How Nigerian Startup, Negs Empire, Produces Quality Honey Using Technology, by Abbas Badmus
Negs Empire, a Nigerian beekeeping and honey packaging company is using sophisticated technology to produce the ‘purest honey’ in the country and beyond, Tech Digest reports.
The firm, located in Imo State, produces and packages honey in 25ml sachets and bottles of different sizes.
The CEO and founder of Negs Empire, Nwakuba Ezinne told TechDigest in an exclusive interview that the firm empowers people in rural communities with beekeeping skills and makes them key partners in the honey production value chain.
“We started in a non-honey producing state with resilience and we are competitively focused on branding, which is different from what my mother originally did. Today we have a National MSME Award from the Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for our honey brand.
“We have successfully developed and branded 7 different Negs Honey products. Installed over 500 beehives in different locations in Nigeria for the sustainability of the business and non-seasonal supply of honey.
“Created over 30 indirect jobs and 7 direct jobs and have trained over 50 youths in bee-keeping skills, and today we have over 1000 paying 400 returning customers and have successfully developed sales to the U.S.A” said Ezinne.
She further explained that partnership with women and youths in rural communities as out growers of their honey gives them a non-seasonal supply of honey all year round, unlike their competitors that purchase from open markets.
“We make smallholder bee farmers in rural communities key partners in our honey production value chain and have access to a non-seasonal supply of honey, thereby providing our customers with the availability of honey 24/7 non-seasonal.
“We offer affordable pure honey considering the purchasing power of the bottom of the pyramid in the society by packaging honey in different pack sizes for as low as NGN100 and also make it accessible and available with an easy delivery channel in Africa and other continents”, Ezinne added.
The CEO of Negs Empire also informed TechDigest that the grant received from the African Economic Congress and Start-up Nigeria was part of the money used for the purchase of an automated sachet honey packaging machine.
“After the National MSME awards, the federal government supported me with a car. Tony Elumelu foundation supported me with $5000 which we use to increase our working capital”, said Ezinne.
She has won several innovation challenge competitions and grants which include 1st runner-up in the 2019 Ugwumba Enterprise Challenge, Owerri Edition; 1st runner-up, Startup Nigeria 2019; winner of the African Economic Congress Challenge 2019; winner of Nigeria @60 Challenge Slogan category 2020; winner Bridge MassChallenge 2021/2022; and emerged Ugwumba Fellow of the Year 2019 (female category).
Ezinne appealed to the federal government to create more platforms for MSMEs to access growth loans and urged private individuals to believe in made-in-Nigerian goods to boost patronage.