By Simeon S. Wiakanty
The Business Startup Center (BSC) – Monrovia has launched an entrepreneurship idol business competition in Monrovia. The competition was lunched over the weekend at the UL Auditorium on Capitol Hill. The program brought together partners representing the German Embassy near Monrovia, representatives from the Liberia Chambers of Commerce and many young Liberians who want to be entrepreneurs following the successful completion of the requirements of the competition.
BSC-Monrovia is a local business development service provider with support from the German Embassy near Monrovia and the Liberia Chamber of Commerce. The organization was established in 2010 with the aim of promoting and supporting small to medium size businesses in Liberia. For the competition, BSC-Monrovia will bring on board young potential Liberian entrepreneurs who have good business ideas but lack the opportunity to start or manage a business.
Speaking at the official lunch of the competition, the director of the BSC program, Mr. William R. Dennis, II., told the audience that BSC’s major focus is to see small to medium size enterprises in Liberia become stronger, adding: “That’s why BSC over the years has been providing support to young Liberian entrepreneurs through a competition.” Mr. Dennis pointed out that economically Liberian businesses have been dominated by the public sector, or government, and said “strengthening the private sector will make small to medium businesses strong.” He stressed further that for the Liberian economy to be successful and strong, there is a need to focus on small businesses in the country.
The BSC-Monrovia director disclosed that the pending competition will provide the winners the opportunity to undergo training that will enable them to understand the concept of Business Ideas Generation (BIG). According to him, the training will also help them know how to start a business. He pointed out that if the young entrepreneurs understand the content of developing a business and how it benefits their ventures, “then it will improve standards.”
Speaking to the many young hopefuls at the launch, Dennis said: “Many successful young Liberian entrepreneurs you see here today went through the same competition that you are about to be a part of. I encourage you to take advantage of this business opportunity and become one of Liberia’s biggest entrepreneurs.”
The competition, according to the director, is open to the public and is expected to kick off in October this year.
Meanwhile, during the official lunch of the competition one of the beneficiaries of the BSC program who shared his experience with some of this year’s hopefuls, said there are many ways to startup a business, but the first step is to come up a good business idea that will create an environment for others to benefit. Mahmud Johnson of J-Palm Liberia, who specializes in the sale and production of products derived from palm and palm kernel oil, said it was the good business idea that he put forth during the competition that got him to where he is today. Johnson thanked BSC-Monrovia and its partners for the level of support to him and other successful Liberian entrepreneurs, and encouraged other potential Liberian entrepreneurs to take the competition very seriously as they too may give their testimonies someday.
Those interested to enter the business idea competition can do so by filling out an application form at the BSC-Monrovia office at the UL campus on Capitol Hill (Former Warehouse, IT Building, UL).