UNIMAK Leads The Way In Building A Sound Entrepreneurial Ecosystem In Sierra Leone

Makeni Business Forum 2015: UNIMAK leads the way in building a sound entrepreneurial ecosystem in Sierra Leone

On Saturday 30th May, the University of Makeni (UNIMAK) organized the 2015 Makeni Business Forum. This annual event takes place within the activities of the Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship, a double-degree executive program for entrepreneurs that UNIMAK offers in partnership with the Catholic University of Milan (Italy).

Over 200 entrepreneurs and business executives attended the event at UNIMAK Hall. The theme was of uttermost importance: "Doing business in Sierra Leone after the Ebola outbreak. Support programs and resources for entrepreneurs".

After the welcoming speeches of fr. Joseph Alimamy Turay (UNIMAK Vice-Chancellor) and Sunkarie Kabba Kamara (Mayor of Makeni City Council), the Master of Ceremony Joe Abass Bangura (CEO of A Call To Business) presented an interesting series of business speakers. Among them: Mary Agboli (IFC-World Bank), Mohamed Tejan-Kella (IFAD), David Alpha Kamara (A Call to Business), Sharron Kelliher (Cordaid), Joseph Lansana (Office of Diaspora Affairs) and Peter Lansana (UNIMAK MBA). The keynote speech was delivered by Hon. Mabinty Daramy, Deputy Minister of Trade & Industry.

Local entrepreneurs showcased their products and services in the "Entrepreneurial Trade Fair" outside UNIMAK Hall. It was the occasion to learn more about businesses such as Binkolo Growth Centre (processing local agriculture products such as cassava, ginger and moringa) or Envirotec Ltd. (a Start-Up producing tiles out of recycled plastic waster) that UNIMAK recently contracted to cobble the Hall outdoor.

The event, supported by Africell (main sponsor), Sierratel and Salone Microfinance Trust, has been a powerful example on how Sierra Leone can build a conducive entrepreneurial ecosystem where information is widely shared. Furthermore, UNIMAK demonstrates how a university can become a sound platform where investors, entrepreneurs and policy-makers find a common ground to collaborate.

In the afternoon, participants of the Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship took their matriculation oath. The first edition of the program has started and will widely contribute to the creation and development of a vibrant indigenous private sector. This MBA, whose start-up in Sierra Leone has been supported by the European Union, is active also in Kenya, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Uganda within the E4impact initiative. It envisions stronger Small and Medium Enterprises able to attract investments, create new jobs, solve local needs and add more value to local products and services.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO: www.e4impact.org

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