Afrinection recently interviewed Ruth Phiri, founder of Food Manufacturing Solutions BYR. She discusses aiding small and medium enterprises or other companies in the food sector to tap onto the nationwide food market.
Q. What is the name of your start-up, social enterprise, or innovation?
Food Manufacturing Solutions BYR
Q. Where did you grow up and what/who inspired you to set up your start-up, social enterprise, or innovation?
I grew up in Mzuzu, a small city in the Northern part of Malawi. Seeing various organisations and companies like banks, factories or chain stores run by fellow Malawians and having a huge impact on the country's development and people's livelihood. I strongly felt I could play such a role too.
Q. In what year did you start your start-up, social enterprise, or innovation?
Q. In which country/countries/regions does your start-up, social enterprise, or innovation operate?
Q. What does your startup, social enterprise or business do? What problem is it intended to solve?
The firm aims at aiding small and medium enterprises or other companies in the food sector to tap onto the nationwide food market through capacity building. We train them how to implement applicable food regulations and food standards so that their products are fit for consumption and can get certification.
Q. What has been the highlight since you started your startup, social enterprise, or business?
We held a successful food business standards training in November 2019. Various food sector stakeholders were in participation and the learning experience was great. Producers, manufacturers and the academia were in attendance.
Q. What has been a key lesson learned by you so far?
Q. What makes your start-up, social enterprise, or innovation worthy of investment? Give us 3 reasons (elaborate on these)
Firstly, a country's food safety systems affect the wider food security objective, If food is not safe for consumption, it is not food at all. Secondly, the capacity building that arises from knowledge imparted to small and medium enterprises greatly enhances efforts of becoming financially sustainable. Meeting a country's food safety regulations is a basic step in meeting even more stringent export requirements. Lastly, implementing food safety principles nationwide will greatly reduce the heavy burden of food borne illnesses on development.
Q. Where do you want your start-up, social enterprise, or innovation to be in five years?
The firm to collaborate with NGOs working on food enterprises in Malawian rural areas, a full fledged food safety training and auditing arm as well as conducting food analyses.
1. Never stop learning. As the saying goes, in knowledge there is power. Indeed in whatever sector you are aspiring to be, learn as much as you can so that you can offer impact innovations.
2. Networking. People are the key to making things happen. Interact in forums that share your cause, make contributions and get noticed. You will be amazed with the growth that comes from networking.
3.Patience. It takes long for our objectives to reach fruition. Even when it seems like nothing is happening, hang in there, things will happen.
Q. Why did you join Afrinection and why should others?
It is a platform specifically meeting the needs of a budding entrepreneur, a great networking tool. Others should join because it will take their entrepreneurship journey further.
Q. Is there anything else you would like to add?