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Ndivisi Kenya

The company

Ndivisi Enterprises Ltd is an agribusiness company and one of the leading soybean trader in Kenya and processor of high quality animal and human nutrition soybean value added products such as: soybean meal for animal feed, soybean flour for human consumption and crude soybean oil. The company sources soybeans directly from a network of 5,000 smallholder farmers in Western Kenya and Uganda.

The entrepreneurs

James Ododa, co-founder and managing director of Ndivisi, oversees the day-to-day running of the company and guides the commercial operations of the company. James is passionate about the sustainable expansion of Ndivisi and has been instrumental in the transition of Ndivisi into an agro-processor. He has over six years experience as an investment banker and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Economics & Political Science) from the University of Nairobi and is an Affiliate of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

Esther Njoroge, co-founder of Ndivisi has a wealth of experience in commercial banking, investment banking as well as impact investment. She has greatly contributed to the company’s growth initiatives through her board guidance on fundraising strategies, both locally and overseas. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion, sustainability and gender smart investing and she continues to steer the company’s strategy towards inclusive practices. She holds a master’s degree in Economics and Strategy in Emerging Markets from Maastricht University (cum laude) and a Bachelor of Science in Financial Engineering. She is a CFA charter holder among other professional qualifications.

“We have had a wonderful experience with Truvalu. Our journey transcends a period longer than any entrepreneur could be patient with. But we are glad we spent that time, it allowed us to get better and work out a solution that has led to a complete transformation of Ndivisi. Today we are among the leading pioneer soybean value chain actors, positively affecting thousands of lives from our producer communities (farmers) on one end, and consumers on the other end.” James Ododa

Social impact

Ndivisi contributes to:
SDG 2: Ending hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable  agriculture: The East African region, like most of Sub-Saharan Africa, is prone to severe threats to food systems. Ndivisi champions new nutritional trends such as plant-based proteins, helping customers create delicious and custom solutions to meet the modern consumer preferences. Ndivisi is doing the same for animal nutrition. Today, consumers want livestock, swine, fish and poultry fed with clean, healthy and nutritious ingredients that are humanely sourced and sustainable.

SDG 8: Promoting sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive  employment and decent work for all: Ndivisi ensures to work with people in a fair and transparent manner, entering into employment contracts with the best interest or all parties at heart. This cuts across the 5,000 farmers they work with, the transporters and others in the supply chain. More concretely, Ndivisi has supported their part time employees to improve their other business prospects ensuring that they are gainfully engaged all year round, even when they are not working together. Ndivisi’s aim is to be a regional employer with a full staff force in the different jurisdictions they work in, as well as offer avenues for indirect employment along the value chain.

SDG 5: Achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls:
Women’s economic empowerment is a strategic priority for Ndivisi. They work almost exclusively with  female aggregators in both the Kenya and Uganda farmer engagement business. This is by design! It  has been the founders’ experience that this strategy results in a larger number of female small-scale farmers  working with Ndivisi, as in most rural homesteads, women are at the forefront of championing food  production. Ndivisi also offers equal employment opportunities irrespective of gender and provides an inclusive work environment for all their staff.

Currently, 2,000 Ugandan farmers supply their soybeans to Ndivisi. For them, this is beneficial because it provides them a stable market with consistent prices, increasing their income sustainably. Moreover, because more than half of these farmers are women, this project helps improve the conditions of women and their families. Now that the company has taken the step to start processing soybeans themselves, this provides opportunities to significantly expand their network of farmers and start working with over 3,000 new farmers in Western Kenya from whom Ndivisi can offtake their soybeans, allowing their families to benefit financially. Ndivisi also contracts agronomists who give advice to farmers on agricultural techniques to improve their crops. Also, Ndivisi contributes to greater food security by providing a plant-based source of protein.
By design, Ndivisi supports the sustainable food production for humans, livestock and aquatic lives. Further, Ndivisi employs the most efficient transport and logistics routes to limit emissions in the distribution of our goods. Ndivisi uses trucks that ferry goods to Uganda and would otherwise go back empty, making it very efficient.
Through the Business-to-Business model applied by Ndivisi, they have managed to be the leading soy by-products supplier for big food manufactures and animal feed manufacturers. The company also focuses on managing its unit costs and improving efficiency through technology improvements and productivity enhancements. Higher-level processed products and ingredients typically attract higher margins that the founders of Ndivisi believe is vital to take the company to the next level and ultimately enhance revenue generation.

Future plans

The vision of James and Esther is to expand the business and products offering to include processing of the soybean. The nutritional value of the commodity is unmatched and provides Ndivisi with multiple avenues to introduce multiple product lines and revenue sources. There is an increasing demand for soy products, which are high in protein. Not just for animal feed, the use of soybean meal in human consumption is also increasingly in high demand, as a vegetable source of protein to replace meat and also pressing oil that eventually is refined to salad oil. Ndivisi is employing a progressive expansion of suppliers and customers and has achieved great success in the last three years.

To achieve significant processing and trading capacities for oilseeds, and specifically soybeans, Ndivisi requires unfettered access to the raw materials. The East African Regional economic and trading block has primarily been facilitative in this regard with minimal interruptions experienced on the oilseeds value chain.

Ndivisi is keen to invest in the next phases of value addition, like as refining the crude oil, extracting the soy lecithin used as a binding agent in bakery and confectionary industries, or fractionating the oil to stabilize other oils under high temperatures especially those used in foodservice businesses like fast food chains. The meals would further be processed into high protein meals, soy protein concentrates used in animal feeds and  isolated soy proteins used in food stabilization systems among others.
Resources in achieving this include investments in storage capacities in key sourcing  regions in Uganda and at the processing facility in Kenya. The expansion will also attract new clients who are currently importing at high prices. The high demand provides opportunities to expand their network significantly and partner with over 3,000 more farmers.


The challenges Ndivisi is faced with are related to:

  • Investment to scale production capacity.
  • Need for more raw soybeans

The solution provided by Truvalu:

  • Capital injection to support expansion and transitioning from trading business to processing company.
  • Truvalu has a board seat to offer strategic advice.
  • Raising working capital through PlusPlus which helped in recruitment and capacity building for more farmers to ensure increase of production of raw soybeans.
  • Business Development Support which included building financial model and a dashboard and linking the entrepreneur with other financiers for working capital.
  • Promoting synergies through connections to other businesses in Truvalu’s portfolio and network.
  • Technical expertise: through connecting with a highly-experienced professional who worked at a renowned FMCG company in the Netherlands.