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small business

Small Scale Popcorn Equipment

Here is a business that can be set up with quality equipment at an affordable cost.

This is a manual oil kettle based popping plant which can produce 55 kg/h from the two poppers. More poppers can be combined with a larger sifting and cooling table. Poppers can also be combined in automated units.

please note this is not a recommendation, only a sharing of information

Commercialising Cactus Pears – Free Online Information

If your community has large areas of cultivated cactus pears or if it is a good climate for cactus pears but little is grown, this manual could be of real value to you.

Commercialising Cactus Pears - Free Online Information

click image to visit site

This 150 page manual with 13 pages of reference, will surely give you all you need to know about the utilisation of cactus pear. You can then build your business by integrating this information with you knowledge of your community using you entrepreneurial skills.

A quick scan through the chapters of the manual illustrates the breadth and detail of the information.

Chapters of   /http://www.fao.org/docrep/019/a0534e/a0534e.pdfCommercialising Cactus Pears

The manual is available for free download, however, if you have problems please email me and I will make sure you get a copy.

Packaging in Small Food Businesses

This is a simple essay on packaging for small food businesses in West Africa that helps broaden ones picture of packaging which is often a real constraint on business.

Packaging, Africa, box, small business

West Africa Trade Hub Webpage

click the image to visit the website

The essay focusses on the potential of the cardboard box in areas where packaging suppliers are limited. It gives a few examples of real experiences and is enjoyable to read.


Great Links To Business Support System in South Africa.

This page of links from the South African Bureau of Standards is really helpful for new and developing entrepreneurs.



Food Chain – New Food Processing Journal – Free 1 year Subscription

Food Chain – a Journal well known to small scale food processors in the 90s, is being relaunced with a wider view of the issues effecting the success of food processing in development.

Food Chain  new journal for 2011  Inbox

from: Practical Action Publishing
(click image for full story online)

Clicking on the email I received above will take you to the web page where you will be able to get more information about the contents of the journal.

You will also find a link to an email address where you can subscribe to a free electronic subscription for the first year.

This looks like its going to be a valuable resource especially if we all make contributions.

Businesses that make a Difference?

Much of the original SAFPP site was based on the type of business represented by the photograph above. This was taken at the Kolda Techno Faire in 2000. This group attended the Faire, not to demonstrate its technology, but to sell its products. Most of the people at the Fair and other exhibitions I have visited in West Africa see exhibitions as markets. This is because their local markets are limited by the type of products they offer and they are unable to afford the transport and packaging needed to expand the areas they supply.


I also had contact in Kolda, with a solar drying project that was set up by The Peace Corps and which was supplied with good commercial looking packaging so that it could sell its product through the supermarkets in Dakar. The cost of their mangos in this package made it to expensive for the local market and the cost of transport to Senegal, for the very small quantities dried, made that prohibitive.

My conclusion is that these type of enterprises are just too small and do little more than keep a few people busy for a very small income and possibly a donor content for a few years. They do not, however, create real jobs that impact on the economy of the area.

The alternative is larger real businesses that address the problems of these non viable enterprises.