Freetown, Sierra Leone, December 3,
2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, together with a number
of development partners, today launched a business plan competition in
Sierra Leone designed to boost entrepreneurship in the country and help
create jobs, especially among young men and women.
The Business Bomba Competition II is
open to anyone in Sierra Leone with a good business idea and is backed
by IFC, along with the Soros Economic Development Foundation, the German
Development Agency (GTZ) and the United Kingdom’s Development Agency (DFID).
The competition is also backed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
IFC will use its world-class Business
Edge™ training tool, a comprehensive range of practical and flexible management
training solutions, to help 60 finalists develop business plans, and learn
proper bookkeeping, customer service management, marketing, and how to
work with a budget.
Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC Country Representative
for Sierra Leone and Liberia, said, “IFC supports small business development
as an engine for economic growth. This competition encourages entrepreneurial
initiative and creativity, which will help drive Sierra Leone’s private
sector. We encourage other local financial institutions to support these
fledgling entrepreneurs in establishing solid and successful businesses.”
Entrants can register for the competition
until January 14, 2011 at locations across Sierra Leone, which will be
publicized on print, television, and radio. Ten winners will be announced
in April, 2011. Prizes include seed capital to start a business. The first
prize is $25,000. All winners must officially register their businesses
to receive the prize money.
An independent panel from financial
institutions, the private sector, and universities will select the winners.
Through this competition, IFC and its
partners are helping provide young entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone with the
tools necessary to obtain the financing and advice they need to grow their
businesses and enter the formal sector so they can contribute to the country’s
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create
opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do
so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply
essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering
advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global
economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion
in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Business Edge™
“Business Edge” is IFC’s comprehensive
range of practical and flexible management training solutions, specially
designed to improve the performance of small and medium firms and middle
management of corporate firms. To date, Business Edge has been rolled out
in more than 30 countries and more than 120,000 entrepreneurs were trained
through a network of 350 certified trainers. Flexible in its application,
Business Edge is reducing the skills gap of very different populations,
often underserved or not served at all. Twenty-four percent of all BE trainees
are women, IDA and conflict affected countries represent 59 percent. For
more information, visit www.businessedge-africa.com.