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CommonwealthFirst is a major new initiative to help SME’s trade and invest across the Commonwealth.

Over three years, 100 leading UK SMEs will be selected to become Commonwealth Export Champions. Export Champions will be provided with unique access and support in their quest to win new business in the fast growing Commonwealth markets. Their success will be showcased as an encouragement to the wider UK business community.

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Aduna

Baobab trees grow wild in 32 African countries. Its fruit is one of the most nutrient-dense in the world. Aduna is on a mission to “Make Baobab Famous” and create sustainable incomes for 10 million households in rural Africa.

Aduna is an Africa-inspired health & beauty brand and social business. Their mission is to create demand for under-utilised natural products from small-scale producers in Africa – starting with the nutrient-dense baobab fruit, moringa leaf and raw cacao, which they sell as powders and energy bars.

Aduna means ‘life’ or ‘world’ in Wolof, the main local language of Senegal and The Gambia, where Aduna’s founders Andrew Hunt and Nick Salter discovered their passion for Africa. By creating demand for under-used natural products that exist abundantly in rural Africa – and are either owned (like baobab) or easily cultivated (like moringa) by small farmers, Aduna can connect remote communities directly to the global health food market, providing transformative, sustainable income streams.

Aduna has received a number of awards in recognition of their work, including two Guardian Sustainable Business Awards (shortlisted), GSC’s Innovative Sourcing Award, UKBAA’s Social Impact Investment of the Year and two Great Taste Awards.Since launching in 2012, Aduna has taken its African “super-ingredients” from obscurity to best-sellers in health and beauty stores in the UK and 15 countries around the world. As a result of the demand they have created for baobab, 700 women in Upper East Ghana are receiving income flows through Aduna’s smallholder supply chain, enabling them to provide basic needs for their families.

Aduna is now looking to increase its distribution, expand its range and secure funding to bring a new under-utilised ingredient to market, all of which will significantly increase the company’s impact on-the-ground. As a Commonwealth Export Champion, Aduna hope to further raise the profile of their work and explore new opportunities for growth.