SIERRA LEONE ENTREPRENEURSHIP LEADER WINS PLACE ON PRESTIGIOUS PAN-AFRICAN PROGRAM

GEN Sierra Leone has won a place on a prestigious scheme to help solve the problem of Africa’s ‘invisible innovators’.

We are one of 15 elite ‘entrepreneur support organisations’ on the VilCap Communities Africa training programme, selected from hundreds across the continent.

On the programme we will be introduced to the latest thinking in how to help entrepreneurs in our locations flourish and get funding. Without such support, investors could continue to overlook talented African innovators for what they consider safe bets.*

The program starts in Lagos and then tours two of Africa’s other top ‘startup ecosystems’, Nairobi and Cape Town, for inspiration.

*72% of start-up funding in (East) Africa went to just 3 companies in recent years for example (Source: Disrupt Africa), whilst “impact investors see fewer viable, investable opportunities and have difficulty placing capital”

The 5 Ws of an Agribusiness Investment Forum… in Sierra Leone

What is this?
An investment forum that will bring together investors, entrepreneurs, and other diasporas with key roles to play in supporting enterprise development in Sierra Leone to connect, interact, and problem-solve to enhance prospects for development of agribusiness enterprises that can contribute to inclusive growth in Sierra Leone.  A unique group that features our compatriots in the diaspora combined with a rare appearance by a group of Japanese private companies will descend into Sierra Leone.

Preparing for them are Sierra Leone agro-based enterprises (agribusinesses) that have been selected via an independent company and process.  They will offer bankable projects hopefully, to the investors.  The names of those companies will be announced in due time.

Who is doing this?
The IOM with funds from the Government of Japan is sponsoring the exercise and it is being coordinated by two Sierra Leonean consultants hired along with IOM staff to execute on the formation and coordination of the project.  Other participants include some members of the Sierra Leonean diaspora and some private companies from Japan.

Locally run agribusinesses are also part of the puzzle as is the GoSL with the Min. of Trade and Industry, SLIEPA and SMEDA, among others.  The Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture is also strategically involved.  This is a national event!

Why is the IOM doing this?
IOM believes the Sierra Leone diaspora is an integral and important piece of Sierra Leone’s economic recovery.  Engaging this community is considered critical to national development.  The IOM a migration- and by default diaspora-oriented organization is most suited for this kind of work.

As an added value to the overall intentions of an investment forum, typically, the IOM has incorporated the visit of about ten Japanese private companies who will accompany twelve Sierra Leoneans from the diaspora into the project.

When/Where is this taking place?
The investment forum is scheduled to be held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Freetown, Sierra Leone.  The dates slated are the 18th and 19th of September, 2018.

How is it being done?
The event itself will be a combination of panel discussions and presentations with a question and answer session that follows.  We will break out into workshops and especially have a speed networking event.  At the end of each day, we will collect, collate and communicate action items that have been committed to.  These will culminate into an action plan that will guide the way forward.  Our hope is that this exercise will help put the private sector on a trajectory for transformation.

https://www.slagribusinessforum.com/

 

Freetown Pitch Night Report Theme: Mayor’s Pitch Night Special

Original source and pictures + a pdf version

With a focus on managing waste in Freetown, the “Mayor’s Pitch Night Special” held on 1st August, 2018 was an outstanding example of how Freetown’s business community can generate solutions to some of our most pressing problems.

The event was opened by the Chairman of GEN Sierra Leone, Mr. Sheka Forna. He reiterated why Freetown Pitch Night decided to hold the “Mayor Special Pitch Night”.

Under the right conditions, entrepreneurs can have incredible power. They can help regions prosper economically and, as they help engineer innovative solutions to problems and challenges, they can also serve society. Yvonne Aki-Sawyer OBE, Freetown’s new Mayor, won a comprehensive mandate from the  voters of Freetown. This mandate includes job creation for the city’s young people and better waste management. As new and growing businesses represent the principal sources of job creation and innovative activity in an economy,  two factors that generally help raise standards of living for all, municipal authorities across the world are turning to entrepreneurs for ideas to help them address the challenges they face.

Recognizing the role that entrepreneurship can play in helping address Freetown’s  challenges Mayor Aki-Sawyer, with Freetown Pitch Night, is inviting entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas for waste recycling businesses to include a significant  youth employment component.

Freetown requires a comprehensive waste management solution which must be delivered city-wide, and will require consolidation and significant resources. Read More