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 establishment of business support infrastructure at the County level. It works to strengthen the skills of beneficiary groups: youth, women and small agricultural producers to participate and engage in decision-making to enhance leadership, volunteerism, and community participation.
The Project also works through the establishment of a network of Business Opportunities through Support Services – BOSS Centres – anchored in the County Service Centres, existing business incubation and development services (as part of the Business Development Service network/team as implementers of the project strategy at the County level.
This is in line with the Government’s decentralization policy which is now being accelerated starting with a deconcentration of critical services to the Counties, through the establishment of the County Service Centres. The overall project strategy is also consistent with the Government’s long-term National Vision, which aims to address the socio-political and economic challenges facing the nation and thereby transform Liberia into a middle-income country.
What have We Accomplished So Far?
mplementation of the project started in 2017 with the renovation and furnishing of facilities in 4 piloted counties-Nimba, Bong, Margibi and Grand Bassa, as well as the Center at the Ministry of Commerce which was launched by former President Sirleaf.
The project staff conducted initial business needs assessments and stakeholders mapping in the four counties among 57 businesses comprising about 4,000 employees/members (in cooperatives), own and run by 79% women.
Project Staff which included 4 International Volunteers and 4 nationals developed 6 business development modules to be used as resource materials for capacity development in response to the needs identified.
Over 125 entreprenuers and local service providers and 24 ToT trainees were trained in record and bookkeeping, Business Plan, customer care, and managerial skills.
The project also coached and mentored over 200 business owners in the four counties.
As a result of the training, many of the businesses are reporting evidence of dividends and increased revenues.
The World Best Business Center in Margibi and the Menwo Soap Production House in Nimba have saved hundreds of thousands of Liberian Dollars which they have reinvested to expand their business.