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Promoting entrepreneurship

Oct 22, 2014, 9:54 AM

In light of registering business growth, trade and export drive, as well as economic development in The Gambia, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE), together with GIEPA, UNDP, NEDI, AmCham, GCCI and GCCP, has presented a national business plan competition to unlock new business ideas, solutions and opportunities by awarding the best business plans and ideas ready to be commercialized and have the potential to create employment opportunities.

By producing a credible business plan and presenting it persuasively to an eminent panel of judges, after the deadline for business plan submission, contestants will significantly enhance their chances to secure funding to start their own businesses, grow wealth, create employment, alleviate povertyandcontribute to national development.

In addition to finances, winners will be given additional support and guidance on how to improve their plans and put them into action, a statement by the promoters of the competition said.

It is really encouraging having such an initiative up and running, as the super highway to growth and national development is promoting entrepreneurship and MSMEs - Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

Hence a national business plan competition for MSMEs will indeed unlock new business ideas, solutions and opportunities. It will uplift entrepreneurship, promote investment, trade and export. Such an initiative would continue to foster development dreams and turn dreams and aspirations into reality.

While this initiative encourages investment, jobs are created, tax and revenue generated, and poverty alleviated.

In launching the annual Business Plan Competition recently, the trade minister said: “We all know that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) play a crucial role in the socio-economic development of countries around the world. They provide employment opportunities both in rural areas and thus serve as an effective means of fighting poverty through employment generation, livelihood enhancement and providing the avenue for entrepreneurship development and growth. It has been recognized that the development of this sector serves as a sure conduit to attaining increased growth and employment, as well as a higher standard of living.”

The minister also said that in an increasingly competitive global economy, creativity, innovation, and a willingness to take calculated risks are becoming the coveted skills for the new breed of entrepreneurs.

Economic management in a given country has to respond to the particular circumstances on the ground.

If we in The Gambia are determined to improve our standard of living, we need to shift our dreams away from the ‘large’ businesses and begin to respect the small entrepreneur. It is said a nation’s greatest business asset is its stock of small-scale entrepreneurs, who are the initiators, risk takers, financiers and those who set up enterprises.

Hence without entrepreneurs, the engine of economic growth in a country would not be fuelled or greased to keep it in swift and accelerated motion.

Today, entrepreneurs are the modern heroes of the world, because those who have fresh dreams and ideas and know how to turn them into reality command the highest salaries.

So our young and upcoming entrepreneurs, especially, have been challenged to make use of good things.

“What is great about entrepreneurship is that entrepreneurs create the tangible from the intangible.”

Robert Herjavec