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AAF SME Fund Impact: Top Crust


Business Challenge

Top Crust is a fast emerging bread and confectionery products business in Lagos, Nigeria. The Company is engaged in the production and sales of consistent high quality bread for the mass market in Ikeja and surrounds. It is the third largest bakery in a highly fragmented market.

Top Crust sought to expand its operations in Lagos, however  the business required bolstering of its financial management function and MIS. It had limited brand visibility and an underdeveloped distribution network and route-to-market. The operating facility was not built-for-purpose, resulting in operational inefficiencies due to process flow challenges.

Our Approach

The AAF SME Fund committed $1.85m to Top Crust Bakery in October 2013. The funds have been invested in the acquisition of land, factory expansion, equipment, marketing and brand building. A TAF investment of €40,000 has also been made to carry out a new distribution strategy project that will aid the business in its growth and expansion.

Our Impact

Improved Livelihoods

  • Increased number of jobs from 100 to 234, more than double the pre-investment number
  • Created extra entrepreneurial opportunities by engaging more than 100 BoP entrepreneurs who are mostly female traders
  • Innovative product formulation to enhance product margins thereby improving income of mega distributors, wholesalers and table-top vendors

Enhanced Food Security

  • More than doubled daily production from 15,000 loaves to 35,000 loaves
  • Increased annual production from 3.9m loaves to 7.7m loaves
  • Successfully launched a second depot in a previously underserviced location
  • Rolled out economy half loaf in 2014 and launched two new product variants in August 2015. Studies underway for the introduction of Agege par baked pre-mixes

Improved Business Operations

  • Invested €40,000 through TAF to improve business distribution strategy. Identified alternative routes to market outside of factory gate model and explored use of tricycles to reach bottom of the pyramid (BoP) consumers
  • Increased factory ovens from 3 to 5
  • Currently considering automation to support SKU expansion and reduce time to market
  • Working on obtaining major certifications e.g. ISO
  • Developing robust internal controls and governance structure

ESG Impact

  • Indirect job creation through the support of BoP entrepreneurs
  • Further increase in direct employment creation base through additional capacity of 20,000 loaves and expansion of production sites
  • Compliance with food safety standards
  • Improved health and safety standards in the factory
  • Increased transparency in employee performance evaluation and remuneration to improve employee welfare