Two Liberian Entrepreneurs have won a grant of US$ 5,000.00 each under the UNDP Partnership with the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF).
UNDP signed an MOU with Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) for the purpose of promoting youth entrepreneurship and leadership development across the African continent.
This MOU was entered into within the context of UNDP Africa’s Regional Project for supporting the scaling up of the YouthConnekt initiative to as many African countries as possible.
It highlights the agreed cooperation of the two parties to among other things; promote entrepreneurship development in Africa with a focus on startups and existing SMEs; provide entrepreneurship skills training to start- ups and emerging African entrepreneurs; Deliver Business Development Services (BDS) necessary for start- ups and existing SMEs across Africa for growth and diversification; promote innovation, technology development, networks and market linkages among African Entrepreneurs; undertake initiatives that promote access to affordable credit, guarantees and other financial services suitable for start- ups and small businesses in Africa etc.
Alfred Kargbo, Jr. of the Chersola Venture owns a 300 acre farm land in Bong County and has a passion for agriculture. He says, over the years, he has seen truckloads of animals being transported to Liberia from other Countries.
According to Alfred, he’s in the business of animal husbandry where 100 acres of the land is tailored towards large scale livestock production.
He says, his business which has a workforce of 16 people, is also into crayfish and catfish and supplies restaurants on a regular basis.
Kargbo thanked UNDP/TEF for the opportunity afforded him to improve and boost his business, as Liberia works towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Liberians have potential and there is a need to identify meaningful opportunities and resources that will help promote the growth and development of Liberian owned businesses.
At the same time, Joseph Pambu, Jr the second recipient of the US$5,000 grant, owns and operates a computer education program for young people within the Hotel Africa area in Monrovia.
Joseph says his team of five people intends to take computer training to the doorsteps of schools operating in the community.
According to him, they take advantage of international competitions to help boost their computer training programme and have set up an e-learning platform.
Pambu is grateful to UNDP /TEF initiative for such an opportunity to improve his ICT programme. His dream is to establish a mobile computer training programme that will move from community to community to give young people the chance to gain computer knowledge.
“We are now in a world where technology plays a pivotal role and it’s important that young people acquire the skills and knowledge to be able to compete,” Pambu noted.
Turning over the checks to the recipients, UNDP Acting Country Director and Deputy Country Director for Programme Cleophas Torori, encouraged the two entrepreneurs to continue on the path of making their businesses better and not to give up when faced with challenges.
Mr. Torori noted that Liberia’s business environment needs to be exploited by young Liberian entrepreneurs with meaningful ventures that would keep the market competitive.
“You are on the pathway to success, and I would like to encourage you to take it step by step as you strive to invest in your economy, which is the best way to go,” Torori emphasized.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and UNDP Africa through its Regional Service Center for Africa (RSCA) committed in 2018 to supporting 40 budding entrepreneurs.
40 beneficiaries were enrolled in a 10 week training programme to prepare them to launch their startups.
The business ideas and plans developed by these entrepreneurs were reviewed by Accenture Development Partners (ADP) allowing them to qualify and proceed to the next stage.
The training helped these budding entrepreneurs to re-identify the problem(s) they intend to solve with their business ideas, scope the size of the market, further develop the products/services of their businesses, assign product prices and commence the structuring of their businesses, among others.