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ECONOMYWATCH: GCCI prepares for 2015 Business Awards Gala Dinner

Apr 22, 2015, 11:28 AM | Article By: Osman Kargbo

The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry is at an advanced stage in preparing for its next Business Awards Gala Dinner scheduled to take place in May this year at the Ocean Bay Hotel in Cape Point, Bakau.

This year’s GBA also gives prominence to The Gambia’s Golden Jubilee or 50-year Independence Anniversary, hence its theme: “Supporting Sustainable Enterprises”

The GCCI annual Business Awards is set out to acknowledge, reward and encourage members of the private sector who have registered remarkable success in their areas of business. 

The occasion has therefore become one of the most treasured annual activities of the private sector apex body in The Gambia

For this year’s Business Awards, GCCI’s secretariat has maintained adoption of stakeholder recommendations as spelt out in its recently concluded impact assessment study of the awards.

As an ever growing event, the Awards ceremony will be further upgraded through maintaining some of its traditional arrangements whilst others “will be amended or removed”.

International dignitaries and top government officials have often been invited as special guests of honour.

For this year’s dinner, the secretariat targets highly placed international personalities and institutions with relevance to business or private sector development to raise the bar on special guests.

These include former Presidents or heads of International organisations related to business, such as Ecobank Group Head (as special guest of honour) and other high profile dignitaries.

Award Council

“The system of awards council that set the criteria for nominees and selected winners in 2014 will be reinstituted,” a statement by the Chamber has indicated, saying the council shall compose academia, civil servants, and members of the private sector, excluding the GCCI.

The award council will include members from the University of The Gambia, Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, DT Associates, and the Gambia Bar Association. This team is also backed by a technical working group.

“However, the secretariat will do all the necessary technical work towards the build-up to the awards; identify potential nominees and profile them, as well as promotion and public awareness of the awards.”

“The Business Development Unit will be the focal point for coordinating activities before, during, and after the event,” the chamber’s statement says.

However, it notes, all facets of the secretariat would need to come on board to achieve the desired results.

Major sponsors behind this year’s awards include EuroGroup (Eagle), Gambia Competitiveness Project, Ecobank, ECOWAS, and Jah Oil.

Business profiles

According to GCCI, profiles of business nominees for the award include but not limited to name and type of business, year of establishment, business activities, reason for being in business, successes in business and business contact details.

“The general public can also nominate businesses for any Award Category,” the statement by the chamber also said, adding that the criteria for nominees take into consideration employment creation (growth rate); financial performance; innovation and competitiveness (product development & administrative efficiency); environmental impact assessment; corporate social responsibility; and tax compliance

Award Categories:

This year’s award categories, as has been the norm over years, are considered on the backdrop of the country’s national economic priorities and other emerging facets of the economy. 

The 2015 Awards categories are therefore set out as follows:  Young Entrepreneur of the Year; Service Provider of the Year; Partnership of the Year; Emerging Business of the Year; Agro Processing Enterprise of the Year; and Sustainable Business of the Year. 

YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR is considered on the basis of age and other business indices, such as 35 years and below; creativity / uniqueness of business idea; financial records; minimum of 10 employees; and homegrown business.

SERVICE PROVIDER OF THE YEAR must have sound customer service ratings; training investment in proportion to turnover; services to MSMEs; quality of service; market coverage; innovation in products/services

PARTNERSHIP OF THE YEAR award must have minimum of 25 years in existence as partners; good Market coverage, and exceptional Corporate Social Responsibility.

EMERGING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR should be a new business in existence within 2 years; have uniqueness & relevance of product/service; maintain good market growth potential, as well as exceptional customer service reviews; and good growth in turnover.

AGRO PROCESSING ENTERPRISE OF THE YEAR is considered on value addition; food quality & safety measures; uniqueness/creativity of products; financial record keeping; use of local raw materials; and export market.

SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR must have minimum of 10 years growth; minimum of 250 employees; minimum of 10 years in existence; exceptional corporate social responsibility; and turnover of D250 million.

National Business Plan Competition

The Awards Gala Dinner will also host the National Business Plan Competition Award 2015, a programme initiated and promoted by Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA), Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE), and Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI).

A package of D1.75 million has been allocated to be disbursed among the best winners of the award.

The first winner will receive D1 million, the second D500,000 and the third D250,000.

“All are needed to support the GBA to recognize and reward Gambia’s best in business, as well as promote growth, product development  and the Gambia’s economy,” the Chamber states.