Christelle Jackson Ndongou set up Cameroon's first online grocer

Christelle Jackson Ndongou, age 27, is a young entrepreneur who created Sappgo.com, Cameroon's first online grocer. The home delivery service was launched by Christelle and her partner, a web developer, in September 2015.

She’s in a rush to get to the Root Café, Douala’s latest café where all the entrepreneurs meet. Today, Christelle Jackson Ndongou, a young entrepreneur of 27 and founder of Sappgo, has invited all her clients, partners and the media to discover her company’s new products.

Sappgo.com is Cameroon’s first online grocer. The home delivery service was launched 2 years ago, in September 2015, by Christelle Jackson and her companion, a web developer. Following a slow start, Sappgo soon took off amongst Cameroon’s middle classes in Douala. Since the spring of 2017, the platform offers dried fruit (pineapple, banana and mango) and ginger and honey tea under an eponymous brand.

“Just like French supermarket chains such as Intermarché, Monoprix or Carrefour, I wanted to give my customers the possibility of including our products in their daily grocery basket”, explains Christelle Jackson Ndongou.

Before Sappgo, Christelle Jackson Ndongou was an assistant project manager and operations manager in a telecoms company. The idea came from observing her former colleagues. “I worked in Bonapriso and lived in Logpom, which is on the other side of the city. I saw friends and colleagues who were in the same situation and who were finding it difficult to get everything done. We had to do our shopping during our break, then transport it all the way home”, she recalls.

A graduate in maritime transport and project management, Sappgo.com’s founder always had a clear plan in mind. “When I began working on my online grocer project in 2014, I already knew that in 2017 I’d launch the brand”, says Jackson. She’s the oldest of four siblings, the younger ones all firmly focused on her. She is aware that she needs to excel in her actions to inspire her younger siblings and give them confidence.

During our chat, I asked her why she hadn’t called on investors. Christelle Jackson Ndongou told me: “I want to take the time to perfectly master my business and my market”. She continually talks about how important it is to take one’s time and do things properly, not to rush into things without having taken the time to analyse the various options.

Money mustn’t be the first impediment to a business’ development. Jackson has other challenges such as communication and logistics; Sappgo still doesn’t have its own vehicle, human resources or the town’s layout. “We lose a lot of time trying to find customers’ homes”, Jackson explains.

Despite this, supported by her small team, Christelle Jackson Ndongou remains optimistic. It’s great to see an entrepreneur create stimulating projects within her company, in order to enhance the popularity and passion of her work!

Following my meeting with Christelle Jackson Ndongou, I want to urge all enthusiastic people, whether you’re an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur, to continue pursuing your dreams and especially to pass on this passion that drives you in a contagious manner.

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