Boss Center Launched At Commerce & Industry

Nov 1, 2017

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf cutting the ribbon during the formal opening of the BOSS center in Monrovia

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) through the division of Small Business Administration (SBA) with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has officially launched the Business Opportunities Support Services (BOSS) Center in Monrovia.

BOSS’ is a UNDP supported project in partnership with the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Commerce. It was established to enhance decentralization and support the implementation of micro and small and medium enterprises policy in Liberia through the establishment of Business Support Service Centres at the County level, which will strengthen capacities of youth, women and agri- producing enterprises.

The BOSS Center which was officially launched by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is aimed at improving livelihoods of many Liberians and increase the viability of their businesses. It will work to strengthen many beneficiary groups including small agricultural producers and support MSME development through the provision of financial and non-financial services.

In remarks, UNDP Country Director Dr. Pa Lamin Beyai commended the MoCI staff for their efforts in leading the sustainable growth of MSMEs, and for the partnerships with the MIA to enhance decentralized service through County Service Centers (CSCs)

“The launching of the new center clearly demonstrates the unity of purpose, cross-sector collaborations, and complementaries… We look forward to further enhancing the partnership by collectively investing in expanding the BOSS centers as a sustainable inclusive growth towards Liberia’s strive to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs),” said Beyai.

Dr. Beyai noted that “BOSS” will provide an opportunity for beneficiaries to become their own bosses by empowering them with skills and knowledge to conceive businesses ideas, develop business plans, and use them to grow and manage their own businesses.

He further revealed that the center seeks support for MSMEs by providing opportunities for start-up entrepreneurs to thrive through the provision of business support infrastructure at the county level.

Dr. Beyai said: “It is anchored on the county service centers, the primary channel for decentralized service delivery of MIA, and coordinated through the Small Business Administration Bureau of the MoCI.

The UNDP Boss also stated that the center will not only provide the central coordination point for the network of BOSS but will also enhance outreach and customer service and champion service delivery to the MSMEs.

He added: “It will also serve as a nerve center for customer service, providing a range of capacity building services to the MoCI staff, including the design of training modules for MSMEs.”

Commerce and Industry Minister Alex Addy lauded the UNDP for the gesture and promised that the center will be used to support the government’s MSME sector in the country.

He said Liberia will not be built by what people say but by working together as SMEs to improve the economy.

According to him, the vision of the center is to help SMEs to be well informed and learn the opportunities of the government procurement to help them go after contracts that will develop their businesses.

Minister Addy disclosed that since the establishment of the Liberalization policy by the government, the Ministry was able to give out US$ 43,000 in contract to the private sector to build the capacity of SMEs with approval from the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC).

“We hope to see business people coming to network at the SME center as they grow to be committed to progress and build the foundation for others to stand on for the development of the private sector,” he said.

In remarks, Madam Manu Kamara, Assistant Minister of Commerce & Industries for Small Business Administration (SBA), pledged the ministry’s commitment through the SBA to the successful implementation of the center.

“The Business Opportunities through Support Services (BOSS) project is key to the implementation of the Small Business Empowerment Act and the Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) development at the Ministry of Commerce…and it supports three of the four pillars that we have for the development of SMEs in Liberia,” she said.

The program was attended by partners and stakeholders in the MSME sector, UNDP and Commerce staffers, among others.

In an effort to accompany the decentralization process, the Government of Liberia with support from UNDP, developed the Business Opportunities through Support Services (BOSS) project, to provide Business Development Services at the county level, thus increasing the relevance and demand for the county service centers while at the same time helping to unlock the bottle neck to entrepreneurial/businesses development for local economic development. 

The Project works through the establishment of a network of Business Opportunities through Support Services - BOSS Centres as implementers of the project strategy at the County level. 

The Project strategy is in line with the Government’s long-term National Vision (Liberia Rising 2030), which aims to address the socio-political and economic challenges facing the nation and thereby transform Liberia into a middle-income country.

The Agenda for Transformation (2012-2017) is the vehicle for realizing Vision 2030. The Project rationale and implementation framework align themselves to the MSME Policy, which overarching goal is to enable poor people to become more productive and improve their livelihoods poverty alleviation, and to support micro and small enterprises to increase growth while decreasing income inequality. The Project strategy is to implement an integrated approach to promote local economic development by utilizing business development tools that have proved successful and effective in settings similar to the Liberian context.

The BOSS Project aims at enhancing decentralization and support to the Micro and SME policy implementation in Liberia by providing opportunities to start-up, micro and small entrepreneurs and by establishing business support infrastructure at the County level.

Contact

For further information, contact:

Zarway, Marcus - National Project Manager/ E-mail-marcus.zarway@undp.org Tel: + 231-770962142/886962142

Augusta Pshorr –Communications Analyst E-mail: augusta.pshorr@undp.orgTel: +231-770-003-819/886-521-425

Sam Zota –National UNV Communications Associate Email: sam.zota@undp.org Tel: +231-886-474-563/770175162

 

   

 

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