Yolélé is a US-based African food brand currently selling products based on climate-resilient smallholder crops like fonio. The company is forming a joint venture called West African Ancient Grains (WAAG) with Mali-Shi, an agri-processor in Mali. WAAG will source fonio, millet, and sorghum from Mali-Shi’s smallholder network of 30,000 women and process efficiency for the global market.

Market Opportunity/ Problem

Yolélé has built global demand for fonio that cannot be met by today’s processors using today’s technology. The equipment used has very slow throughput, and no fonio processing facilities meet global food safety standards. Yolélé is building processing capacity to meet growing demand.

Company Information

Years of operation


Type of organization

Private company

Stage of the business

Early stage/ Startup

Agribusiness focus

Value addition/ processing

Agriculture value chain(s) focus?

Food crops

Primary country of operation


Other country(ies) of operation

Sales: US. Processing: Mali. Distribution hub: Senegal.

How many employees does your business have?


Does the business have more than 30% women ownership?


Does the business have more than 30% youth ownership (under 35 years)?


Financing and expansion overview

How much capital is the company currently fundraising (US$)?


What is the split between equity and debt?

70% equity and 30% debt
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