With the start of my new company, “Migo Ranch & Farms”, 2015 has certainly been a successful year for me as an up-coming African entrepreneur. The opportunity to apply for and get admitted into Tony Elumelu Foundation (www.tonyelumelufoundation.org) Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP) presented me with the best opportunity to implement an idea that has resided in my mind for decades: commercial fish farming.
Name: Tom Achieng` Gard
Sector: Commercial fish farming company
Brand: Migo Ranch & Farms
Perhaps one may wonder why I chose to go into commercial fish farming and nothing else. Three reasons:
1. Demand for fish continues to grow worldwide and there is always a ready market for the same.
2. Quality fish is rare to come by; Lake Vitoria that Kenyans have over the years depended on for fish is heavily polluted, something that has led to serious reduction of fish in the Kenyan market. Furthermore, the fact that the lake is polluted compromises quality of fish.
3. Commercial fish farming has the potential to create hundreds if not thousands of job opportunities.
The 12-weeks program in TEEP was a life changer for me. Although everything did not go well with my appointed mentor, the support I received from my fellow TEEPers was simply overwhelming. I have also been lucky because of the significant and extremely helpful of another mentor in the program, Mr. Bert Evers from www.expectmoreinternational.org.
I together with other over 900 first group of TEEP entrepreneurs are soon completing the program to pave way for another 1,000 group of entrepreneurs who will also go through the program.
I have received mentorship, established business networks across the African continent and received $5,000 in seed funding from Tony Elumelu Foundation to implement my business idea. I really have no excuse but to succeed.
I am proud that I have so far constructed 12 fish ponds and stocked three of them with fingerlings. Each pond is holding 900 fish and I look forward to realizing my first fish harvest in August 2016.
I can only say thank you to Tony Elumelu Foundation for the opportunity and seed funding, thank you to Mr. Bert Evers for your mentorship and thank you to my fellow TEEP entrepreneurs for your support. Migo Ranch & Farms is on track to changing Africa.