Athens business hosts Nigerian delegation


ATHENS — The spirit of entrepreneurship received an international touch on Tuesday at the Field Goods offices in Athens.

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A group of Nigerian businesswomen who were traveling with the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership program stopped by the production facility of the food subscription service business for a visit with its founder Donna Williams.

The visit was lead by The International Center of the Capital Region and the women were part of a program called “Women Capacity Building and Entrepreneurship—A Project for Nigeria.”

“We were one of six businesses they visited in the Capital Region this week,” Williams said. “Each region they visited around the country had a different theme, the Capital Region focused on female entrepreneurs.”

Field Goods was started by Williams five years ago out of the back seat of her father’s old station wagon and rapidly expanded into delivering weekly baskets of vegetables and fruit to hundreds of locations between Queensbury and Yonkers.

Olasumbo Adeleke, Ukamala Chinweoke Anioji, Grace Edwin Okon, Saudat Salami and Adetoun Tade came from a variety of professional backgrounds including filmmaking and food service.

Williams said the women toured the production part of the business and would see first-hand how she runs her business.

Among the stops on the delegation’s Capital Region tour included visits with Empire State Development, HerLife Magazine-New York, the Albany Times Union and a lunch meeting with the owners of Tara’s Kitchen, a Moroccan restaurant in Albany.

“The Department of State objectives for the program are to explore networking opportunities, present markets typically served by entrepreneurs, illustrate the value of partnerships in successful ventures, examine social entrepreneurial ventures and present programs that empower women entrepreneurs,” Williams said.

Williams said how she runs her operation is very simple; she uses what she calls “folding table technology” to sort the thousands of fruits and vegetables into bags to be shipped to its various locations.

She said Field Goods made the move to its 742 Schoharie Turnpike facility in 2015 and it consists of 18,000 square feet with an additional 4,000 square feet worth of cold storage for the produce.

Among the themes for the stops in Albany was exploring state government support and legislation for women’s entrepreneurial business development. To learn more about the legislation, the businesswomen met with Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, D-109.

Williams said the women would be seeing the different fruits and vegetables hand sorted into each bag. Depending on the season, the facility receives more of a specific type of a fruit or vegetable to give out.

By working with more than 80 farmers throughout the state, Field Goods is able to reduce food waste and support sustainability. Consumers are able to gain access to local produce on a regular basis.

“I’m very excited to have these ladies visit our facility. It’s a great opportunity to show off what we do,” Williams said. “One of the other themes they were promoting was promoting access to market niches for women in business.”

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Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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