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Kola Masha

Managing Director, Babban Gona


Kola is the Managing Director of Babban Gona. Babban Gona is an award winning, high impact, financially sustainable and highly scalable social enterprise, part-owned by the farmers we serve. Babban Gona, was created to specifically attract youth to agriculture and away from the looming instability of extremist groups.

We accomplish this by franchising thousands of mini maize and rice farmer cooperatives across Northern Nigeria, dramatically increasing the profitability of the smallholder members 2.8 to 3.5 times above the national average. This dramatic increase in net income is accomplished by delivering an integrated holistic package of training, farm inputs and marketing services, on credit. Babban Gona has been able to deliver this credit while maintaining a repayment rate of 99.99%, leveraging our comprehensive 8levels of risk mitigation.

We developed the model with our partners that include His Highness Muhammad Sanusi II, the Sarkin (Emir) Kano, Nestle, IITA, DfID, USAID, GIZ, AGRA, BMGF, Skoll, Kiva, FMCB, Mulago, GIF and Rockefeller Foundation amongst others.

Prior to Babban Gona, Kola was a Managing Director and CEO of a major subsidiary in the Notore Group, where he raised US$24 Million to develop an integrated agricultural trading, production and processing business. Furthermore, he led the development and execution of Notore’s commercial strategy across West and Central Africa. He led the effort to raise $130 million in equity and the restructuring of $360 Million in debt.

Kola brings significant leadership experience across four continents with multiple global companies. In addition, Kola brings extensive public sector experience as Senior Advisor to the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture. He has received several global awards including the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship and appointed to the Board of the African Enterprise Challenge Fund.
Kola holds an MBA (Honors) from Harvard and a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.