Na-U-Next, Community Staple Store
Na-U-Next key objective is to ensure food security among low income household customers with limited access to affordable staple foods.
Pictures of various staple food products sell in our store
Na-U-Next pitch deck Video
Picture of Na-U-Next Store
Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)
Na-U-Next was founded for the purposes of providing food security and nutrition related information to low income households in Sierra Leone. As per our studies, we have found that every low-income household spends around 65% of their monthly household income on food and grocery expenses. However, food affordability and accessibility is a key pain-point for 3.5 million low-come household consumers in Sierra Leone. Access to affordable staples is major problem for urban low-income household consumers across developing nations. In Sierra Leone, these consumers are highly dependent on market to access their staple food needs, but have the lowest expenditure per capita in the world on food. Estimated around 13USD per month/per person, while the balanced basket of conventional staples which include; Rice the main staple, bean, Palm oil, Onion, Fish, Spices etc. is slightly above 13USD. Meaning half of the population are simply unable to meet their basic food needs. To cope, households are engage in practices like borrowing money or selling household assets, selling productive assets and to the extreme begging. In as well, existing local stores, although they provide their customers access and at times credit, have no monitoring or standardisation tools in place covering price or quality, especially for non-branded products like Rice, cassava flour, palm oils, Spices etc. The quality also varies from time to time and shop to shop with different prices imposed and no guarantee regarding the quality of products.
Therefore, establishing a sustainable channel (store) that address needs of these weaker section and lower income group which include providing priority access, credit and as well as saving on their purchase would have a significant positive impact in these households.
These households are provided an interest-free monthly rolling credit of Le35000 which they may dip into into in times of emergency. And saving around 8–10 % on their purchases at Na-U-Next.
Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)
Weaker section and lower income group (target beneficiaries), who are highly dependent on market to access their staple food needs, but have the lowest expenditure per capita in the world on food. Benefit from the store low-cost, high quality balanced basket of conventional local staple food products that helps them achieve food accessibility, zero hunger, thus ensure food security in these households.
How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)
Our model is simple, based on our philosophy that “the poor are not poor in mind” and will pay for products that are affordable, address real needs and make their lives easier and better. We sell staples (all non-brand) directly to low-income household consumers and partner with other local grocery sellers in low-resource setting, who then resell these products to weaker section and lower income group with limited access to affordable staples. As well as finding it hard to raise money to buy quality food products. Our iterative designed retail format (Registering a customer; Offer credit facility; enabling customer make saving on their purchase) ensures the project (product) relevancy to effectively address the issue of hanger and food insecurity in these households, as well as repeated sales for sustained revenue, we can reinvest in our mission. Core to this model, we engage and empower beneficiaries and stakeholders across our supply chain. 90% of products all are from local farmers
Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)
Pilot: I have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users.
Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)
Na-U-Next, mission is to provide food security to 3.5 million low-income consumers in Sierra Leone with limited access to affordable staples. As per our studies, we have found that every low-income household spends around 65% of their monthly household income on food and grocery expenses. Hence aggregating the demands of these household will provide scope for volume discounts to be passed on to theses households. Na-U-Next seeks to design and Implement a market based intervention alone
Organization Filing Status
Yes, we are a registered social enterprise.
Yes, we are a registered company.
In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.
Back in 2014, move by the plight of low-income consumers worsen by the ebola in Sierra Leone. Out of our grocery store, my wife and I started food credit to 8 food insecure households. Although they had no guarantee income. My vision is with right support these people will go on to be those who would spread the good news about our store. Today a group of these food insecure households, whom I give hope, together we now run Na-U-Next, mission to provide food security to low-come households.
Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).
According to the State of Food Insecurity in Sierra Leone report (2016), shows more than half of the population – over 3.5 million people – are food insecure, without access to a sufficient amount of safe and nutritious food. Of these, about 600,000 are severely food insecure, eating significantly less food and less varied and nutritious food, and unable to cope with new shocks such as drought, floods and fluctuating food prices. The number of severely food insecure people has increased by 60 percent since 2010.
Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)
We are working with local farmers/suppliers, community leaders, microfinance centres, running business, solving local problem, rebuilding Sierra Leone. Na-U-Next shops are set up in carefully chosen locations. Currently there are 2 outlets in Freetown. These outlets are placed strategically around areas where there is a concentration of local microfinance centres (MFI). These centres play a crucial role in determining the success of an Na-U-Next outlet. The shops are located adjacent to MFI centres with active members. The customers are handpicked by relationship officers to avail the Na-U-Next credit and every delayed repayment is tracked by a dedicated Na-U-Next Relationship Officer who operates through the microfinance centres and community leaders.
The shop building is selected by considering its accessibility to public transport yet away from main streets to avoid having to pay premium rents. All non-branded products are supply by local farmers.
Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)
As per our studies, we have found that every low-income household spends around 65% of their monthly household income on food and grocery expenses. These urban low-income household tend to reside in areas with high population density. Hence aggregating the demands of these household will provide scope for volume discounts to be passed on to theses households. Na-U-Next seeks to design and Implement a market based intervention along these lines
This project focus on Sierra Leone, and use Freetown municipality as as example.
How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)
We currently have 2 Na-U-Next stores in select locations within Freetown. Over 1500 members have so far utilized Na-U-next services. We have a plan to open 6 more stores in the next 3 years to bring more members under Next’s purview.
Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)