In conversation with Babet Dorcas – Founder of Babet Foods and Ye! Boost Programme Accelerated Venture
Meet Babet- a young entrepreneur and the Founder of Babet Foods- a Ghanaian enterprise producing finished and semi-finished cereals to consumers. Babet was selected from more than 100 ventures to participate in the Ye! Boost Programme.
The Ye! Boost Programme is a business acceleration programme led by Kumasi Hive with funding and support from the International Trade Centre and Kumasi Hive. Launched in April 2021, this innovative acceleration programme for export-ready ventures builds on Kumasi Hive’s existing 12-week acceleration programme to bring in ITC’s knowledge and expertise on export, internationalisation, investor readiness and the AfCFTA. The 14-week acceleration programme will close with a pitch competition, whereby select ventures will pitch before an esteemed jury of experts and investors for a financial prize and ongoing support from ITC.
Babet is one of 20 ventures selected to take part in this pilot programme. In this post, we check in with Babet to learn more about her business, her journey, and her goals and ambitions for the future. Read on to hear her story. And don’t forget to connect with her on Ye! Community to continue the discussion.
Ye!: What is the problem you are trying to solve and what is your solution?
Dorcas: Babet Foods address the problems of unemployment and lack of value addition of local cereals and fruits. Babet Foods turns cereals and fruits into healthy and delicious finished and semi-finished breakfast cereals for adults and babies older than 6 months.
What are semi-finished cereals? Semi-finished simply means, it is not ready for eating but need to be cooked before and the finished means it is ready for eating and one that does not need to be cook before eating.
Ye!: What sparked this idea? Did it happen one day, or mature with time?
Dorcas: Post-harvest crop losses was a motivating factor for me. I noticed many people were losing value or lacked the value addition procedures in their businesses to address post-harvest losses. This is the case for items like Ghanaian cereals such as rice, soybeans, wheat and Tigernuts.
I also saw the increase in unemployment rate among young people and thought this was a major issue. Personally, I wanted to start a solid business brand where I could provide employment for myself, instead of waiting to be employed by someone else after finishing school. I wanted to be able to work for myself and to pay myself.
This idea didn’t happen over a day or a few days even, it took weeks and months of researching and prototyping to get where I am today. And I am still learning and growing the business.
Ye!: As an entrepreneur, what do you wish someone had told you about jumping into the game?
Dorcas: I wish someone had told me that there are times I will be sad and even cry because things are not going on well and that this entrepreneurship journey is tough. I wish someone also would have told me that I could lose a significant amount of money through losses. I knew it was possible, but I didn’t think it would happen to me.
Ye!: What were some of the lowest moments in your journey that forced you to adapt or go out of business?
Dorcas: When I lost a large sum of money. This experience taught me a few things:
- It taught me to not always listen to always listen to the advice of others, no matter who they are in my life. Their decisions or suggestions may not be the right one for a particular situation, or for me.
- Also, I learnt never to compromise my standards for someone and do things to please people even if it doesn’t favour me or my business.
- It also taught me to be patience and resilient.
- Lastly, I learnt to follow my instincts because mostly it works!
Ye!: What are your big, lofty goals?
Dorcas: To be one of the youngest and richest females in the world. And definitely the richest in Ghana and to provide economic access and opportunity to people in Ghana and elsewhere by employing hundreds of employees with my company.
Ye!: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
Dorcas: In the next 5 years, I envision Babet Foods expanding and building a large factory that has all the state-of-the-art machines and resources needed to produce our products efficiently. I see Babet Foods growing to have at least 30 employees in the next 10 years. By employing more and more people, I can expand my company’s support for women and young people. I want to see others become economically empowered.
I see my business, Babet Foods becoming a trusted household brand producing breakfast cereals and baby foods. I envision my products being available in all leading supermarkets, shops, pharmacies and having many distribution outlets across Ghana.
Hopefully, in the next 5 to 10 years, Babet Foods has presence outside Ghana and is in demand in different markets. This is a major reason I wanted to be involved in the Ye! Boost Programme - because of its focus on export readiness.
Ye!: What impact do you want to have on the world?
Dorcas: With Babet Foods, I really envision my impact coming from supporting young people. I want them to be economically empowered and to have access to stable employment through Babet Foods. I envision a world where young people create dignified jobs for themselves and where they can also access meaningful jobs from the job market. I really believe that if we empower young people they can come up with innovative solutions to many problems, but they have to be economically stable to do so.
I also want to help rural farmers reduce post-harvest losses and make them economically stable. It would be great to see my company make an impact here.
Finally, if Babet Foods grows large enough, I would love to provide support to young people in the form of scholarships. I would focus these scholarships on young people that come from poor backgrounds so that they can pursue higher education. I see this as part of Babet Foods’ social corporate responsibilities in order to give back to young people and create a more equal Ghana with greater access to opportunities.
I would like to end by sharing a quote from Kobe Bryant. He said,
And on this note, I would like to close by encouraging my fellow young entrepreneurs to work hard toward achieving their vision. With hard work, it will pay off.
You can connect, interact, purchase, and make enquires about Babet Foods through their email firstname.lastname@example.org and on social media, (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) @babetfoods or @babetagroenterprise (Babet foods mother company).
https://wa.me/message/YQPRGRL7W2L6A1 (WhatsApp Business) (+233) 0593028621