Home Human Impact A Showcase Of Kenya Lamu Nuts’ Journey and Success At Absa Bank’s InspireMe Conference

A Showcase Of Kenya Lamu Nuts’ Journey and Success At Absa Bank’s InspireMe Conference

by Femme Staff

Earlier this week, I was honored to attend the two-day InspireMe Conference, organized and run by Absa Bank Kenya in partnership with International Trade Center (ITC). Since inception in 2021, the InspireMe initiative has empowered thousands of women entrepreneurs through networking, mentorship and exposure to markets that would otherwise never have been in their radar.

This year’s conference is themed ‘Powering Your Story For Growth’ in line with Absa Bank’s commitment to empower over 10,000 women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. The theme also fits right into Absa’s recent repositioning as a more deliberately customer centric business under the brand promise ‘Your Story Matters’.

On the sidelines of the conference and as part of real time empowerment of women businesses, Absa hosted different entrepreneurs to showcase their wares, sell, and make contacts from all over Africa. I was able to talk to some of them to share their stories and for this article, I will tell the story of Africa Lamu Nuts, a value addition venture for assorted nuts.

Nuts are an underrated snack. This statement might not be something most of us have thought about before, but for many health-conscious Kenyans they are increasingly recognizing nuts as a convenient and nutritious option. For consumers such as lactating mothers, diabetics, and weight watchers, nuts provide a wholesome addition to their diets. Africa Lamu Nuts is a company setting an example for entrepreneurs across Kenya by contributing to the value addition sector with their delicious and healthy nut products which I was delighted to partake. To gain an insider’s perspective on the company’s journey and vision, we sat down with Sheila Mkabwa, a dynamic marketing and sales representative for Africa Lamu Nuts.

The company was founded with the aim of value addition and to meet a gap in the market for nutritious quality products. By leveraging locally sourced and packed products, Lamu Nuts has been able to grow from a one-woman operation to a full-on organization with a growing workforce. The company CEO started by sourcing small quantities and packing in nylon bags from her home back in 2019, selling only to her colleagues and friends.

Like any other entrepreneurial journey, Africa Lamu Nuts has faced its fair share of challenges, one significant one being that products like raw cashews are seasonal especially because she buys only the best. This makes sourcing a tricky and expensive affair and has often complicated Sheila’s operations, but she is able to tackle this through bulk sourcing when in season. In the end she’s able to deliver the high-quality products that her customers are used to.

Beyond cashews, the company offers an impressive range of products, including macadamia nuts and peanuts. What truly sets them apart are their unique and innovative flavors: Honey Glazed, Honey Glazed with Sesame Seeds, and Spicy. These distinctive offerings have helped Africa Lamu Nuts stand out in a crowded market. All the nuts are sourced locally from Kenya’s coastal regions supporting local farmers by providing a market for their produce.

Discussing the potential to expand their product range, Sheila mentioned that the company is always open to new ventures and collaborations. With the right suppliers, they are capable of increasing their product offerings to meet diverse consumer preferences. Along these lines, it will not be surprising to see nuts from other countries in the Lamu Nuts offerings.

Sheila shared a straightforward yet powerful message for aspiring entrepreneurs: “Just start.” She acknowledges the difficulties but underscores the importance of taking that first step. Her advice reflects the spirit of entrepreneurship that drives Africa Lamu Nuts.

The company’s participation in the Absa Conference exemplifies this forward-thinking approach. Sheila emphasized the value of such events for networking, expressing gratitude towards Absa for providing platforms that foster connections and growth within the business community.

With a commitment to quality, an innovative approach to flavors, and a dedication to customer satisfaction, Africa Lamu Nuts is poised for continued success. Their journey from a home-based operation to a recognized brand is an inspiration to many, demonstrating that with passion and perseverance, anything is possible.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.