Inspiring Startups: Guiding fellow entrepreneurs to meet national, international standards


…the story behind Pneuma Food Scientifics

With the fervor that many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country exhibit in the business terrain, it is clear that their success will be crucial to a thriving economy in years to come. And given the importance of quality, Zeenatu Suglo Adams, the founder of Pneuma Food Scientifics (PFS), is one of many who is using her expertise to make sure that her fellow entrepreneurs meet both national and international standards pertaining to product safety, particularly in the areas of food, household chemicals and herbs.

Read on as she shares her story in this week’s Inspiring Start-ups…


Zeenatu is currently a lecturer in the Department of Food Science and Technology at Ho Technical University of the Volta Region. She recounted that as a child she spent her formative years in Accra, more specifically in the neighborhood of Labadi. She had her primary and junior high school education at Acropolis Maranatha Academy, located in Pokuase-Fise. She then went on to complete her secondary education at Wesley Girls High School in Cape Coast, where she studied science. Zeenatu pursued her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), where she studied Food Science and Technology.

While working as a research assistant at KNUST during her MPhil programme in 2015, she founded PFS – a consultancy firm – with the aim to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) understand the regulations necessary for meeting both national and international standards.

However, she had to pause the business because she secured a full-time job and needed time to settle and better-position herself. As many will agree, a good entrepreneur will always identify a business idea in any situation.

She recounted that: “During my time working at a fruit-processing company, I observed that we were discarding edible by-products, which sparked the idea to develop food products. In 2018, after leaving my job at Blue Skies I decided to revamp my business with the support of government, as I was one of ten winners in the maiden Presidential Pitch Awards of 2018 organised by the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) and Ministry of Business Development”.

Fibrelicious, Shemah & Shemah Consult

This journey led to her having three brands under PFS – which are Fibrelicious, Shemah and Shemah Consult, with a focus on consultancy (where she assists fellow SMEs in the space to understand requirements of the Food and Drugs Authority and Ghana Standards Authority).

“In terms of our food products, our goal is to offer healthy, affordable, instant and convenient meals for everyone. My products are unique because they offer convenience with their instant and ready-to-eat nature. One of our products is an instant rice-porridge that is rich in protein and fibre. This product is similar to the popular rice-water dish in Ghana, but our version is office-friendly as you only need to add warm water to enjoy it. We also have a FibreMeal product that contains pineapple and mango powder, -providing supplemental nutrition that your body may need, especially if you have a medical condition,” she highlighted.

How education and experience have helped

Zeenatu’s background has been instrumental in contributing to the business’ success. She is one of the many entrepreneurs that feels a sense of responsibility to give back to the community by utilising the knowledge and skills acquired in school.


Being awarded the Green Business of the Year at the 2022 Ghana Startup Awards, Zenatu said the recognition gave her confidence in the work she does and increased customer-trust in her goods.


In the next five years, she plans to invest in automated equipment to speed up production processes, which will ultimately increase productivity.

“My goal is to have my products readily available on shelves across the country. I wish to export them and expand my customer base. However, to achieve this I would like to improve my outreach efforts and connect with a larger audience. Additionally, I plan to offer short courses in food safety and quality management systems, as these are critical areas of focus in my mission to provide safe and high-quality products to consumers,” she added.


One of the major challenges Zenatu faces is obtaining capital for expansion – regardless, she told the B&FT Inspiring Startups that what keeps her motivated is the support she receives from various agencies and coaching programmes.

She said: “They provide me with valuable insights and encouragement, which helps me stay positive even when my profits are not as high as I’d expected. Their willingness to share their experiences and belief in my work makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile. With their guidance, I believe the future of my business is very bright”.

Support for businesses

Zeenatu is of the view that while it seems funding is the common need among startups, to support business growth there is a need for government and agencies to conduct ‘needs assessments’ to determine the exact needs.

She argued that: “While many business owners may immediately request financial support, their true needs may differ. For example, some businesses may require better equipment, whereas others might need guidance on increasing productivity or transitioning to digital systems. Some may simply require a change in management. Therefore, it is important to recognise that financial support is not always the solution. Agencies or governments should be available to conduct free needs assessments and provide reports outlining specific areas that need attention in their quest to support the sector”.

Advice to young entrepreneurs    

“Starting a business as an entrepreneur requires taking the first step, even if you do not have a solid business idea yet. Self-training, attending workshops and seeking the guidance of a coach are essential steps in preparing for entrepreneurship. There are numerous free training programmes available, and developing soft skills can be just as important as acquiring business-specific knowledge.

“Even with inadequate funding or resources, it is crucial to invest in your education and development. Starting a business is challenging, and it is important not to underestimate the difficulty of the journey. It may be necessary to continue working to sustain the business in its early stages before quitting a stable job. It is advisable to ensure that the business is generating enough revenue. Taking the time to carefully plan and prepare can increase the likelihood of success in the long-run,” she advised. 

Contact details

Mobile: 024 104 3139

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