Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.
Joseph Brenyah is an experienced administrator, clergyman and consultant of high standing in the industrial, mining, agricultural and social philanthropy/entrepreneur sectors, with training in management, industrial chemistry, French, theology, HIV/AIDS, water and sanitation, small-scale industrial technologies and co-operatives. In the social entrepreneurship sector, he had been involved actively for the past twenty five years and had established four NGOs and four networks for agriculture/environment, health, advocacy, water and sanitation. He had headed many reputable companies in Nigeria and Ghana and is presently in charge of Christian Volunteer Service International (CVSI) , a non-governmental organization and Moringa Oleifera Farms and Industries Limited, a hybrid social enterprise/venture. Some current programs under his care include: Productive Agricultural Linkages and Market Systems (PALMS) and Affordable Nutrients/Technologies for Agricultural Breakthroughs programs. Between 2001 and 2003, he led CVSI and Afriyie-Brenyah Mines Limited to undertake bioremediation and restoration of polluted mining lands in four mining areas in the Western region. The degraded lands were restored and converted into cocoa farms and fish ponds. Over 100 micro-credit and co-operatives projects were established in Volta and Ashanti regions between 2003 and 2006. In 2006, the Ghana Malnutrition Annihilation Project (Ghana MAP) was launched and is solidly behind the malnutrition campaign using moringa. Under the previous government’s administration, the campaign received a boost with a governmental support of moringa in malnutrition.
Leticia Brenyah, the 33-year old daughter of Joseph Brenyah, a Bachelor in Technology degree holder (Information Technology), has been in the social philanthropy/entrepreneur sectors for the past fifteen years. She has been in charge of establishing and training of women in co-operatives and small scale ventures for poverty alleviation and sustainable agriculture. Her ardent quest for the use of simple technologies for the empowerment of women is at the heart of the full development of the PALMS program which she co-founded with her father. Her zeal has been the driving force for the success in the program as women and the youth enthusiastically embraced the scheme. The initial resistance has given way to calls for the establishment of plant pools, training programs and provision of mechanized gadgets for farming and food procession. Her popular motto is: “More machinery, more power to the women.” Drip irrigation has become accepted with good returns. The program has helped shaped the national policy of agricultural mechanization and all year round irrigation. Processing plants to produce the needed small scale gadgets is paramount to her. She plans to get girls and the youth fully involved in the growth stage of the PALMS project so that they can see farming and agribusiness as a viable option for employment and community industrialization. In addition to her present position as a Teacher in Elective and Core ICT with Ahantaman Senior High School, Takoradi from September 2009 to date, she is also in charge of Adepa Luxury Decor, a popular interior decoration company.
Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?
At the idea stage, P.A.L.M.S. received technical support from the Support Programme for Enterprise Empowerment and Development (SPEED) Ghana, a USAID program. We gradually moved on supported by African Women Initiative for Development and Empowerment (AWIDE), a women empowerment NGO we established. By 2007, we received support and mentorship through a Google/Technoserve Ghana National Business Plan Competition to establish our first hybrid company: Moringa Oleifera Farms and Industries Limited. In 2010, ExxonMobil and Ashoka extended support to our main start-up stage with mentorship and a grant. Under that arrangement, Thunderbird School of Global Management sent a team of four MBA graduates to be with us for four months in 2011 to undertake a feasibility plan on our proposed biodiesel and renewable energy plan of MOFIL/PALMS and mentor us to successfully carry on the MOFIL hybrid program and other issues about PALMS. The Agricultural Mechanization Department of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has been mentoring us on the fabrication of various mechanized equipment and processes including sustainable food chains. In addition to that, we have co-operation with small scale machinery importers like Cottage Italia Industries Limited and other local equipment manufacturers to design and produce such locally. We are in close consultation with the University of Ghana, Legon and Kwame Nkrumah University of University of Science and Technology, Kumasi who send their students to us regularly on internships and mentorship issues. The large network of over 200 women groups and co-operatives are on hand to assist us to carry out programs and equally benefit from such.