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Young entrepreneurs in Benin get hands-on experience with smart technology

Young entrepreneurs in Benin

Members of four entrepreneur teams from Benin recently received hands-on training to familiarise themselves with the functions, mechanisms and use of a cutting-edge technology – the solar-powered Digisoft smart projector (containing all Access Agriculture farmer-training videos) – that they had won through the Access Agriculture Young Entrepreneur Challenge Fund initiative.

The training session was held from 14-16 April 2021 in Cotonou, Benin, as part of the GIZ-funded Knowledge Centre for Organic Agriculture in Africa (KCOA) project. It was conducted by the Access Agriculture Entrepreneur Coach for West Africa and colleagues based in Benin.

The winners of the Challenge Fund, known as Entrepreneurs for Rural Access (ERAs), are part of a network of innovative young people who design sustainable business models based on using the smart projector in rural areas to bring about a positive change in the lives of farmers, especially women and youth, in their communities. A dedicated team from Access Agriculture trains and coaches the ERAs.

The training of the young entrepreneurs consisted of theoretical and practical sessions, including:

  • A practical demonstration of the smart projector which can be used even in offline and off-grid environments.
  • An overview of the ERAs’ role as private e-extension service providers who can facilitate last-mile delivery of the Access Agriculture farmer-training videos
  • Basic aspects of an easy-to-use mobile app to monitor and track data on video use and impact on beneficiaries

Congratulating the winners, Josephine Rodgers, Access Agriculture Executive Director, said, “These ERAs can have a major impact in their communities by bringing in new ideas from around the world through videos in local languages using the smart projector.”

Access Agriculture promotes agroecology and rural entrepreneurship through capacity development and South-South exchange of quality farmer-training videos.

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