THEAFRICABAZAAR STAFF WRITER
July 12, 2016
Ginjan Bros, LLC — a Harlem-based African beverage company that develops and brings to market traditional African beverages — is the $25,000 grand prize winner of FedEx fourth annual FedEx Small Business Grant Contest.
The New York company, owned by two brothers, Mohammed and Ibrahima Diallo, will use the prize money as working capital to help them fill their orders, get their product certified as “Organic” and “Non-GMO,” and for product marketing initiatives, all of which will allow them to meet the growing demand for their product. The company is set to expand its market reach to include 350 additional accounts.
“This year we saw a wide variety of entrants from various industries, all of which embody a true passion for their business,” said Becky Huling, Vice President of FedEx Customer Engagement Marketing. “We’re excited for Ginjan Bros, LLC to take this next step and to see their business continue to grow and scale.”
Mohammed and Ibrahima Diallo, who moved to the United States from Africa in their early teens say one of their only connections to their culture has been through foods and beverages, which is how the company was born.
The juice, which is currently available at 30 locations, is crafted from a 1,000-year-old West African recipe which their mother used to make for them growing up. It is made using organic and non-GMO ingredients.
“My brother and I are thrilled to have won the FedEx Small Business Grant contest and we can’t wait to put the grant to use and take our business to the next level,” said Mohammed Diallo, Chief executive officer of Ginjan Bros. “This money will help us fill orders after we launch more than 350 accounts by summer’s end, and it will also go towards getting our Organic and non-GMO certifications, and for product marketing.”
The brothers’ long-term view for the company is to be able to source raw goods from small farmers in Africa to help them with market access.
In addition to the $25,000 grand prize, FedEx awarded one $15,000 grant and eight $7,500 grants — the largest prize pool since the inception of the contest in 2013.
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