WISHH Perspectives

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ASA/WISHH Partners with Purdue University to Train Entrepreneurs on Business Planning

ASA/WISHH is partnering with Purdue University to deliver virtual training on business planning and strategies to mentor food and feed entrepreneurs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Through WISHH’s United Soybean Board-funded Mobilizing Entrepreneurs Initiative, Purdue Agricultural Economics Department faculty are offering 32 weeks of continuing education to nine participating companies that WISHH identified as strong candidates for launching new foods or feeds made with soy.

Purdue Agricultural Economics Professor Emeritus Joan Fulton and Professor Maria Marshall are leading entrepreneurs through the 12-module curriculum designed by Purdue. The virtual training covers topics ranging from the challenging-but-important process of defining the target market for their soy-containing food or feed, pricing, distribution and logistics, and financing.

The virtual format allows companies to let multiple or teams of employees benefit from the valuable information. Through the modules, “office-hours” sessions and webinar check-ins, the entrepreneurs receive real-time mentoring from Purdue’s faculty.

WISHH is receiving positive feedback from the entrepreneurs. One has already used the modules and business plan guidance to reevaluate the company’s existing business plans to ensure he is efficiently producing and marketing his current products. Together, Purdue, WISHH staff and additional mentors under the project cooperate to plan future technical assistance. WISHH is building long-term relationships with the companies to support further planning and identify next steps, such as product formulation and machinery purchases.

The Mobilizing Entrepreneurs to Expand U.S. Soy Utilization in Developing and Emerging Markets initiative works to compress the time for a new U.S. soybean market to go from emerging market entry to expansion market ready. The initiative attracts and mentors entrepreneurs who can invest in developing and emerging market soy enterprises, bringing new market sectors into the U.S. soy market pipeline. WISHH is working with nine companies in Asia, Latin America and Africa in the human food, livestock, and aquaculture feed sectors.

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