This is the story of Fahad Awadh is a 29-year old Tanzanian and co-founder of YYTZ Agro. Cashew processing was not his first entrepreneurial venture though. His first was a clothing line, Malyka Clothing, which he started with some friends while studying at York University, Canada.
He attended St. Christopher’s, a private British school in Bahrain, and got accepted by an international Business and Technology programme when he was 11. It was a starting point to his love for entrepreneurship. He started learning about Accounting, Business Marketing and Entrepreneurial studies at a very tender age.
Origination of YYTZ Agro Processing
Before starting YYTZ Agro, Fahad Awadh did extensive research on the leading exporter of cashew nuts in Vietnam. He acquired knowledge about machinery, equipment and processes required. Then he prepared a business plan while surrounding himself with people with more experience and knowledge about cashew business.
In 2014, he founded YYTZ Agro.
The Obstacles He Faced Starting Up
In the course of trying to raise funds for the business, Awadh applied for loans from banks and organizations in Tanzania but he he kept hitting brick walls. His business plan was rejected again and again, even with collateral and customers in hand.
But rejection didn’t stop him. Rather, he modified his plans and kept pushing forward. Eventually, to avoid delays, he decided to discuss his idea and means of purchasing the initial equipment required to start up YYTZ Agro with his father who is a retired commercial pilot. Bringing his father in provided the required funds and the company is now exporting its products. In addition, it is building facilities worth thousands of dollars around Tanzania.
YYTZ Agro’s major boost happened in 2016 when the company won the first prize ($500,000) at the African Enterprise Challenge Fund just a year after the company was registered. Fahad Awadh was also listed among Forbes 30 under 30 entrepreneurs in Africa 2017.