Agnes Atim Apea, PhD



South Africa 2015

Mentored by:

Deborah Dugan


CEO, Hope Development Initiative

Connect with Agnes Atim Apea, PhD

Agnes Apea is the Founder and CEO of Hope Co-ops, a women farmer’s cooperative, engaged in organic agriculture to earn income and fight injustice. Hope Co-ops have over 5,000 members in the Lango sub-region, focusing on production, agro-processing, value addition and trade in rice, oilseeds and cassava products.

Hope Co-ops’ vision is to economically empower rural women to fight injustices, and they are on a mission to unlock the leadership, citizenship and entrepreneurial potential of millions of rural women through agribusiness. Agnes’ future goals for Hope Co-ops are to establish a robust cooperative movement across the region with a significant market share, where women have a greater stake in the value chain. Prior to establishing Hope Co-ops, Agnes was an international development professional with over 20 years of development experience working with both national and international development agencies in policy, research and program development. She also worked as a gender and development consultant with the United Nations and Commonwealth in Africa and Asia. She is a recipient of Uganda Women Entrepreneurs’ Honorary Award, the Cordaid Home Based Care Award, Columbia University’s Human Rights Advocacy Award and the University of Reading’s Social Science Studentship Award.

Agnes recently completed her PhD in International Development from University of Reading in the United Kingdom, and holds a Masters in Development Studies from Uganda Martyrs University in Uganda. Her focus on solutions is what keeps her going. She believes that entrepreneurship should be driven by a passion to solve an existing social problem.

Being almost obsessed with her social enterprise keeps her strong and focused during the tough times and it is part of her entrepreneurial journey.


Mentored by:

Deborah Dugan

United States of America

Trip: South Africa 2015