The cultivation of specialty coffee is on the rise in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and young people are taking note. Alpha New Ltd isa youth-led innovation company in Eastern DRC. Founded by young Congolese social entrepreneurs in 2015, its mission is to build assets by enabling clients to achieve their long-term financial, economic and operational goalsand transform resources into prosperity for sustainable development. Alpha New SARL first met with the Feed the Future Strengthening Value Chains Activity (SVC) in October 2017 during a “young entrepreneurs café,” where the founders realized their members’ passion for coffee could be translated into business opportunities.

On June 11-13, 2018, Alpha-New Ltd participated in the Saveur du Kivu in Bukavu, Eastern DRC. Saveur du Kivu isan annual meeting for representatives in the specialty coffee industry that includes a coffee cupping competition, workshops and panel discussions, and an exposition showcasing Congolese coffee producers and suppliers. SVC facilitated Alpha New SARL’s participation in Saveur de Kivu’s exposition, where the organization highlighted and sold their members’ specialty coffee products. Patrick ABEDI, a young entrepreneur from Alpha New SARL also spoke on a panel discussion on opportunities for youth and other marginalized groups in the coffee sector. After Alpha New SARL’s participation as the high-profile Saveur du Kivu, eight youth entrepreneurs –three women and five men –expanded their business networks of private and public sector organizations in the coffee sector.

Following the Saveur du Kivu,SVC continues to support Alpha New SARL’s members. SVC staff are providing business and technical support to three smallholder farmers to strengthen theiroperating capacityin orderto improve coffee quality, promote digital financial services toclients, and strengthen emerging coffee markets locally and abroad. Alpha New SARL will remain a strategic partner of SVC as the project continues to support coffee value chain development in Eastern DRC, and will serve as a positive role model for other youngentrepreneurs engaged in SVC value chainsas the project continues to expand its outreach to youth-led organizations and find ways to increaseyouth engagement.

Written by Banyang Global

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