From Zero to Hero with BU

Turning seaweeds into a successful business, who would have thought?

Many of us see seaweeds as litter that should be disposed as it pollutes the environment. But this young entrepreneur saw it as an opportunity to start a business.

Iriya Jona is the founder of Nam-Oceanic Kelp Production Enterprise (Namkelp), a company that uses natural seaweeds to produce commercial chicken feed products and supply animal feed supplements to farmers in Namibia

Namkelp collects seaweeds along the Namibian coast that is considered to be waste and uses it to produce chicken feed products that will be supplied to local chicken farmers. The seaweed can also be used to supplement most required nutrients in animal diets.

After doing intensive research on the challenges that chicken farmers are faced with, Iriya saw that animals feed is quite expensive and as a result this prevents chicken farmers from obtaining maximum profits from their production.

Another challenged Iriya picked up is the rise in the number of animal deaths due to hunger. This is often caused by drought in some regions of Namibia.

You may be asking yourself what sparked the idea of using seaweeds, out of all things, seaweeds?

Iriya says that Namibia is blessed with a productive ocean and the seaweeds are proven to be rich in minerals and vitamins needed to boost animal and chicken growth.

She then saw a gap in the market for her business idea and decided to give it a go. As they say the rest is history!

Her products are affordable and of high quality that what is already at the market. Namkelp long term plan is to farm seaweed in the ocean and expand the business into other ventures.

You can also become an innovative entrepreneur like Iriya with a BSc (Hons) in Business Management degree from Botho University.

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About Busisiwe Mboyisa

A qualified journalism alumna from the University of Johannesburg who’s passionate about writing and story-telling. She believes in social change, shifting the narrative around social behaviours and relations such as stereotyping, racism, and to live in a society where we can all be free to exercise our human rights. Busisiwe lives by this famous quote by the great Nelson Mandela “It always seems impossible until it’s done”.

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