Gaëlle is a Cameroonian entrepreneur and a graduated telecommunications engineer from the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Germany. She worked as a consultant for the car industry at BMW in Germany for ten years before returning to Cameroon to dedicate her expertise to creating KENZA MARKET.

Gaëlle Laura Zambou Kenfack

CEO, Kenza Market

Business Location: Doula, Cameroon

Year of Founding: 2016
Number of Employees: 20
CEO: Gaëlle Laura Zambou Kenfack

Mission: To be a modern day “mother’s helper” by being close to its customers via its delivery service that saves them time

Founding

Upon seeing a lacking of local products and good packaging in Cameroon, Gaëlle saw an opportunity to confront this gap and create KENZA MARKET. Today, the company highlights local products and promotes “Made in Cameroon” (MIC), a concept launched by the private sector to support local production and consumption. KENZA MARKET produces quality products by ensuring their traceability from the fields and village farms to the shelves. It carries out the selection, processing, packaging and distribution of several products that are without preservatives, food additives or colouring agents.

KENZA MARKET started with 5 employees, selling only spices and online. Given the demand from consumers over time, they have scaled up their activities and are now distributing their wide range of products internationally, and have two physical shops in Cameroon. KENZA MARKET is one of the first “Made in Cameroon” businesses to have opened in Cameroon.

Relationship with Smallholders

KENZA MARKET sources their products from local farmers, as well as maintaining their own production. KENZA ensures the control of pesticides and fertilizers by working directly with farmers on the field and controlling the production. KENZA has a focused approach with youth, by training the young people that work with them.

Products Covered and Markets

KENZA MARKET processes and distributes pre-cooked, dried, organic and dietetic products and ingredients that can be quickly prepared into healthy meals. The company aims to make cooking easier for busy consumers, by offering precooked foods and mixed spices for their customers.
KENZA MARKET is also wary of the challenges with wheat consumption due to growing gluten intolerances. Hence, they are selling local flours that are easier to digest, such as banana and cassava flour.

Overall, KENZA has an impressive range of over 200 products, including:
– Spices
– Meat, poultry and cured and smoked fish
– Local flours
– Variety of vegetables
– Vegetable oils
– Amuses bouche (appetisers)
– Local infused teas
– Dietary products

One of their flagship products is the “spicy salt”, comprised of salt and several local spices to enhance the flavour of dishes and replace the cube in cooking as a healthier alternative.

KENZA MARKET makes deliveries of their products throughout Cameroon, Africa and Europe via air freight. They ensure distribution via their e-boutique, and via two shops in the cities of Douala and Yaoundé. Distribution in other cities and internationally is being ensured by its franchise network.

Innovations: Milestones and Expansion Plans

KENZA MARKET also offers training in entrepreneurship coaching, as well as other services, including real state, in which they sell and buy farmland.
In 2017, Gaëlle expanded her business by investing the beauty sector and launching the beauty salon “Kenza Beauty” in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Additionally, Gaëlle used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to train as a dietician, and she can now offer dietary coaching.

KENZA MARKET is actively growing their business by increasing their production and improving packaging. The company also would like to expand its business by recruiting more people to its skilled workforce, expanding their production facility, increasing the number of KENZA MARKET outlets, modernizing their production equipment and continuing to expand the business throughout the African continent.

Success Factors and Lessons Learned

The growing activities of KENZA MARKET have led to job creation, capacity building and local communities empowerment. Its successes are exhibited by their wide range of products and services, their skilled workforce, and the large distribution network in Africa and Europe.

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