9th – 10th OCTOBER 2023 | LONDON
Avrica Capital, All Africa
Ms. Richelle Speights is an American entrepreneur specializing in international trade and development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Ms. Speights has over 13 years of experience doing business in Africa, developing her first business in post-war Liberia in 2007. Over the course of her career in Africa, she has founded, owned and managed an internationally recognized private security firm, EXCOPS security service, Liberia, a GPS asset management company, EZtrack, Liberia, Franchise Africa LLC, USA, Franchise Africa MI Ltd., Nigeria and most recently Avrica Capital, USA. Each of these businesses success is a direct result of hard work in achieving her overall mission, which is to build businesses, create jobs and eradicate poverty through trade.
Ms. Speights has managed and developed projects for United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Department of International Development (DFID). Ms. Speights has worked closely over the years with the United States Commercial Services (CS) in Nigeria, receiving business references from the astute agency to support businesses in Africa who are seeking market entry into the United States.
Ms. Speights notable achievements include turning around a private security company, EXCOPS Liberia, in 2006. By 2008 Excops employed over 500 Liberians, most of whom were ex-child soldiers. Growth was driven by Ms. Speights providing journey management and consulting services to international investors seeking market entry into Liberia. Major clients included United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC) and Firestone Rubber Plantation. Most recently in 2017, Propcom Maikarfi, a program which used a ‘making markets work for the poor (M4P)’ approach in creating systemic changes in agricultural and rural markets in northern Nigeria, commissioned Franchise Africa to to conduct a feasibility study and create an investment deck across three value chains shea, sesame and ginger. By March of 2018, Ms. Speights had secured a domestic direct investor, to commission by 2020, a sesame de-hulling facility with a production capacity of 20,000 metric ton per year to be located in Nasarawa, Nigeria.
Ms. Speights has also been an influential voice, between U.S. consumer product goods manufacturers and suppliers in Africa in an effort to increase global supply chain partnerships between U.S. manufacturers and African suppliers. In 2016, Ms. Speights developed and launched a twelve module online export training platform, Passport2Export, which teaches suppliers in Africa the steps to becoming a global supplier highlighting key topics such as product certifications, packaging, traceability, food safety management, third party auditing and concluding with sourcing buyers and meeting buyer requirements.
Ms. Speights’ vision is to build a sustainable bi-lateral trade channel, founded on market driven intelligence, that will boost non-oil exports from Sub-Saharan Africa into the global markets. Ms. Speights spends the majority of the year between her offices in Charlotte, NC and Lagos, Nigeria.