Making The World That Much Sweeter

Kenya is best known for exporting tea and coffee as locally grown produce. Jonathan Bamber co-founder of Sweetunda is out to change this narrative. Together with his business partner, Ophelia Burton - an eloquent woman and data enthusiast – they graced the den earlier on in Season two of Lions’ Den. He says it was intimidating at first but along the pitch, they found their upper hand and managed to secure a deal. A whopping 20 million Kenya shillings for a 3-year convertible note - not equity. Olive Gachara bagged this one. Watch the pitch.

 

Sweetunda was born out of the need to empower farmers in Kenya by working with small-scale farmers to produce top-grade fruits. The fruits are later dried and sold locally and internationally. Sweetunda’s main agenda is to create markets for dried fruit, as well as produce healthy snacks for children and adults alike.

 

Their dried fruit product ranges from mangoes, strawberries, raspberries, pineapples and mixed dried fruit. Through strategic partners, they have managed to train and educate farmers on conducting better farming practices to produce quality fruits that meet international standards.

 

Jonathan was keen to note that farmers are tired of too many trainings citing that beyond the training, their biggest concern is finding a market for their products. Also less young people are involved in farming. This is an opportunity for the young people to step in and revolutionize farming in Kenya.

 

His vision is to inevitably create more fruit exports from Kenya / Africa to the world. ‘To put Kenya on the map as a major dried fruit exporter.’ He is keen on ensuring that the farmers get better remuneration for their produce. Currently, he is working directly with 1,050 farmers and guiding them through the farming cycle from farm to export.

 

After featuring in the den, he admits that there was an immediate peak in sales and brand awareness. Working with Olive has been a great experience so far and currently, they are at the formulation stage of the business funding with the hope of soon expanding their Thika factory using the funding they bargained for.

 

 

He says to anyone looking to face the Lions in the den, ‘Know your numbers. Make sure your business is adding value and know your market. Ask yourself, who will you sell to?’

 

For more on Sweetunda, follow them on Facebook – Sweetunda.

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