How to win an ideas competition with avocado oil

by Marieke Behrens

Since 2019, more than 600 members of the Tanzanian Horticultural Association (TAHA) have taken part in b|u|s training courses. As every year, it was an opportunity for ten finalists to present their promising business ideas before an international jury in Arusha. The best five were awarded financial support to turn their visions into reality.
The winners of the b|u|s Award 2023
The winners of the b|u|s Award 2023

The b|u|s Award took place in Arusha for the third time, with the generous support of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of the Federal State of Lower Saxony making it possible to bring together a Tanzanian jury on site and an online German jury. In an exciting “pitch” round, the ten finalists presented their entrepreneurial ideas in order to win the coveted b|u|s Award. The jury assessed the proposals on the basis of criteria such as economic viability, sustainability, degree of innovation and prospects of success.
The business ideas presented covered a wide range of socially relevant topics, including reducing food waste, combating malnutrition and undernourishment and improving agricultural infrastructures.

Die 10 Finalist:innen & Juror:innen des b|u|s Awards 2023
Die 10 Finalist:innen & Juror:innen des b|u|s Awards 2023

Particularly impressive was Catharine Paul, who narrowly won first place with her idea for avocado oil production. Her vision not only opens up a new market, but also contributes to the expansion of natural cosmetics and care products and a reduction in food waste. It offers local producers the opportunity to regularly hand in fresh avocados that are no longer edible, thereby reducing post-harvest wastage. This vision is evidence of a clear view of the livelihoods of the local community and is creating immediate job opportunities and a sustainable business model that will endure in the long term. We offer Catharine our heartfelt congratulations on her well-deserved triumph.

Pitch von Catherine Paul
Pitch von Catherine Paul

The other rankings with the corresponding business ideas and approaches were as follows:

  • 2. Sarah Nuhu Sallanya: “Garden-to-Table” aims to transform local ingredients into high-quality dishes to reduce local crop loss and boost the economy.
  • 3. Aisha Amour Ali: Production and processing of oyster mushrooms to reduce malnutrition by using a long-lasting product rich in vitamins.
  • 4. Evaline Mollel: An approach to improve the availability of fertilizers in the Arusha region in order to increase crop yields and income.
  • 5. Jonas Kitui: JOKANI’s business goal is to combat health problems associated with malnutrition by transforming bananas into long-life products with health benefits.

The Tanzanian jury consisted of representatives from our Belgian partner Agricord, the NGO YEP Tanzania, the accelerator ndotohub and Equity Bank. On the German side, in addition to our Programme Manager Marieke Behrens and our b|u|s Trainer Kurt Hattinger, Mr. Ralf Pohle from the Marketinggesellschaft der niedersächsischen Land- und Ernährungswirtschaft e.V. and Ms. Semra Erol from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of the Federal State of Lower Saxony were also represented.
The b|u|s Award 2023 was an inspiring event that highlighted the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of Tanzanian farmers. We look forward to further exciting developments in this partnership and are proud to be part of this successful project.

The Author

Marieke Behrens

Programme Manager international