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DRAFT: Business Plan Competition for start-ups in IT

3 winning teams that pursue their dream of an IT-start-up to be selected for a 1 year kickstart-program including financial scholarship

1. Summary

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Start your entrepreneurial career by participating in Sierra Leones first business plan competition for IT-Startups, organized and accompanied by successful entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone and Germany! Open to residents in Sierra Leone and the entrepreneurship community we are searching promising business ideas or IT-Startups that use any kind of information technology (IT). From all applications there are 3 winning teams selected to develop their business dreams into reality. Every winning team will be part of a program that includes a scholarship over 12 months with financial aid, access to trainings and infrastructure. The aim of the program is to form your business plan into a company, develop first products, win first customers and be able to get further external financing if needed.

2. Who can apply

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We would like to motivate young entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial teams to join the competition in order to enhance their entrepreneurial skills and – finally – start their own business. The business idea should be in the IT sector and every applicant has to be resident of Sierra Leone. Applications are accepted from single entrepreneurs as well as from teams. The minimum requirement: Your business idea should be in the IT sector in the broadest sense (the product or service relies on computers, smartphones or similar, in case of doubt we are open to interpret that broadly).

3. Application & Deadlines

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Application deadline is 31st of July 2021. Every application has to be submitted to info@bplan.sl and include a business plan document. This business plan (document) has to be a pintable PDF file and clearly identify/include the following:

  • executive summary
  • general company description
  • the opportunity
  • industry and market
  • your strategy
  • the team (management & organisation)
  • a marketing plan
  • operational plan
  • financial plan
  • appendix (optional)

 

The evaluation of the applications will be taking part in rounds:

  • first evaluation done until 10th of August 2021.
  • the selected teams will then proceed to the next round as Semi-Finalists and will have a short interview with a member of organization until 17th August 2021.
  • the final teams will have a (virtual) interview with board members and founders from Germany until 24th August 2021.
  • The 3 winnings teams will be announces by end of August 2021 and the one year program starts 1st of September 2021.

 

4. Prizes & Conditions

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A) Prizes:

1st place: 3.000 US $ (2.500 $ funds + 1 notebook)

2nd place: 2.500 US $ (2.000 $ funds + 1 notebook)

3rd place: 2.250 US $ (1.750 $ funds + 1 notebook) B)

B) Conditions: Together with every winning team we will define a plan for the 1 year program including individual milestones for every 4 months. The teams will have 2 intermediate and 1 final presentation. The funds are intended to be allocated by 1/3 for the start and after every intermediate presentation. The teams are free to use the funds in any useful purpose for their business in consultation with FSL Company Limited.

5. About us & Contact

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FSL Company Limited is the national subsidiary of Für Sierra Leone e.V., founded in 2013 by committed and African- interested citizens from Bavaria (Germany) and Sierra Leone. All projects focus on transparency, traceability and sustainability. 

In case of any questions please contact Mr. Joseph Cole Jr. per Email via info@bplan.sl.

Mr. Joseph Cole Jr. (Managing Director) FSL Company Limited C/O Lenap Services BDO 12 Wilberforce Street Freetown 

5. FAQ

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• Do participants need to be private individuals or a legal entity to apply? Participants are not required to have incorporated their business but can. Also individual persons or teams can apply. Teams should not consist of more than 5 individuals.

• Do you accept paper copies of the business plan or other materials? No. This is a paperless submission competition, all documents must be provided via Email. The business plan must be submitted as a single document in a printable PDF format.

• Are there any restrictions on the business plan length plus appendix? No there are no hard restrictions. But we recommend a length with max 12-20 pages including appendix and the executive summary (itself max. 1-2 pages).

• Can we display product prototypes for the competition? Yes, you may bring prototypes for the competition and they may be displayed as part of your business plan documented.

• How does my business idea stay protected? Does everyone sign confidentiality agreements? None of the judges or other participants of the BPC are required to sign non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements. Applicants should consider the activities of the event to be in the public domain.

• Is the cash prize guaranteed, what can the funds be used for and how are the funds issued? Yes the full prizes are guaranteed. The teams need to complete the defined milestones. The funds could be used for any business related purpose, e.g. internet subscriptions, IT devices, office rent, membership co-working-space, coachings/trainings, etc.. There has to be a documentation of all used funds. The funds will be provided by an organization member in advance, so that the participants don´t have to cover the expenses in advance in cash in SL or USD.

Is there any obligation to repay funds? No. There are no obligations for the participants regarding any repayments. We are looking for engaged entrepreneurs that see a chance to build their business dream with this program.

• Are there any obligations for the participants after the program? There are no formal obligations for the participants afterwards. The business concepts and businesses belong 100% to the participants. FSL Company Limited and Fuer Sierra Leone e.V. are non-profit oriented and will not have any claims. We highly appreciate to stay in touch with you and your idea.

• Are there any financial programs after the BPC? We are happy to help promising start-ups to find subsequent financing.

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