PUSHING THE BANANA FLOUR DREAM

Two Mutare youngsters, Ropafadzo Zimunya and Munashe Musarurwa who went into business just after high school are dreaming big.

The 20 year olds are co-founders of a company named Greenit Diversified Group and they make baking flour out of bananas. “I think alternative foods are the next big thing on the market because of the way Africa itself is going,” Musarurwa, also the operations manager of Greenit told Forbes Africa.
The pair harvested green bananas, dried them and crushed them into powder. “It’s not something we invented, it was there traditionally. The thing is the traditional one does not outperform wheat flour,” says Zimunya.

The pair played around with different ingredients, and permutations and combinations until they came up with a breakthrough product that morphed into better flour.

With their final product, they reached out to a local baker as prospective suppliers. “Am I seriously going to use banana flour to make cupcakes?” he asked them. Eventually, the pair were able to convince him. The baker prepared a batch of cupcakes with their flour and they were a success.

Word got around in the streets of Mutare and that’s when the funding came in.
“We have now reached about 600 people in five months and made around $800,” says Zimunya.
One of their aims is to become wheat flour’s biggest competitors. But to do this, the boys were going to need a lot of goodwill – and financing.

Their first investment came from $5,000 which they won after applying for the Celebration Church Mutare Padare business forum last year. Early this year, they won another $10,000 from the Youth Entrepreneurs Program financed by CBZ Bank in Zimbabwe.

“The most difficult challenge we face is that people don’t take us seriously at times,” says Musarurwa.

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