Local company – True Afribites – packages phane for global market

Courtesy of: motsebotswana.org

True Afribites is a local innovative food processing company that aims to explore Botswana’s indigenous foods. The company Director, Ame Balosang recently won The Creative Business Cup (CBC) Competition in Gaborone.

CBC is a global network for entrepreneurs, investors and organisations from the creative industries. To win the coveted prize, Balosang had to pitch her processed flavoured Mophane worm before a panel of judges.

She will compete in the international final in Copenhagen, Denmark in June with other entrepreneurs across the world for the world’s best entrepreneur from the creative industries.

Speaking to ‘The Voice Business’ in an interview, Baloseng said that the idea to jazz up and package Mophane worms occurred to her after she realised that the local delicacy was a hit across the border.

She then started buying and packaging Mophane worms from harvesters in Selibe-Phikwe and surrounding areas. The project took six months to take off as she tried different recipes and invited different people to taste.

“It all started in my kitchen with neighbours, relatives and friends tasting different flavours and the feedback was positive. In the end, I decided to establish a factory shop in Mmamashia. I just love playing around with food and most of my friends are chefs. I took it to the National Food Control Laboratory and right now, I am still waiting to be licensed to start distributing,” she said

One of Balosang’s challenges is that Mophane worm is scarce and seasonal so the suppliers are expensive, which in turn pushes up the price of the end product.

“We sell a 20g packet at P15.50 while 40g is P32 and some are saying it is expensive. It is worth it though, considering that the nutritional content compared to beef offers double the protein and triple the iron,” Balosang explained.

True AfriBites Facebook

Currently, she has hired three people at the factory and when they start supplying big shops it will create more job opportunities. The aim however, is not only to supply big supermarkets but to also find international markets, airlines and the hospitality industry at large, hence the different packaging for retail and hospitality. International competition, Balosang said, would open doors for her business and provide a platform to market her products.

Ame Balosang

“I want access to untapped markets for supplying a diversified value added native organic African food,” Baloseng quipped.

The Creative Business Cup Botswana is the local leg of one of the most esteemed Entrepreneurship competitions and platforms across the local finalists recently went head to head.

The Creative Business Cup is a global network for entrepreneurs, investors and organisations from the creative industries.  It is an international competition that allows entrepreneurs to submit their business applications forms that are then vetted by an international jury of experts from different business fields. 

Shortlisted entrepreneurs then go through to the final stage, which mimics the international finals by pitching their business idea before a selected panel which selects the final winner. The winner of the national competition goes through to the international finale in Copenhagen, Denmark where they will compete with other entrepreneurs for the title of ‘the world’s best entrepreneur’ from the creative industries and achieve. The prize comes with  both financial and business support.

Botswana’s leg of the CBC was concluded in March where Segametsi Ame Balosang stormed to 

1st position with her company True AfriBites, making her the Botswana entrepreneur to compete in the international finals in Copenhagen in Denmark in June. Segametsi is the founder of True AfriBites, a local innovative food processing company that strives to make nutritious products out of Botswana’s indigenous foods. She delivered her pitch within the set 3 minutes and won over the jury, attendants and fellow entrepreneurs.

True Afribites strives to explore indigenous Botswana foods through innovative means, with the aim of creating a diversified nutritious and organic food products available to buy off the shelves from supermarkets and online stores. Their diverse product offering includes but is not limited to:

  • Pre-packed Mophane worm ready to cook
  • Ready to eat pre-cooked Mophane relish
  • Mophane worm bites
  • Mophane powder

Source: TheVoiceBW, AfriBites Facebook page

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