Twenty-seven-year-old Simon Titus Malugu displays one of his 300-egg capacity incubators at United Nation Office in Nairobi. is the founder of Simon Tito Food Company Limited in Morogoro, Tanzania. Simon’s company currently provides automated egg incubators to small-scale poultry farmers, mainly women and youth living in rural regions. Sold at an affordable cost to poor farmers, the locally-made incubators support egg rotation, temperature and humidity control, and automated switching to a second power source in case of a power outage. The company sells two types of incubators: a small machine that holds 300 eggs, and a large, 1080-egg capacity machine. In February 2016, Simon officially registered his company as a Limited Liability Company (LLC).
Upon completing the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Fellowship at Purdue University in August 2016, Simon returned to Morogoro with a renewed perspective on agribusiness and entrepreneurship. He designed plans to expand his business and sell incubators to neighboring countries. Since then, Simon has sold 100 incubators and plans to sell an additional 200 incubators in 2018. Africa Lead is providing Simon with technical assistance in business management and helping him identify investment opportunities from financial institutions, private investors, and donor projects to expand his business. In late October 2017, Africa Lead helped Simon prepare an investment presentation for a meeting with USAID/Tanzania’s Office of Economic Growth. Additionally, Africa Lead staff and Simon met with Akiba National Bank’s Agribusiness Services department and National Microfinance Bank to discuss loan options and strategies for developing a bankable business plan and the financial management requirements for youth like Simon to receive a bank loan. Simon also met with Africa Lead-supported youth legal advocate Theresia Numbe to discuss legal requirements for exporting egg incubators to Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya.
Africa Lead also facilitated meetings between Simon and the USDA-funded Agribusiness Investment for Market Stimulation (AIMS) project and USAID’s Enabling Growth through Investment and Enterprise (ENGINE) project to explore opportunities to strengthen Simon’s business operations and achieve credit readiness.
Simon and Africa Lead staff meet with Carol Nyangaro from the National Microfinance Bank (NMB). Photo credit: Africa Lead
An Africa Lead technical agribusiness consultant has supported Simon in the development of a five- year sustainability plan that includes business objectives, growth strategy, risk analysis, financial plan and projections, marketing and communications plan, and action planning. The consultant has identified a mentor for Simon and youth business associations for him to engage with in Morogoro, as well as providing technical support in the marketing launch of his 600-egg capacity incubator. Simon and the consultant are also working to improve his presentation skills to donors and the private sector to increase investment opportunities.
Over the next month, Africa Lead will help Simon develop marketing communications products for his business, finalize his business plan, and meet with other donor-funded projects, private sector investors, and agricultural investment banks and training centers, including the Private Agricultural Sector Support Trust (PASS) and the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) to explore further investment opportunities for his business.
“Africa Lead’s support over the last several months has allowed me to look at my business in a new way and identify areas where there are operational gaps, identify risks that I need to overcome, and prioritize, focus, and build my capacity in the most important areas for me to be successful and expand my business,” said Simon.