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Bringing the Village Back to Business

Ikenna: Wow, Uzo, I really like your Kaftan. Who made it for you?
Uzo: Thank, Ikenna, I got it from Bro Jimmy’s, the tailor up the road.
Ikenna: Great, I’ll go see if he can make me a Kaftan, too.
A referral from a trusted friend works better than reviews from strangers. You’d trust my cassava processor, and I’d trust yours. You’d want to work with my tailor, and I’d do the same.
Referrals remind us of the old days, when we knew the people we lived and did business with. In 1960 there were 45.1 million Nigerians. Today, we are more than 186 million. Business feels impersonal and charlatans often get away with phony businesses.
Ironically, the internet has made things worse. It’s very easy to setup a fake business on a B2B portal and begin deceiving people. Because of rampant 419, many businesses in need of new buyers and sellers don’t trust B2B internet portals.
When you bite indiscriminately, you end up eating your own tail — African Proverb

A Trust Network

I’ve spoken with tens of agribusiness entrepreneurs and learned most of their business-to-business challenges result from a lack of trust. Nigeria does not need another “portal of millions of businesses,” as they all advertise. It needs the short-list of the ones you can trust.
Reviews aren’t always accurate as they can be easily falsified. So how can we build a Trust Network?


Asking a friend for a business connection by email or text is a great way to get trusted partners but there are challenges:

  1. You ask individually and wait for a response, so it takes time.
  2. Only you get value from asking, the person you asked doesn’t benefit.
  3. The information isn’t shared with other trustworthy people who might need it.

We don’t get referrals as often as we need them, so we don’t get access to the best businesses.

How can we get referrals faster to find trusted people?
At Releaf, we believe a Nigerian businesses are connected to many more good companies than they know about. We make it easier to get a referral through our Trust Network. Releaf helps entrepreneurs discover each other by building their Trust Network.

How do I Get a Trust Network?

See how much bigger the network becomes for everyone when the Green Link is formed?

A Trust Network is a list of the companies you trust to do a good job.
On Releaf, you can indicate the business owners you trust, and you’ll gain access to the companies they trust, too.
Our site creates that Green Link between companies to give them a much larger network.

Releaf is available now. Get a Verified account today!


  • You can do due diligence on a company in your Trust Network by asking the business partner you both share and trust.
  • You can demand that businesses who try to engage you register with Releaf to show they have trustworthy businesses around them.
  • The more businesses you add to your Trust Network, the larger it will grow, giving you access to exporters, processors, and off-takers.
  • With a large Trust Network businesses you can get multiple buyers to pay more for your goods due to competition.
Let’s use Trust Networks to back up our claims, just like Bro Jimmy would mention that he made Uzo’s Kaftan to Ikenna.

Get your Trust Network today!

Ikenna is a Nigerian-American graduate of Yale University in Computer Science. Since the age of 14, he has founded 3 successful businesses and a nonprofit. Ikenna received a full-time Associate Consultant offer from Bain & Company but is deferring it to build Trust Networks for Nigerian businesses with his current startup, Releaf.
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