Nigeria’s untapped coffee economy, a startup idea for entrepreneurs

Nigeria’s untapped coffee economy, a startup idea for entrepreneurs


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The coffee economy in Nigeria is largely a virgin: in 2018, Nigeria produced 42,000 60kg bags of coffee, while Ethiopia, Africa’s coffee-producing hub, filled a whopping 7.6m bags according to the International Coffee Organization (ICO) an organisation that administers the international coffee agreement.

There are about 22 coffee-growing states across Nigeria which most are in the Northern part and people are starting to drink more coffee though not according to the international standard.

A report according to the rating agency, Fitch shows that consumer spending on coffee in Nigeria will rise by 9.3 percent a year in the next four years.

Out of this untapped economy birth Princess Adeyinka Tekenah who has coined a mission out of the virgin economy- becoming Nigeria’s Howard Schultz. “I love the Starbucks model, and I am determined to build a coffee narrative particular to Nigeria,” she says. Aiming at strengthening the coffee-drinking culture in Nigeria, she has been installing cafés with espresso machines into existing businesses according to Financial Times.

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Her company, Happy Coffee now sells roughly 1,000 cups for N500 ($1.38) each — against roughly N200 for a Nescafé ($0.55) a foreign coffee seller — and 200 packets of 100 grams of coffee for N1,400 ($3.87) each month.

In 2015 after receiving the Tony Elumelu Foundation startup funding of $5,000, Tekenah founded Happy Coffee to encourage the art of drinking coffee in Nigeria. She serves Nigeria with a pure local coffee blend sourcing from northern Nigeria and roast, blends, package and sells in Lagos servicing both the corporate and public events.

Apart from the health benefits of coffee, the economic benefits are numerous. “Nigeria, because of its population size, is a market that is underexplored.” according to ICO.

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