Chikondi Agatha Michongwe, a passionate lifestyle entrepreneur raising awareness of the benefits of veganism — Lionesses of Africa

What inspired you to start your company?

In 2020, months into the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic, we found our business unable to sustain itself due to the lockdown; which also saw the majority of our expatriate client base relocate. This pushed us to close Afrocentric Lifestyle, our customized furniture shop, and move from the premises where we had also recently opened Serene Vegan Eatery just before Covid hit. After this experience, we had to sit down and think of an innovative way that we could still offer our food to our clients. We decided to come up with a product range of our Vegan based food to reach a much wider clientèle. The recent relocation to Tanzania allowed us to utilize the multitude of local fresh produce available to us to start Serene Vegan Co. We are based in Arusha, Tanzania, and slowly regaining a foothold in Malawi, where it all started, with plans to expand regionally.

What makes your business, service or product special?

Serene Vegan Co is has positioned itself to be one of the solely vegan foods and beverage companies in Africa. We saw a gap for vegan food and beverages considering the vegan movement is catching up steadily in Africa as it catches up with the rest of the world. Our product range is made from the freshest ingredients carefully sourced locally and within the continent.

Tell us a little about your team

We have a small team of dedicated staff who are hands-on and take on multiple tasks to make sure we are on top of things both in administrative and production duties in our company.

Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?

My entrepreneurial journey started more than 15 years ago. I have always had an affinity for taking risks and venturing into projects that I’m passionate about. Growing up I was surrounded by family who, apart from having traditional careers, always had a side income-generating activity they would do. From this experience what really attracted me to entrepreneurship was the independence to manage my own time and most importantly use my passions and interests to create wealth, as well as make a difference by creating jobs in my community.

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