May 18, 2012, 2:48 PM
Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), yesterday commenced a two-day forum on
the first edition of the national start-up for entrepreneurs in The Gambia.
The forum seeks to empower start-ups to boost and connect entrepreneurs in local and international markets.
Oumie Sise Sallah, chairperson of the start- up chapter committee said the event brought together enthusiastic efforts of youths and entrepreneurs to set up businesses, create improved livelihoods and contribute to the global community and the social economic development of The Gambia.
She said the fundamental legal requirement of starting a business includes registering with the GCCI and other associations which she believes have the potential to open up access to capacity building opportunities, finance and other linkages.
She urged participants to register their businesses to have access to opportunities and new dimensions. “A substantial number of start-ups have been registered within a decade and a significant percentage of these start- ups are youth and women,” she said.
She said GCCI has lots of available recourses in the forms of information, links to capacity building recourses, business advisory and connection networks. “Support have undoubtedly been made in guiding and aiding the growth of start-ups in the last few years.”
Madam Sallah also urged participants to make the two days forum an interactive learning and self-building point for each other.
Modou Njie, a member of the GCCI start-up chapter said networking and peer review of products and services is very essential hence the knowledge or resources shared on any relevant or business information could help start-ups build significant linkages. “Part of the objectives of the chapter is to improve collaboration amongst members,” he said.
While sharing the experience of his ‘start-up journey’ founder of Tropingo Foods, Monaar Taal, said 77% of the people are in to business but yet still undeveloped.
“For entrepreneurs to attract more customers, they need to be actively involved in business. Be curious, and don’t be lazy, that is how you find your customers,” he said.
He further urged the entrepreneurs to be honest, saying that can help greatly in the growth of a business can open door ways to better opportunities. “Empower others. It helps you get more power,” Taal said, adding that start-ups should continue the struggle as there is no successful business without struggles.
Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a voluntary private sector organization whose membership is made up of companies from all sectors of The Gambia business. It was founded in 1967 as a result of the union between the Gambia employer’s organization and the Bathurst (now Banjul) chamber.