In 2020, a former lawyer, Adepeju Jaiyeoba, decided to create a company that would use Nigerian ingredients as raw material for baby food that could compete with international brands.
“Why can’t we have great food in Nigeria that is also high in nutrients? African based meals that provide excellent nutritional value for children. That is where the story of Colourful Giggles came from.”
She created a range of products priced from $2 to $5 (₦850 to ₦2000), targeting middle-class Nigerian mothers but also the millions of lower-income families who she says are in the “aspirational class”.
After purchasing a processing machine and renting factory space in Lagos, the entrepreneur quickly ramped up production to 2,500 packs a month. Sourcing grains from northern Nigeria and fruit and vegetables from a nearby collective run by women farmers, Colourful Giggles is sold online and at supermarkets in Lagos and 7 other states across Nigeria.
As the beneficiary of $50,000 (₦20 m) funding from the World Food Programme (WFP) as well financial backing from the United States African Development Foundation, Jaiyeoba will soon invest in more machinery to ramp production up to 10,000 packets a month.
With increased output, the entrepreneur hopes to completely cover the Nigerian marketplace within the next two years. After that she aims to export to Ghana, followed by the rest of Africa and then internationally.
Adepeju Jaiyeoba is a graduate of Law from Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria and a Partner at Strichland Associates.
She is a recipient of:
• 2019 U.S. State Department and Mandela Washington Fellowship Leadership Impact Award.
• Her Majesty, the Queen of England’s Point of Light Award
• His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales Young Entrepreneur. Sustainability Award
• Unilever Young Entrepreneur Award
• President Barack Obama White House honouree
• 2018 USADF/Citi Foundation Venture Showcase winner, 2017
• Her Network Woman of the Year in Healthcare, 2017
• 100 Most inspiring Women in Nigeria 2017
• 2017 Crans Montana Young Leader of Tomorrow
• 2017 JCI Top 10 Outstanding Young Person in Nigeria
• 2017 JCI Top Outstanding Young Person of the World awardee
• 2016 Research Fellow, International Centre for Women, Canada
• 2016 PATH Innovation Champion
• 2016 D-Prize Awardee in Global Health
• 2015 Cordes Fellow
• Fellow, Global Women in business, Georgia Institute of Technology
• Young Innovator, World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH)
• 2014 Mandela Washington Fellow
• United States African Development Foundation (USADF) 2014 Business and Entrepreneurship Awardee
• 2015 YNaija top 10 most influential Nigerians under 40 and an acknowledged Global Change Leader by the Coady International Institute, Canada.