Accidental Success for African WhatsApp Group

It started as a WhatsApp discussion Group for the Catalyst 2030 Disasters Group, but after just a few weeks it suddenly transformed into a vibrant online marketplace packed with social entrepreneurs generating exciting new business opportunities.

The “Great Agro Dealers, Farmers and Social Entrepreneurs in East Africa” group is now a thriving community of people seeking advice, products and support to improve yield and returns.

Kampala-based social entrepreneur Nsimire Aston, a leading figure in the Disasters Group, explains why he set up the marketplace: “There were a lot of social entrepreneurs posting about their ideas and breakthroughs which weren’t always appropriate for the Disasters community. So we created a completely new space where everyone can discuss whatever they need to help their land become more productive. Disasters and agriculture are closely linked as we are seeing in our part of the world. Flooding wipes out your crop, drought kills your crop – whatever the natural disaster, its likely farmers and smallholders will pay the price and the ultimate result is that people will go hungry.”

Among the active members are agriculture specialists, familiar with the challenges facing farmers in the region; among these is SPARK Africa Youth Initiatives ( whose goal is to empower new farmers with the knowledge and training necessary to be successful.

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