Engaging an international strategic partner

Challenge: How do you as an African business engage and onboard an international strategic partner as an integral part of your business growth strategy?

(1) The customer:
Feedco Animal Feeds is an upcoming Ethiopian manufacturer of high quality compound feeds, blended feeds and mineral vitamins for dairy, beef, poultry and sheep farmers. The ambition is with European equipment and technology to build Ethiopia´s leading and most professional animal feed producer providing farmers knowhow, advice and cost-efficient feed.

(2) The challenge:
Identifying the right international strategic joint venture partner who does only command the required knowhow, human- and financial resources but also shares the ambition and vision for the business is not an easy task. Once partners have been identified, how do you then engage and quickly overcome the lacking awareness on Ethiopia at large and in particular Ethiopian agribusiness?

(3) The journey:
There was an acknowledged need to bring onboard additional international knowhow and expertise to ensure that the business from the onset would be the leading in Ethiopia. Initial assistance from external consultants might not be sufficient and the most cost effective manner in which to build the company´s capacity.

(4) The discovery:
Bringing an international strategic partner and potential investor would not only provide access to needed resources but also positively contribute to Feedco´s profile with local authorities, banks and key large scale clients. It would though be difficult without help to find the right partner and subsequently connect with them.

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(5) The solution:
GrowthAfrica identified and prioritised the potential Danish partners and then contacted them on behalf of Feedco. Meetings were booked and a five days study visit was planned and logistically prepared and then executed. GrowthAfrica co-attended the meetings in Denmark and provided support before, during and after the visit. Required documentation, presentations and budgets were developed by Feedco and feedback on improvements and additional information then provided by GrowthAfrica.

Through our advisory role with the Danish development fund for developing countries (IFU) they were subsequently brought into the discussions with the potential Danish partners. A site visit and meetings with key Ethiopian stakeholders was successfully executed with the participation of representatives from IFU.

(6) The result
Out of 9 potential partners meetings were set up with 5 interested Danish companies and ultimately two resourceful Danish companies confirmed their interest in working with and investing in Feedco.

Following further dialogue and negotiations, this was narrowed down to one company, which now is considering the opportunity in further details. IFU remains interested in supporting a potential Danish joint venture partner.

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