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Agripreneur Spotlight: Eunice Karikari

Published: Monday, 14 Jan 2019
Author: Global Youth Advancement Network
Department: Office of the Dean

Eunice was born with sickle cell trait and spent years of her life in and out of hospitals. Though her experience was challenging, it inspired her to join the health field in Ghana. Today, Eunice is the CEO of E-Juice Company Limited.

As a young adult, Eunice was extremely concerned about the rates of sickness and disease in her community, and learned how dietary and lifestyle changes could help mitigate them. During her service year at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Ghana, Eunice was alarmed by the rate at which patients returned to the hospital even after receiving extensive treatment.

Her concerns inspired E-Juice: a business that processes fruits and vegetables to make 100% natural fruit juice. Launching in 2016, E-Juice was created to help people achieve healthier lifestyles by becoming more health conscious and choosing proper nutrition. E-Juice consists of fruits like pineapples, oranges, melons, mangos, and bananas, as well as vegetables like carrots, beetroots, and cucumbers, among others. However, unlike other fruit juices that contain preservatives, sugar, and additives—to enhance color, flavor, and taste—E- Juice is completely void of them.

Eunice envisions nothing but success for E-Juice, hopeful it will become the number one juice producer and distributor in Ghana, and a competitive supplier in Africa. Despite her high hopes and growing success, Eunice faced an uphill battle while developing E-Juice.

"My parents invested a lot for me to attend university, and they expected to see the benefits of their labor immediately after my graduation," Eunice said. "They were expecting that since I have a degree in banking and finance, I should be working in a bank."

Although not in a bank, Eunice's background in finance has been valuable to help her manage her business effectively. In 2016 E-Juice was the second runner-up in the Total Startup of the Year, and a beneficiary of both the Youth Enterprise Support Fund and the Tony Elumelu Foundation Grant.

Today, Eunice is responsible for production in the Kumasi region, while her mother and brother are in charge of production in the Accra region. Within these regions, E-Juice is able to produce and distribute locally.

"As a startup, I have been producing from my home. I invested a large sum of money and converted parts of my home including my garage into a factory," Eunice said. "Business is challenging and hostile to young entrepreneurs who are forced to compete with national or multinational companies with large asset bases."

Recently, Eunice has been advised to construct a new factory in order to receive an FDA certification, so she can increase her customers and her products' reach. As she maintains her determination to grow her business, Eunice relies on her family and their support.

"Most graduates leave the communities when they find work with the government and the like, as these jobs offer significant packages and benefits—so finding reliable and consistent manpower has been difficult," Eunice said. "Having my family involved to this extent has been extremely helpful for me."

Eunice is a participant in the Young Innovators in Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Development (YIELD) project. In partnership with MSU's Global Youth Advancement Network and funded by MSU's Alliance for African Partnership, YIELD is an initiative that helps young entrepreneurs access and maximize opportunities in the agri-food system in Africa.