After a fierce competition with five other six inspiring and ambitious African women, Nigerian food and beverage start-up OmoAlata, founded by Kasope Ladipo-Ajai, emerged the victor. As the winner of the second annual She Leads Africa Pitch Competition, OmoAlata received a cash prize of US $10,000. Ladipo-Ajai walks away with mentorship opportunities, prizes from Etisalat Nigeria, and three months of tech support from Zippy Logistics.

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OmoAlata produces hygienically processed and packaged local Nigerian soups, spices, and peppers. Its products are free of food coloring or conservatives found in the average market tomato paste, which Ladipo-Ajai says often affects food’s color and taste. Each spice blend goes through rigorous market testing in order to perfect their deliciousness.

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Before entering the food and beverage industry, Ladipo-Ajai worked as an IT professional. Yearning for a more interesting or challenging career, she decided to launch OmoAlata after years of frustration with the time it took to prepare delicious traditional Nigerian dishes like ewendu soup and the world-famous jollof rice. Kasope credits her IT background with teaching her about the importance of people management and customer experience.

OmoAlata is sold online or check the website for retail stores near you.