The case of Esther Alasi, a 400 level student from the Department of Food Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology Akure,FUTA who judiciously utilised the period of the COVID-19 lockdown and ASUU strike and started a multigrain flour production business.
MINIMANNA MULTIGRAIN FLOUR conceptualised and produced by Alasi is a multipurpose flour which contains wheat, soyaprotein and corn. It is suitable for preparing Bolus, pap, cake, bean-cake (akara) amongst others. Laboratory analysis indicates that Minimana is a good source of protein, energy and fibre in the diet. It also contains antioxidant properties, supports the rate of metabolism, rich in vitamins and minerals and excellent for both young and old.
According to Alasi, she had always known that there is something better and deeper about food and her course of study further deepened her fascination and search. This culminated into the production of Minimana, a multigrain nutritious flour that can be served and enjoyed as food in several ways.
She said the road to the production of Minimana started with a desire to develop her entrepreneurial skill. Esther Alasi started the production business in September 2020, though the research started since June of the same year. Feedbacks from those who have bought Minimana attest that it is delicious, nicely prepared and nutritious flour that has met the needs of the consumers.
She got the company, TECK HOME OF EXECUTIVE FOODS (under which the production is taking place) registered in October 2020 with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) while effort is ongoing for registration with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
On the packaging, she said it comes in 500g and 1Kg.
She commends the key role Professor Olufunmilayo Omoba, an erudite scholar and one of her lecturers in the Department of Food Science Technology, played in the lead up to the production of Minimana. She said Omooba encouraged her to develop her skill and translate it into reality.
“Professor Omoba is more than a teacher to me, she is a mother and a mentor to many of us in the department”, Alasi added.
On her future plans and ambitions for the business she said, “I really want to make it a big worldwide business.I have a dream of having a global organisation with a renowned name someday; delivering and taking orders from inside and outside the country. I really wish I could get grants and assistance because making the company a standard one will need a lot of capital which I don’t have at the moment.”
On challenges faced she said, the major challenge is the stress which is associated with the startup of almost every business and inadequate capital. She however said it is surmountable with determination.
Esther also disclosed that encouragement from people around and confidence in God has helped her tremendously in going forward in the business.
She encouraged other students like her to remain focused, to know who God says they are and get motivated. To the girl child she said, “there are many things that can discourage the girl child on her way to achievement but you just have to keep going and believe in yourself.”
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