Spotlight on Katie at Aspire: An affordable solution to end protein deficiencies and food security

Aspire Ghana is commercializing the sale of the edible insect, palm weevil larva, as an affordable and sustainable source of protein in Ghana. Available sources of protein available can be expensive and/or environmentally unsustainable resulting in protein deficiencies and high rates of anemia. By tapping into the protein potential of the larvae, Aspire can help address food security and nutritional deficiencies.

“A lot of start-ups have resource constraints that make it hard to prioritize long-term projects over day-to-day operations. As a fellow, I’ve been able to create lasting value for Aspire by focusing my time and energy on establishing a foundational financial tool for continued use.”

EWB Fellow Katie Gardon is Aspire’s Director of Business Development, supporting the venture’s efforts to produce the larva at a commercial scale and make it more accessible and affordable.

In her four months with the venture, she has created a financial tool that readily measures the costs of various production processes explored by the R&D team. Katie’s 10 years of experience working for a food company enabled her to incorporate an understanding of the costs associated with production to deliver results that better reflect real-world factors. The model helps shape the direction of Aspire’s research to determine which processes result in the greatest cost-benefit based on the yield of larvae, a significant part of what will help the venture scale.

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