April 2022: Delegation visit to the Young Entrepreneurship Program
In April, the association's board and delegation, which consisted of 10 dedicated friends and supporters, had the opportunity to meet with the winners of the first edition of our business plan competition for IT entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone. All three winning teams were present to share what kind of businesses they are running and how FSL's support can help in the development of their businesses. Through the Young Entrepreneurship Program, business plan competition winners receive access to funding to grow their businesses or business ideas. In addition, we mentor, advise and support the teams for a year after they win. This is designed to help the teams achieve enough stability to continue growing on their own. Guests included the first place winners (Mohamed Bah and his team with the Kargoplus e-logistics platform), the second place winners (Kharifa Kumara and his team with Dreamday Technology Limited), and the third place winners (Joseph Garrick and his team from the Dope Mall online store). All teams thanked the Board of Directors for their generous support and promised to continue working hard for the success of their companies.
January 2022: Workshop for the winning teams.
We started the new year by organizing a workshop for all winning teams. The winning team was presented with a letter of intent to officially join the FSL Young Entrepreneurship Program. They also received a third of the total prize money and a notebook each for their work.
December 2021: Winners selected
The application phase of the competition ended in November 2021, and applications were judged based on an evaluation framework developed by the team. Interviews began on December 15, 2021, and of the valid applications, 26 teams qualified for the semi-finals. Of these, the top 7 teams were selected for the finals and 3 teams emerged as winners. The award ceremony for all finalists was held on December 22, 2021. At the awards ceremony, the finalists had the opportunity to meet the FSL team and learn more about our other projects, network and share ideas in a relaxed atmosphere.
We are pleased to announce the winners of the Business Plan Contest:
First place: Mohamed Bah and his team with the Kargoplus e-logistics platform.
Second place: Kharifa Kumara and his team running Dreamday Technology Limited, a multifaceted technology company with an online university
Third place: Joseph Garrick and his team from the online store Dope Mall
2021: Application phase started
The application phase has started and the first qualified applications have been received. A campaign with online and radio advertising is set up. We have also distributed the call for applications in our own networks. Our project manager, Simeon Harding, was dispatched on a 3-day trip to visit universities and college campuses to establish contact with representatives as well as hold talks with students about the competition and discuss the work of FSL within the country.
You can find the call for applications here.
2020: Business Plan Competition
FSL decided to arrange a Competition for Information Technology Start-ups in Sierra Leone. The Business Plan Competition is the pilot project under our Young Entrepreneurship Programme and the first ever IT competition of its kind in the country. Entrepreneurs in the field of Information Technology have the opportunity to receive funding to develop their ideas into working businesses. Along with financial prizes, winners also benefit from a one-year business support scholarship; with access to entrepreneurship mentoring, infrastructural support and business advice. Implementation work on the project began in July 2020.
2020: Pioneer for young digital entrepreneurs
The association intends to strengthen the young entrepreneurship in Sierra Leone in the IT sector. During a project seminar at the LMU and based on it, a feasibility study for an entrepreneurship centre in Sierra Leone was conducted and a basic concept was developed. A partner organisation has already been identified on site and the first steps of the cooperation have been clarified.
2019: Feasibility study in progress
Here, for example, individual modules were identified that are to be offered by the Entrepreneurship Center. The focus of the center was determined, and key performance indicators were developed by which the influence of the center can be measured. Our two association members Florian Schardt and Joachim Geitner, who are successful entrepreneurs themselves, have taken the lead for this project and have had numerous discussions with responsible as well as interested parties during their visit in 2019. The next step is to create a feasibility study.