Amid instability entrepreneurship still finds its way in Mali
20 Nov 2013

Despite the ongoing political and security crisis in Mali, the country is hosting Global Entrepreneurship Week for the first time in its history. This first edition aims at highlighting an alternative way forward for the people of the country.

GEW Mali host Renaud Gaudin of Jokko Labs tells us about one particularly interesting event called The Barcamp in Bamako.

The Barcamp will be a Premiere in Bamako where people are used to work isolated and the only gatherings are supported by the government or NGOs. We decided to go the other way around, by organizing an informal event, with no formal invitations: only word of mouth, social networks, Internet. We said it loud, it will be about sharing: sharing experience, sharing difficulties and successes. We want this event to be transparent. We want participants to know what it is like to be an entrepreneur in today's Mali and what are the shortcuts to success; but we also want the officials to hear our struggles.

Gaudin reports that “most people we got in touch with were intrigued; and scared. Mali's entrepreneurship has always been about secrecy but still, some well-established entrepreneurs answered the call and are very excited to share.” The Barcamp will be taking place on Thursday the 21st from 9am – 1pm and there are multiple Ministers expected to stop by “to witness the change happening in Mali”.

Other events planned during the week include:

  • A week full free access for all to Jokko Labs, the one and only co-working place of Mali
  • A conference on entrepreneurship and economy on Saturday 23rd