Babajide, 33, was a finalist for the Covid Resilience Award at the Global Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2022. His business Ecotutu, based in Nigeria, is pioneering one solution to two problems: lack of access to energy and lack of access to affordable cold storage.
Ecotutu is a cleantech company providing affordable, accessible cold storage services to businesses in Nigeria. “Each unit of our solution eliminates food waste and preserves the economic value of food, enabling farmers to take a more significant share of their harvest to market.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Ecotutu’s business model was primarily focused on providing cold storage services in farm clusters. In 2020, their first operational year, they recorded a revenue of 1,764,000 Naira ($4,000) and had three employees working in one location.
The pandemic struck, and Ecotutu was significantly affected by movement restrictions. Their business model was not Covid-proofed, and the sudden pause in activity resulted in them not making enough revenue to sustain operations. In response, the team developed and launched a new product line, Fresh Box – a last-mile cooling solution to preserve perishables on the go.
“I needed support in areas of business development and structuring as well as funding to test some of our hypotheses. The Orange Corners Nigeria programme by YBI member FATE Foundation came at the right time to provide all of these and more for my business.”
In the following two years, Ecotutu served 628 farmers and aggregators and has helped increase their customers’ monthly income by 20 to 35%. They have continued innovating and have launched three new products – Fresh Box, Shopper Bag and Ice Cell – all contributing to an impressive increased turnover of 31,639,318 Naira (over $75,000).
Business success for Ecotutu is about more than just the bottom line, its green credentials are impressive too as its innovations have saved over 3,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables from spoilage.
The team has grown from three to 14 employees with jobs being created specifically for women and young people. They plan to deploy more cold storage solutions and capture a significant share of the Nigerian market, eventually aiming to expand to other African countries.
In 2023, Babajide became a Trustee of the YBI Board. “I’m seeking to contribute my experience to support a leading international social impact organisation whilst honing my governance capability and making global connections.”
His vision and commitment align perfectly with our mission to empower and support young entrepreneurs on a global scale and his dynamic and youthful energy make him a valuable addition to the YBI Board.