Daraja specializes in African inspired bespoke handmade leather bags and apparels.
Daraja has a high growth potential and works with local artisans in Gambia and Senegal by sourcing and producing authentic handmade leather products. Daraja empowers a group of local women tanners that manually process a majority of the leather produced in the Gambia by buying locally tanned leather.
“Welcoming this investment and these expert angels into Daraja’s shareholding and governance is to fuel the business needed to unleash its full growth potential” said Daraja Founder & CEO Adiatou Conteh.
GAIN was set up through technical assistance from the International Trade Centre (ITC) through the European Union funded project the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), support from the African Business Angel Network (ABAN), the Gambia Investment & Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA) and the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI).
The investment involved local angels and from the diaspora. It also welcomed a co-investment facility provided by the ITC through its SheTrades Project, allowing innovative blended finance instruments including equity, quasi equity and grants.
“Being able to catalyze funds from local investors and international donors to invest in an impactful and high growth potential business such as Daraja, is a major step in GAIN’s development mission in the country. The investment will allow Daraja to accelerate its growth in the Gambian and international market” said Adrame Ndione, GAIN Managing Director.
The Daraja deal is the result of continuous GAIN local activities aimed at strengthening the entrepreneurship ecosystem that include pitch sessions, capacity building for entrepreneurs and masterclasses for angels.
"We cannot hope to develop our country unless we have a critical mass of entrepreneurs that are stimulating the economy. That critical mass is only possible with investment. Let us invest in our emerging entrepreneurs!"
Amie Bensouda, Chairperson, GAIN.
GAIN Management team
The Gambia Angel Investors Network (GAIN) is a “non profit” entity set up for the purpose of organizing seed funders (“Business Angels”) to invest in Gambian businesses. GAIN is an association of committed members that provide not only early-stage seed funding but also mentoring for start-up entrepreneurs.
GAIN seeks to spearhead the development of an investment community committed to supporting the development of early stage companies positioned to be future champions of industry in the Gambia.
The International Trade Centre (ITC), with Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the development partner for trade success, is the joint technical cooperation agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations;
ITC, in its aim to contribute to the achievement of the goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, generates sustainable incomes and livelihoods especially for poor households, by connecting enterprises to regional and global markets and enables small business trade success in developing and transition countries by providing, with partners, inclusive and sustainable trade development solutions to the private sector, trade and investment support institutions (TISIs) and policymakers;
ITC is the implementing agency of the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) in The Gambia and SheTrades in The Gambia project. YEP is aiming at skills development and increased employment among youth; SheTrades in The Gambia project is aiming at enabling Gambian women to benefit from economic participation, particularly in the agricultural and textiles and clothing value chains;