The Freetown Pitch Night is part of efforts to build an ecosystem in Sierra Leone that will support a new breed of entrepreneurs-value creating entrepreneurs.
Value creating entrepreneurs need an ecosystem that would allow them to flourish. We are beginning to now see the slow emergence of a significant number of such entrepreneurs.
The Freetown Pitch is more than a night where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas. It is a platform for them to connect, build their network and crucially demonstrate their innovative abilities.
Therefore, (a) it is critical that the Pitch Night collaborates and indeed build partnerships with other organizations working entrepreneurs. Such work can includes but not limited, strengthen the entrepreneurs understanding of linkages, making the entrepreneur and the enterprise investment ready and building the competitive advantages of the enterprise;
(b)that entrepreneurs that participate at the Pitch Night are profiled (to be published on our websites), and are followed up for support, and enrollment to possible suitable programs, enabling them to further develop their business.
Given points and A and B above, Cordaid becomes a crucial partner. Cordaid provides business development support (BDS) and finance to selected small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
A partnership with Cordaid provides opportunities to enhance the development of a new breed of value creating entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone; entrepreneurs that will create world class products and services while addressing local needs.
Sierra Leone lacks an ecosystem to support these new breed of entrepreneurs.
This partnership is part a bigger and concerted efforts our organization, yours and others are undertaking to build a vibrant and sustainable entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Cordaid, an international development organization combines more than 90 years' experience. In fragile and conflict areas Cordaid rebuilds trust, resilience and self-reliance. We equip and empower local communities to set their peace and development agendas and become leaders of social transformation. We stimulate women’s leadership programs and we have a strong focus on entrepreneurs and youth, as we believe they are key change agents in establishing peace and prosperity.
Cordaid in Sierra Leone
It is crucially important that women and children be given more security and better rights. In conjunction with its local partners, Cordaid is providing legal support and is lobbying for more female influence on decision-making about security. To improve the health and welfare of women and children, we work for better healthcare and education, with an emphasis on the area of sexuality and pregnancy, as well as guaranteeing social security, for example through promoting birth registration. Cordaid is also helping small-scale (female) farmers to be entrepreneurs and to increase their income. Where land is leased to third parties, it may lead to the loss of employment and income. Cordaid is helping farmers to organize themselves and to ensure they can participate in decision-making processes pertaining to land use and the distribution of income.
Cordaid wants to extend microcredit loans to poor entrepreneurs so they get the chance to start up their own companies and earn a living. Thanks to the repayments and interest paid on these microcredit loans, more and more people are getting the chance to invest. In other words: sustainable growth. However, the few microfinance institutions that there are in the country are too weak, meaning that only two percent of poor people can make use of such financial services. This is why Cordaid is helping these lenders to become professional, independent organizations.