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Incubating New Businesses in Sierra Leone and its Statistics

Incubating New Businesses in Sierra Leone and its Statistics

The semi-finalists have been announced for the second edition of the business plan writing competition, which started in Sierra Leone last year and yielded a star prize winner Eva Roberts (Le75m).  This year’s star prize will be Le100m, and 60 semi finalists are vying for the prize.  They include 34 participants from Freetown and 26 from the provincial areas, comprising 47 men and 13 women.

Business Bomba has played the part of a mini business incubator since inception, encouraging individuals to create business, generate income and employment opportunities and in the process acquire vital life skills for business.

Business incubators nurture baby business until they are ready to mature.  Business Bomba is clearly not fulfilling this role in its entirety, but it is providing some funds for business to start or expand.  It is also helping to position individuals and small business to be able to attract funding from the private sector.

Further down Pademba Road, Ascendant Business Incubators have been providing business advisory and incubation services for small business.  At Ascendant they are creating entrepreneurs, through a combination of technology and education.  The objective of their incubator is principally economic development.  Due to their association with educational institutions and businesses, they are also becoming a means for technology transfer and the commercialization of research.  They aim to stop the brain drain in Sierra Leone by engaging their advisory board which comprises business and community leaders.

Focusing mainly on agriculture and agribusiness, biotechnology and manufacturing and IT, Ascendant works with small business to reduce the incident of failure from the recorded 55% to about 20% of all new businesses.

Offering on-site and off-site services, this business incubator offers shared spaces, office services, business assistance, secretarial services and training.  The major training portfolios include marketing, financial planning, business planning, negotiating and conduction business internationally.

Real life facilitators share real life experiences with participants on the successes of failures of their business and help entrepreneurs to avoid the common pitfalls.

By Thompson Jallow

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