-16 year-old entrepreneur encourages young Liberians to venture in positive activities
Bessing Boaslah, head of the Community Garden, who participated in the Youth Network for Reform (YONER) Liberia 2017/2018 High School Entrepreneurship Competition, has called on Liberian kids to venture in positive activities that will change lives.
She was selected to speak at the launch of this year’s edition of the competition, held November 16, based on her outstanding performances in last year’s mentorship program by being able to gather a team and ensure they produced a garden in the Zubah Town community.
Boaslah’s garden project was the outcome of a business plan under the intensive entrepreneur mentorship initiative of YONER Liberia, for the production of cassava, potatoes and eddoes, as means of helping to feed Liberians.
According to her, the garden was planted but was unsuccessful due to the poor condition of the soil. Boaslah added, “in our project, we planned to start the planting of cassava in the Zubah Town community but, when we tested the soil, we found out that it was not good for the planting of cassava.”
She and her team have resolved to look for a site in another community where the plan will be possible.
Boaslah, a first year student at the Blue Crest University College, indicated that when young Liberians are given the opportunity, they can compete with colleagues in other parts of the world.
She praised the executive director of YONER Liberia, Jarius Andrew Greaves, for the mentorship.
Greaves said the 2018/2019 Edition of the Liberia National High School Entrepreneurship Competition will have over 200 students from Montserrado and Margibi Counties.
Greaves said the mentorship will also provide step-by-step approaches and the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders which include school administrations, the mentored students and their parents.
He said students will compete to make research within their communities, identify challenges and turn those challenges into business concepts and new ideas for a business or social innovative solutions supports, which will support eight of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The eight SDGs include Zero Hunger; Quality Education; Good Health and Well-being; Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Affordable and Clean Energy; Clean Water and Sanitation; Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; and Climate Action unique to Liberia.
Greaves said the 2018-19 Edition, will host a live National Pitch Competition to select 8 winners reflective of the eight SDGs, who will receive cash prizes/awards that will be used to launch their ventures and business ideas to create jobs and generate more revenue while creating social impact.
He told the gathering that over the last three months, YONER Liberia has been building partnerships with high schools in Montserrado and Margbi, and successfully recruited over 200 students across 25 schools, over 100 mentors and formed them into 74 Teams.
Greaves said the National Winner of the competition will travel to the USA to participate in the semifinal round of a competition at the University of Delaware April 13-15, 2019.
The launch of the program brought together students, mentors and parents from Montserrado and Margibi Counties.
YONER Liberia is a non-government organization established in 2008 to build the capacities of young and disadvantaged Liberians into productive citizens. The intensive entrepreneur mentorship initiative of YONER Liberia is intended to train high school students in entrepreneurship to help them graduate form school with the ability to make positive change within the society.