UNDP’s Growth Accelerator Programme supports a baby food entrepreneur in Bo District
April 20, 2023
Lucian Nallo is an inspiring female entrepreneur in Bo District, Sierra Leone, who has been making a real difference in the lives of young children through her baby food production business. Her products are made from local ingredients such as sesame seeds, dry fish, plantain, etc., promoting local agriculture, and providing healthy and nutritious food for infants and young children.
Lucian developed and first experimented the recipe with her own child who is now a healthy seven-year daughter when she could no longer afford expensive imported baby food options in the market at the time.
“I started this business because I believe that every child deserves access to healthy and nutritious food. When I first tried the baby food with my own child, I realized that I could create something that would benefit other families as well,” Lucian explains.
Lucian is developing her business and creating job possibilities for other women and youth in her neighborhood thanks to the grant from the UNDP Growth Accelerator Programme. She has been able to open new food outlets in different parts of Bo and other districts, bringing her products to more families and increasing revenue for her company.
She purchased and installed a new set of equipment, including a grinding machine, and a solar system that also provides sustainable energy, which she uses for lighting and running the packaging equipment for her products, with the first grant from the UNDP’s Growth Accelerator Programme.
"The UNDP investment grants have been a game-changer for my business. It has enabled me to expand my business, reach out to more customers and create jobs for the people in my community. With the new food outlets, we provide nutritious meals to more families, and the demand for our products has increased," Lucian adds.
As she awaits the second tranche of the UNDP investment grant, Lucian is already planning. She plans to use the funds to build a production unit, increasing her production capacity and meeting the growing demand for her products. She believes this will further grow the business and provide opportunities for the local farmers who supply her with the ingredients she needs.
"The production unit will be a significant milestone for my business and will enable us to increase our production capacity. Additionally, it will offer a ready market for local farmers who supply us with the ingredients we need for our products," says Lucian.
Lucian's success story is an example of how investment grants can have a positive impact on their communities. With support from the UNDP Growth Accelerator Programme, entrepreneurs like Lucian can grow their businesses, create job opportunities, and make a real difference in their communities.
Lucian’s products are now registered with line ministries, departments, and agencies, including the country’s Standards Bureau, she has established a WhatsApp group for her clients and parents to be able to share feedback and gauge customers’ perceptions of the products.
The Growth Accelerator Programme
In 2022, UNDP Sierra Leone together with the Ministry of Youth Affairs (MOYA), launched the Growth Accelerator Programme to support the economic and social growth of 55 innovative, viable, and ambitious Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), with a particular emphasis on women and youth-led enterprises. The first cohort of 34 MSMEs has received investments through grants, technical assistance, and mentorship.
"The UNDP investment grants have been a game-changer for my business. It has enabled me to expand my business, reach out to more customers and create jobs for the people in my community. With the new food outlets, we provide nutritious meals to more families, and the demand for our products has increased."Lucian Nallo