The Role of Multisectorial Collaboration in the Success of Honey Care Africa

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Honey Care Africa, a startup business enterprise had started its operations in the East African country of Kenya by Farouk Jiwa in 2000. The motivating factor that drove Farouk into action was the persistent under exploitation of Kenya’s potentially viable bee farming (Jiwa, 2002). Invariably, Farouk understood too well that there existed numerous obstacles encountered by small scale famers in their quest for profitability. Despite Kenya’s well documented availability of limitless opportunities and resources, it emerged that every effort in creating a thriving business model in bee farming would end in abject futility (Jiwa, 2002).             Correspondingly,  the anticipated challenges that made it almost impossible to succeed was the lack of clear means of financing, lack of proper technology, insufficient marketing and inconsequential government extension initiatives (London, Anupindi, & Sheth, 2010). Under the prevailing myriad of problems aforementioned, realizing sustainable growth was not going to be easy in Kenya.

Sustainable Bee-Farming

            Kenya’s case being one marred with corruption, intermittent capital flow and poor agricultural structures, Jiwa’s initial proposals were based on the ideology of creating a socially and environmentally sustainable profit making model. The recommendations of the model prioritized on the purchases of honey form small rural farmers and reselling the same Kenya’s urban consumer. The model also recommended that farmers would be reimbursed as soon as their honey was collected to help inculcate a supply incentive that would also make the farmers produce high quality honey. The need for a sustainable business model also implied reverting to technology to guarantee quality of product and profits. The introduction of a technologically enhanced beehive called the Langstroth replaced the traditional hives that were narrow and produced low quality honey. Since it had become apparent that the government had previously failed spectacularly in its attempts to boost honey production despite introducing modern hives, there was the need to circumvent the presenting hurdles and create a sustainable project. In the government’s failure to commercialize bee farming in the country, it emerged that failure would continue if farmers were not going to be trained and supported in their quest to beekeepers. Therefore, top of Honey Care’s prioritized recommendation was to train the farmers and give them better hives. Langstroth hives therefore ensured that there would be a higher level of productivity. In an effort to address knowledge gaps, five agricultural colleges were chosen to provide training on beekeeping on a commercial but ad hoc basis.

Financial Support

            Critical to the success of the business initiative was additional funding from local and international donors and investors who provided the much-needed capital for startup and expansion. Loans from the International Finance Corporation and Swiss Development Corporation enabled Honey Care Africa spread its operational bases to Tanzania. Due to increased productivity, there was a need to explore new markets and trade internationally. Inherently, Honey Africa made collaborative partnerships with local NGO’s and international donor agencies which assured the company profitability because of the innovative bridges it had created. Therefore, it is worth noting that multisectoral collaboration guaranteed Honey Africa the financial incentives it needed to expand its local and regional portfolio. The business strategy that adopted the pro-poor and for-profit ventures saw Honey Care play a significant role in creating a sustainable model.

Implementing the Tripartite Business Model

            For successful implementation of the Tripartite Business Model employed by Honey Care Africa, it is imperative to take cognizance of the need to include the development sector, the private sector, and the rural communities that need to benefit from the business initiative. It is recommended that the business model draws from the core competencies of each party and can help leverage the complementary roles of every sector towards enhancing a sustainable and profitability project. The implementation of the model would help farmers acquire tools needed to harvest honey, purchase from other farmers, process, package, and market the final products at fair prices. Since Honey Africa needed to bridge the gap of income disparity, its for-profit approach provides a sustainable venture with an underlying business philosophy that guaranteed social, environmental and economic value (Hart & London, 2005).

            Another workable recommendation was the prioritizing of beehive ownership as an incentive to the farmers to produce better quality honey. Honey Africa realized the surreal reality of not being sustainable if they did not promote commercial viability.

Multisectoral Collaboration with Africa Now

            Africa Now, an international development organization proved to be a significant contributor to the growth of Honey Care. By virtue of its mandate to alleviate poverty in Africa by assisting small-scale farmers, it enhanced the success of the projects initiated by Honey Care. Part of the roles that Africa Now played include, helping small-scale farmers promote ethical trade, train them on the best bee farming practice, provide financial assistance, training,  technology, and negotiating fair pricing to all the farmers under its jurisdiction (Wheeler et al., 2005). Much of the success experienced by Honey Africa is attributed to the single fact that Africa Now had vast experience dealing with small scale-growers in other African countries such as Somalia. The experience and knowledge brought to the company by Africa now implied that Honey Care would benefit from entrepreneurial training and consultation to champion the course of developing rural Africa. Most significantly, the organization helped Honey care overcome the initial challenges it had experienced with regards to overcoming structural flaws that had existed in the honey supply chain (Fairbourne, Gibson, & Dyer, 2007). 

Application of the Porters Five Forces Model

            The Five Forces Model was designed to evaluate the business environment’s competitiveness and inform the type of corporate strategies to be used tentatively. The model highlights the primary competitive forces that determine the anticipated competition in the current market and the resulting profitability and attractiveness of the same market. Honey Care Africa might at one time or another employed the Porters model to map out its market portfolio in East Africa in order to shape how it adapted to the market dynamics with regards to supply and demand of bee products. The beekeeping industry was very attractive especially after the investors injecting sufficient funds to keep the operations of the business running (London, Anupindi, & Sheth, 2010).

            The community-centered approach that empowered farmers and marketing their produce at fair rates ensured that Honey Africa weathered the fiery competitive rivalry from other beekeeping companies in Kenya and other parts of Africa. The threat posed by new entrants into the market was significantly reduced because of Honey Care’s strategy to limit completion by consolidating its presence across East Africa. Invariably, the Tripartite Model employed by Honey ensured that there was high-level stakeholder involvement that penetrated the market to the lowest level making almost impossible for new or substitutes products to become nonexistent. The high bargaining power of the company further enhanced its financial success while enjoying a significantly lower supplier bargaining power because Honey Africa did everything in the product’s processing chain.


Fairbourne, J. S., Gibson, S. W., & Dyer, W. G. (Eds.). (2007). Micro franchising: Creating          wealth at the bottom of the pyramid. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Hart, S. L., & London, T. (2005). Developing native capability. Stanford Social Innovation            Review, 3(2), 28-33.

Jiwa, F. (2002). Social Enterprise Models as Key Drivers for Community-based     Agriculture. Honey Care Africa.

London, T., Anupindi, R., & Sheth, S. (2010). Creating mutual value: Lessons learned from          ventures serving base of the pyramid producers. Journal of Business Research, 63(6),           582-594.

 Wheeler, D., McKague, K., Thomson, J., Davies, R., Medalye, J., & Prada, M. (2005). Creating   sustainable local enterprise networks. MIT Sloan Management Review, 47(1), 33.

January 19, 2024
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Company Success

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