Dare2Aspire: Women in Entrepreneurship
Stevens George
19 Nov 2019

Global Entrepreneurship Week

Dare 2 Aspire – Women in Entrepreneurship

Wednesday 20th November 2019

Hotel Cabenda, 14B  Signal Hill Rd

Time: 12 noon -2100hrs




Sierra Leone’s women represent a large untapped market as emerging business leaders. 52.8% of our youth population are women.  Investment in entrepreneurship targeting female as well as male youth is critical to ensure Sierra Leone can harness its demographic dividend.

Entrepreneurship is important from the perspective of job creation, private sector development, and wealth creation. Women’s participation in entrepreneurship can enhance the expansion of these economic goods and simultaneously lead to less inequality.

Businesses owned and managed by women are different from businesses owned and managed by men.  The gender specialisation that appears in the labour market is reflected in entrepreneurship as well.   Whether this reflects preferences or is the result of constraints placed on women is uncertain.

Increasing women’s participation in entrepreneurship necessitates improved access to credit facilities, and investment in sectors with high job-multiplier effects, including Information and Communications, Technology (ICT), manufacturing, agriculture and agro-industries in order to generate employment and spur inclusive growth.

Sierra Leone’s private sector is characterized by a large number of micro-enterprises, official estimates indicate that only 5 percent of the economic workforce is in paid formal sector. This means that 95 percent of the economy is in the informal sector.

Approximately 84 percent of rural women and 63 percent of urban women operate micro-enterprises such as small-scale farming, table-top trading, artisanal mining, and small-scale fishing.

Avenues by which small business owners can acquire much needed business skills, loan finance and other key financial services are not well developed; demand for business management skills goes unmet.


Global Entrepreneurship Week

During one week each November, thousands of events and competitions in 170 countries inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. Powered by the Kauffman Foundation, the initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a network of more than 15,000 partner organizations. GEW is held November 18th-24th, 2019.

Innovation SL Limited is the affiliate of GEN Global in Sierra Leone (GEN SL) and the national host of GEW Sierra Leone 2019.  GEN SL and Innovation SL together with their key partners is organizing a range of activities for GEW in Sierra Leone.  One of these will be specifically focused on women in entrepreneurship in Sierra Leone.

Dare 2 Aspire – Women in Entrepreneurship, Fashion as an alternative Career path

This year’s event will be divided into two segments:

Segment I: 12noon to 5pm.

The first segment will consist of a It will consist of:

  1. A mini expo of women owned businesses
  2. Financial inclusion clinic for women entrepreneurs
  3. A series of talks on women in entrepreneurship related issues
  4. A junior pitch event consisting of a panel of women entrepreneur.

A mini expo of women owned businesses

Set up on the terraces of the Hotel Cabenda, a mini women-owned trade fair will allow them to meet prospective new clients, network and showcase their goods and services. 

Financial inclusion clinic for women entrepreneurs

Representatives from banks, women focused grants and funding aimed at women can provide advice to women in 5 minute slots in a quiet corner or separate room.

Junior Women’s pitch

Junior Pitchers- 4-6 schoolgirls get the opportunity to pitch to the panel.  This would act as an educational opportunity in that the pitchers would gain experience in developing a viable idea, putting together a pitch PowerPoint, and presenting to a panel.  This could be an effective in-road to encouraging young women to think seriously about entrepreneurship as a career and encouraging schools and students to consider Pitch Night Clubs in schools, as part of a business studies curriculum. 


Segment II: 5pm to 9pm.


Fashion as Alternative Career Path

  • This event will feature three speakers from the fashion industry.
  • Event will be moderated by Phebean Swill a renowned TV/Radio presenter and actor.
  • All the talks will focus on career paths and opportunities, tailored to careers in the area of expertise of the speakers

Women’s Pitch Night- Fashion

  • A fashion theme pitch night.
  • Panel: 4-6 women who are successful entrepreneurs, designers, fashion experts and, business development experts.  
  • Pitchers: 4-6 young women (25-35).  

Francis Stevens George

Managing Director | GEN Sierra Leone

Current: MD GEN Sierra Leone/ CEO Innovation Sierra Leone: I have cross industry experience, having worked in the primary, secondary, knowledge… More