The Liberian Business Start- up Center (BSC) has officially launched its first business “Get in the ring” pitch which allowed eight Liberian entrepreneurs considered the strongest to compete.
"Get in the ring" is a pitch event where eight entrepreneurs are given the chance to compete with one another to see who’s eligible to represent Liberia during the regional “pitch” event expected to take place in Rwanda in September.
Each contestant had to pitch his/her investment concept on five key characteristics, Team, achievements, business models and market, financial and investments propositions and free style.
According to William Reide Dennis, Director of the BSC in Monrovia, each “pitcher” was given one minute in three rounds to convince the juries, and they are evaluated on these five elements mentioned earlier.
“They’ll have to answer questions posed by the jury about their team and all those managing the business.
Also on their achievements, they are asked how many sales they’ve made, how many products or services they’ve offered and how many partnerships they’ve had over the time.
Then they’ll talk about the business models and market in terms of how they make money, what distribution channel they use to distribute their products or services, what the target market is and how many people they’re targeting for their products.
“There’s also the Financial and investments propositions that talk about what investments they are looking for, what do they want to do with that investment.
For instance, if they are looking for $10,000.00, what are they going to do with it? Are they looking for equity or are they looking for loan or a grant,” Mr. Dennis said.
Amongst the “pitchers” was Reginald Taylor, a health fitness instructor who has been in it for over 25 years. Reginald is an entrepreneur who is trying to build a fitness gym so people can exercise.
Angie Howard, who is famous for her cassava, eddo, plantain and other fresh foods, is among the competitors while Amos Sando of Amoscom Computer Services, is also among the pitchers.
Massa Weeks, a young lady who is a website developer for Beyond Creativity Standard technology (BCS) and Darlington Pelle who owns merchandise containing cement, rice and small things, participated as well.
More over, another participant, Shadi Saleh of Caspian Holdings, a company that focuses on water and sanitation had a pretty good fight.
According to Mr. Dennis, “Get in the ring” is organized in 10 countries in Africa.
He said other countries such as South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and most countries from east Africa are also pitching.
“All those people will go and pitch again to have one grand winner from Africa. Its happening in Europe Asia, America and Africa, and one pitcher will come from all these different continents and will go and battle in Holland to find the best one person who has the best pitch. The winner will get about 3,00euro’s, but for now we are starting from the national level, then go to the regional level and later to the international level. Liberia stands a chance to participate there,” Mr. Dennis added.
Meanwhile, Shadi Saleh was able to win the pitch despite having a draw against Mr. Taylor at the semi-finals. He’s into waste management and collecting garbage around the city of Monrovia, and says that he has a contract with the World Bank.
” I feel good and excited and privileged to put Liberia on the map. My past experiences and mistakes, and understanding my business module and marketing environment, was my core strength and is what made me win today. When we first started we were quietly doing our job and performing to know the environment. Now our focus is on mining companies and private companies, we’re still quiet but this time around we’re going to make sure everyone in Liberia knows who Caspian Holdings is.” Mr. Saleh added.