The Role of Young People in the Future of Food

Smart Foods is a technology company that focuses on the innovation of nutritious plant-based food products. They are passionate about creating highly nutritious and healthy foods that are accessible to low-income earners and high-income earners alike. From soybean to a plethora of plant-based products, Smart Food aims to ensure that they can be able to transform the nutritional intake of Uganda’s population.

Smart Foods was started to answer an ever-pressing question around the world, but more so in Africa — how can we make food more nutritious while still being accessible for the ordinary citizen? To rectify this challenge, they looked to plant-based protein such as soybeans — which are becoming popular around the world as a vegan meat substitute.

Smart Foods is passionate in not only facilitating healthier and happier lives for communities but also in improving the economic capacity of the farmers who they work with. Working with Smart Foods introduces farmers to better and more reliable markets but also provides a more environmentally friendly source of income.

During Smart Foods’ involvement with the Youth to Work programme, the company was matched with Ivan Akampa — a Youth to Work Junior Associate in Uganda. When asked about the areas in which they needed support where the Junior Associate provided support, Martin mentioned that on a personal level, the presence of a Junior Associate helped him open his mind to varying ideas on how the company can improve their strategies.

Ivan Akampa, Junior Associate — Smart Foods

One of the biggest lessons that Martin learnt was that even if someone is so young, often they may have something that they could be able to contribute.

Additionally, the Youth to Work Junior Associates suggested the incorporation of digital marketing that the company has since developed so as to broaden their access to their target audience. Martin was particularly thrilled to be able to mentor the Youth to Work Junior Associate on more technical aspects such as creation of a social media plan. However, in the same vein the team greatly benefitted from the graphic design aspects that he brought to the social media approach.

Post Youth to Work, Smart Foods is currently running online promotions on Facebook that has enabled them to maintain demand and supply regardless of the lockdown restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Uganda.

On the areas in which the Junior Associate added value to the organization, Martin mentioned the significant difference that was experienced in Smart Foods, as an SME, merely by having an extra member of staff to offer business support. The analysis that Youth to Work Junior Associate conducted helped Smart Foods to know the areas in which they need extra support and the areas in which they’re excelling.

The Youth to Work greatly complemented Smart Foods because the associate easily acclimated in the organization and was able to work easily with the team –which Martin believes greatly contributed to the success.

When joining the program, Smart Foods was passionate about mentoring young people. As such, Martin encourages other companies to join the program. “There is more to running a business than just making money. Its more about the empowerment and the impact you can make on people and the communities around you.”

We’re thrilled to partner with companies like Smart Foods who share our passion for impacting the lives of young people and equipping them with the skills to thrive in the future of work!

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