AGROSPACES is a web and mobile platform that connects smallholder farmer with buyers to help them easily sell their farm produce, access real-time commodity prices from various trading markets, weather forecast reports, farming advice and tips delivered to their mobile phones via SMS or Invoice.
We had the opportunity to email interview the Founder of AgroSpaces, Jim Bakoume who’s part of the Africans Building Africa Community.
- Tell us about yourself and your organization
My name is Jim Bakoume. I am a 22yrs old senior web developer and entrepreneur living in Cameroon. Passionate about agriculture, technology and culture, I co-founded AgroSpaces. I also launched 3 businesses before AgroSpaces of which one was successful.
AgroSpaces is a web and mobile platform that connects smallholder farmer with buyers to help them easily sell their farm produce, access real-time commodity prices from various trading markets, weather forecast reports, farming advice and tips delivered to their mobile phones via SMS or Invoice. We organize monthly workshops to connect farmers and agricultural experts to help these farmers acquire knew farming knowledge.
- How much did you need to start your organization and how were you able to raise that capital?
We actually needed $200 to have the platform operational the capital mainly came from our personal savings but we will be raising capital or launching a crowd funding campaign in February 2017 to get more capital which will help implement additional services.
- What are some of the challenges you face in your organization and how do you overcome those challenges?
Availability of human resources since we do not have enough capital to recruit experts in domain and the availability of up-to-date agricultural information. “We once went to the ministry of agriculture and rural development to get some information in order to help our business and we couldn’t access any of that information”.
- Where do you see your organization in 5 years from now and what steps are you taking today to reach that objective?
In the next 5 years, we see AgroSpaces sustaining farmers lives in other African region, After Cameroon, we plan to implement the solution in Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast by end of 2017.
- What advice would you give other entrepreneurs looking to start a business in Africa?
Having ideas is good but choosing the right idea and moving from that idea to finished product is completely different. Sometimes instinctively, you think the bigger the business, the better. By going after a bigger dream, you can quickly become impatient and begin losing focus on your initial goals that have lower risk and fewer requirements to make entry. You can reap the same rewards by starting small and simple.
- How is your business participating to the development of Africa?
AgroSpaces will participate to the development of Africa by creating jobs, ensuring food security in Africa and enhancing the face of agriculture in Africa.