Meet the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Sierra Leone.
An Entrepreneurship Ecosystem is ‘a set of interconnected entrepreneurial actors, entrepreneurial organisations, institutions and entrepreneurial processes, which formally and informally coalesce to connect, mediate and govern the performance within the local entrepreneurial environment
Entrepreneurship Ecosystems facilitate the creation of environments conducive to collaboration, synergy, networking and internationalisation.
Evidence shows that domestic and foreign investors are attracted to sectors with strong entrepreneurship ecosystems, such as tech and innovation.
Inspired by research on the importance of entrepreneurship for sustained economic growth and improved well-being, especially in a country that has suffered eleven years of war, Ebola Epidemic, and recently mudslide, Sensi introduced the Impact Investing programme in order to invest in businesses, organizations and funds that have the potential to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. And to also support entrepreneurs that are working to build relationships between business and the issues around them.
Sensi Impact Fund – identifies and supports best-in-class entrepreneurs who are scaling systematic change by making better quality products and services more affordable, developing business solutions with environmental impacts, developing businesses that improve quality of life of all Sierra Leoneans through employment generation, developing tools that grow small businesses, and creating information chains to facilitate market transparencies and opening up supply.
This is done by providing them access to capital and push them in the direction where they can build a more sustainable economy.
Sensi currently supports twenty (26) businesses and start-ups in Sierra Leone under its Firestarter programme otherwise known as the Impact Investing Fund. All of these businesses explore at least one of areas like environment, media, technology, fashion, social goods and Agri-business.
This Impact investing is an excellent tool to solve very complex problems in our societies. That’s, it offers sensi the market-based solutions to the numerous social and environmental challenges we intend to address. Comparatively, these businesses are doing well.
We have hosted a two-day workshop between 23rd and 24th May 2019 for these businesses, in order to evaluate their challenges, progresses made so far, and their next plan of activities.
The workshop also provided these grantees with the platform to give a highlight of their businesses, how far they have come as a brand, and to tell their success stories for themselves.The workshop also provided the entrepreneurs with the platform to engage themselves in a consultative team discussion. The outcome of their deliberation resonates well with how they hope to see the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Sierra Leone in the coming years ahead. These hopes include greater access to financial grants and loan with minimum interest rates both from government and other financial institutions, enforcement of local content policies and the support of expansion and growth local entrepreneurs by government, improvement infrastructure such as electricity, warehousing, pipe born water and good road roads, opportunities for local entrepreneurship training and international exposure, better laws and the reduction of tax for local entrepreneurs, economic stability and the decentralization of core business functions and the creation of an enabling environment for businesses in Sierra Leone.
These recommendations, if taken into the considerations, will boost the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Thus, promote substantial economic growth in Sierra Leone.