle waste in food produce and to create a sustainable value chain to empower farmers.
She started experimenting by drying fruits in her kitchen dehydrator and after some weeks of doing that, gave out samples at her office, church and to friends and family. The feedback she got encouraged her to seek and get the approval of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Nigeria. In less than a year after her launch, SACFruits was in over 70 stores across the country. That number has increased to over 200 stores currently.
is a Child Nutrition Educator, Recipe Developer, and Nigerian baby food manufacturer. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public and International Affairs from the University of Lagos and a Diploma in Child Nutrition from Stanford University Continuing Studies. She is the founder of Augustsecrets Nigeria, a growing food company with a focus on natural, home-grown innovative meals for babies and toddlers. She recently launched her Baby & Toddler recipe bookselling to hundreds of mothers within and outside Nigeria.
While working at her 9 to 5 job, Toyin started making her own range of baby meals from her kitchen in 2016 and has since then expanded to selling in 15 Nigerian cities, Ghana, UK and USA reaching over 60,000 mothers from all over the world using the digital media. She has been featured on various media platforms and taken part in CSR projects involving women and children. Her company, August Secrets, was listed among the 100 Most-Innovative Female-owned businesses in Nigeria by SME100. It also won the Bell-Africana award for the Most Innovative Company in Nigeria in 2017.
is the CEO of awarding winning brand, ReelFruit. Before founding ReelFruit, she worked as a Portfolio Manager in South Africa.
With an initial investment of 100,000 US dollars, Afiong’s business has grown to employ 17 people with their first product being a range of dried fruit snacks and nuts which includes mango, pineapple, cashew, banana, and coconut. The products are currently stocked in over 80 stores in Nigeria.
ReelFruit exports some of its produce to West African countries and plans to export to Europe and the United States in the future. Affiong believes that agriculture has huge untapped potential both in wealth and job creation as her goal is to provide employment for over 1000 Nigerians. She is motivated by the possibility that she can change lives and create employment and wealth for herself and others.