The Branson Centre is propelling
small businesses into
the big time...
Entrepreneur: Andrew Khan
|"Nothing gets Andrew Khan’s blood pumping more
than a good business idea."
|Meet the maker:
He’s in his final year
studying entrepreneurship at the University of
the West Indies and says that when his research
backs up a wonderful opportunity, his heart
rate increases. At 18, he started his own small
dog food retail outlet called Champdog Alliance.
In the first year it was unsuccessful and so he
re-launched it, shifting its strategic direction, as
champdogja.com, now Jamaica’s premier website for advertising dogs for sale. Andrew has now set his sights on business number two: turning the product of a tree called Moringa, which grows in Jamaica’s tropical climate, into a profitable business that will also help improve the nation’s nutrition.
|The golden opportunity:
Former Jamaican agriculture minister Dr.
Christopher Tufton has recently launched various
schemes to help grow the country’s farming
Jamaica imports more than 60% of its food,
including fruit and vegetables. Tufton’s goal was
to slash these food imports by 45%.
Use of the product of the Moringa tree, which grows on Jamaican soil, could help the country’s
agricultural industry to grow, and import less.
Moringa leaves are a rich natural source of
vitamins and minerals. Research shows that
feeding the high protein leaves to cattle
increases their weight gain by up to 32% and milk
production by up to 43%.
The leaves can be ground into a powder and used
to boost nutritional value in products for
||I have been equipped
with the knowledge to start a
successful business, and it is with
this goal in mind that I
||- Andrew Kahn
The business in a nutshell:
Andrew wants to start a business selling Moringa
powder to the agricultural industry and other
food producers who can incorporate it into their
product to add extra nutritional value.
His company will process the Moringa’s leaves,
turning them into the powder.
How it’s helping the community:
The Moringa tree is viewed internationally as
a way to combat poverty and malnutrition. It
will help Jamaicans have a healthier and more
nutritious diet, which in turn will ward off
illnesses, saving money for the country’s health
The future looks bright:
Andrew has already produced a winning business
plan. It won him $150,000 (Jamaican) to invest
in the company when he came first in a student
business plan competition. He has invested some
of the proceeds into research and development,
having tests done by the Scientific Research
Council which has confirmed the protein and
vitamin C content of the moringa leaf powder.
But he needs additional funding to capitalise on
Getting Moringa to market and setting up a
facility to help turn the tree’s leaves into powder
is Andrew’s priority at the moment. Then he’d like
to start exporting the power internationally and
producing a range of Moringa-based products
himself, including Moringa tea, Moringa juice,
vitamin capsules and face cream.
- Current number of employees: One
- Expected number of employees in three years’ time: 10 to 15
- Current annual turnover: Zero
- Expected annual turnover in three years’ time: $3,000,000 (Jamaican Dollars)
- Investment to date: Student business plan
competition prize money and personal funds
- Location of headquarters: Bacon District, St Elizabeth, Jamaica