A joint initiative of Happy Benson, Anthony Kafor and Edwin Asikhia, who were brought together by their shared interest in the poultry feeds industry, the idea of setting up a company for production of poultry feeds was first mooted when they met as business associates.
Incorporated in July 2014, Zenit Agro commenced production of poultry feeds in September of the same year.
Having increased the capacity of its feed mill from 2 tons per hour to 8 tons per hour from internally generated funds, Happy needed funding for the additional equipment and inventory to enable his company to increase its output, which GroFin readily provided under the Aspire Small Business Fund.
Besides finance, GroFin also provided business support in the form of preparation of its first set of financial statements, operations support and market linkages to the growing business.
“We introduced the client to the Port Harcourt Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA) for admission under its newly created Micro and Small Businesses membership class for the high level association, exposure and business linkages needed for sustainable growth,” says Charles Chikezie, Investment Manager at GroFin, Port Harcourt.
“Based on GroFin’s investment and value added support, I expect my business to grow at an average of 40.2% per annum over the next three years,” says Happy.
With finance and business support under the Aspire Small Business Fund, Zenit Agro achieved its objectives of turnover growth and customer satisfaction.
The investment will also increase Zenit Agro’s workforce from the current 11 to 17 permanent staff, apart from the existing 6 ad-hoc staff currently engaged by the business. Currently, 12 staff members are from the local community and have limited means of earning livelihoods outside of local ventures.
It may be noted end-to-end poultry production has important implications for developing economies like Nigeria, where food security remains hard to achieve at a national level. Further, health concerns over smuggled poultry are high, posing imminent risks of disease for a large population which is also densely concentrated, making epidemics difficult to control. Funding a business like Zenit Agro allows GroFin to meet its community development objectives under the Aspire Small Business Fund, besides giving a spur to entrepreneurship in the Niger Delta region.