Building a Scalable Business with Small-Holder Farmers in Kenya: Honey Care’s Beekeeping Model

Building a Scalable Business with Small-Holder Farmers in Kenya: Honey Care’s Beekeeping Model (pdf abstract)

Purchase the full report on (Case study # 1-429-313) – published 02/2013, 20 pages.
Developed by: Erb faculty affiliate, Ted London

Description: It was late September, and Madison Ayer, chief executive officer of Honey Care Africa (HCA), was visiting a small-holder farm in Kakamega, Kenya. Together with an HCA technician, he was inspecting five beehives being harvested for the first time on the farmer’s property. Just one year ago, HCA had launched its reworked business model under Ayer, who had become the company’s CEO two years ago. This new model transitioned HCA from obligating farmers to maintain their own hives to providing hive management services. Ayer believed that by taking the maintenance component out of the equation for many of its BoP producers, HCA could secure a stronger aggregate supply of honey, reduce side-selling, and produce more income for each household. While the initial results were promising, the new strategy was not yet working quite as well as Ayer had hoped.

Teaching Points:

In examining this case, students will be able to:

  • Gain a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges in building enterprises that source goods or services directly from BoP producers.
  • Explore strategies to reduce side-selling.
  • Holistically assess the impacts of an enterprise on BoP producers and their families, with a special focus on children age 8 and under.
  • Identify opportunities to generate greater impacts and enhance the enterprise’s value proposition.