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October 27, 2014

ODESHI 012 - How An Agriculture Investor is Helping to Create 10 Million Jobs by 2030 with Kola Masha

Do you think it is possible to create 10 million jobs by 2030? Well, today’s guest Kola Masha believes that through Agriculture, Nigeria can create 10 million sustainable jobs to combat the growing unemployment problem in the country. So who is Kola Masha? He is the founder and managing director of Doreo Partners, an impact investing firm that leverages agriculture venture capital to drive youth employment — a critical need in countries such as Nigeria, where half the population is younger than 19 years and youth unemployment exceeds 50 percent. Doreo, invests in early-stage ventures in the agricultural value chain in West Africa, provides strategic advisory services to select clients, including the Gates Foundation and leading global investors in African agriculture. Kola has significant leadership experience on four continents with leading companies such as GE, ABIOMED and Notore Chemicals. At the latter, he was  responsible for raising $130 million in equity and restructuring $360 million in debt at one the region's largest agro-allied firms Notore Foods. A true renaissance man, Kola holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition, as a teenager he was the host of a widely syndicated talk show in Nigeria with a record of interviewing 23 guests in one day.


What you will learn

·       Why he returned to Nigeria

·       How he decided to go into the Agriculture sector

·       How his company helps small holder-farmers achieve 5X the yield from their plots

·       How his company has achieved 30X increase in yield over the course of 3 years

·       How his company applies the franchising model similar to McDonalds to Agriculture

·       Talent Management

    • Developing a talented team
      • Look for employees with a willingness to learn
      • Work with young people who have passion

·       The challenges of the business

·       The management style of the company

·       How Doreo Partners developed its current fund strategy

·       Advice for entrepreneurs regarding funding new start-ups

    • Focus on learning

·       How to select a business/life partner

·       Criteria for selecting a good business partner

    •  Seek wise counsel


Key Advice

·       Think of what you can do today to create a job for a young person


Words of wisdom


·       Work hard in your job

·       Learn from both good and bad bosses

·       Push yourself





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