Total 0.00
Shopping Cart
/ /

Birmingham based entrepreneurs set to open Pride of Africa Trade Cash & Carry as they call for more businesses to support black communities

Apr 17,2024 | Samis Online

A leading provider of authentic African-Caribbean food products is thrilled to announce the grand opening of Pride of Africa Trade Cash and Carry. Founded by Olusegun Akande and his wife, Oyetola, this will be the first one-stop African trade cash and carry in the UK, that is exclusively black owned. 

The UK business landscape has undergone a significant transformation over the years with the launch of initiatives such as Black Pound Day and the Black Business Growth Show and this is another local success story.

Olusegun and Oyetola launched the business in 2009 after noticing a lack of original African-Caribbean ingredients to buy in the UK. The couple are both chemical engineers with a passion for the food industry and they were determined to launch their own business in Birmingham. 

They launched their Pride of Africa product line, a brand that translates the essence of traditional ingredients into authentic, premium and much-loved range of African foods.

Demand grew and they then launched a cash and carry business which developed into an on-line retail store. After 15 years of hard graft, they are now launching a new trade cash and carry warehouse in Birmingham. 

Located in New John Street West, the new 25,000 square foot warehouse aims to be a hub for African and Caribbean cuisine enthusiasts, offering a wide selection of specialty items, spices, seasoning, sauces, grains, beverages, fish, meat, poultry, palm oil, cooking oil and snacks, sourced directly from Africa.

The couple are part of a growing number of Black entrepreneurs in the UK but it has not been plain sailing, entrepreneurs from the Black community still face funding hurdles from the bank.

Olusegun Akande, Co-Founder and CEO of Pride of Africa Foods said, “We were only able to secure a loan covering about 10% of our budget at a throat-cutting rate, plus commission and fees, so we had to re-think our business model. The banks made it very difficult for us, so the majority was self-funded and we asset-financed some of the equipment.”

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for businesses in the UK is a lack of financial support. A staggering 88% of all Black-owned start-ups surveyed said they had self-funded their business idea without a business loan or help from family and friends when funding their businesses. 

A 2022 report states Black-owned companies are four times less likely to apply for funding to help fund their business initially; with only 43% of business owners trusting banks to have the best interests of Black entrepreneurs in mind. 

Indeed, the UK’s small business landscape is overwhelmingly white and inequality continues to cause an economic divide and hinder progress for ethnic minorities.

However their desire to serve their community drives them to succeed. A survey by the British Business Bankfinds that Black entrepreneurs are especially motivated by social aspirations, with 20% of Black respondents saying they started their business precisely to help their communities, with only 7% of white respondents saying the same. 

Olusegun continues, “This does not surprise me. We are a company run by Africans for Africans, we go the extra mile directly to the source and we only sell quality products. Our new store is not just a place to shop for groceries but a destination where customers can explore and experience the rich and diverse culinary heritage of Africa. 

Oyetola adds, “We are excited to expand our presence and bring our unique offerings to the vibrant community of Birmingham and across the UK. Pride of Africa celebrates the pleasure of good taste and good times shared and we hope the community will come and support us”.

Pride of Africa Foods invites the local business community to join in the celebration of its new store and experience the tastes of Africa first hand. The grand opening event on Saturday 13th April will include special promotions and giveaways from 10am to 5pm to celebrate the occasion. With businesses from around the country buying Pride of Africa goods, demand is expected to be high.”