Young people worldwide have the ability and potential to effect change for themselves, their communities, and the rest of the world. Youth entrepreneurship can be a powerful tool for empowerment as well as a celebration of young people's creativity and innovation.
In Ghana, the youth have made the most of the opportunities within their reach and created means to earn a livelihood and support their families and community at large. Dora Agyekum, a 27-year-old junior high school graduate, started a profitable doughnut retail business. From these proceeds, she was able to expand her business by purchasing a fridge that she used to start a cold storage business for frozen meat, such as fish and chicken.
Despite the profitability of the cold store business, Dora still had to travel long distances to buy frozen meat from wholesale vendors. This meant she would have to incur extra costs in running her business. For Dora and other cold store micro vendors, this is where Rockland Farms came into play and supported their businesses.
Advancing youth development
In an effort to maximize the potential of the youth, 2SCALE introduced a micro-distribution model through its partnership with Rockland Farms Limited. The model has also been adopted in the 2SCALE-Faranaya partnership in northern Ghana and has had a positive impact on the sales of sorghum-based drinks from a small enterprise in the partnership.
In March 2022, Rockland Farms piloted the model in Ankamadoa, Akrofoso, Asamang, and Wiamoase communities that are close to Rockland’s meat processing plant. They identified young female micro-vendors who had cold store businesses and were interested in retailing their brand of chicken, Akoko Tasty. These retailers would be supplied with chicken on credit and pay for it when they picked their next supply.
Dora and three other young women were selected and trained in business and soft skills including customer care, marketing strategies, record keeping, and hygiene. They were also trained on how the model works and the roles of both the micro vendors and Rockland Farms, for its success. After the training, they received Rockland branded sales kits, which included a cold box, canopy, and apron, to start them off.
Dora’s motivation for working with Rockland was that she would get easier access to chicken for her shop. On top of the ease of access, she now enjoys increased profits from her store. She explains:
Rockland presented an opportunity to reduce the stress that we used to experience when purchasing the chicken. What’s more, I have generated enough profits that have helped me acquire certain basic necessities for my family. I used to make up to GHS600 (USD 68) in revenues weekly before taking up this opportunity. Now, I make up to GHS800 (USD 90) weekly. The members of my community have also expressed their joy in getting fresher and healthier chicken products, especially from one of their own.
Boosting returns while empowering the youth
Rockland chicken precuts enable the micro vendors to earn more by selling the chicken in smaller pieces, as opposed to selling whole chicken. Through this model, Rockland is also able to subsidize the price of chicken feet and neck, a popular purchase among low-income consumers within the communities. The model has proved successful as it has contributed to Rockland’s sale of chicken precuts by about one ton.