Following a series of training of young innovative Liberian entrepreneurs, the Business Startup Center (BSC) Monrovia, with support from the British Embassy near Monrovia and the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, has finally launched its 2017 Entrepreneurship Idol Business Plan Competition.
The final competition brought together 20 innovative entrepreneurs from the agriculture, transport, ICT, and fashion sectors among others. The 20 young innovative entrepreneurs pitched their ideas live on Facebook, KM TV and Hot FM 107.9 presenting various business ideas at the BSC Monrovia office located on the main campus of the University of Liberia.
During a brief remark at the end of the competition, the Director of the Business Startup Center (BSC), William Reide Dennis, II, said after the launch of the first business plan competition, BSC Monrovia has been working with young creative entrepreneurs that can support and start new business ventures in Liberia. He expressed enthusiasm about the level of brilliant ideas pitched by the young entrepreneurs.
“We have been through a rigorous three weeks of training and we did a first live pitch event. This process is going to inspire other young people in the society after seeing their friends pitching their ideas to get support and start their businesses,” he noted.
According to Dennis, BSC Monrovia has launched a lot of business plan competitions across the country and is doing so to promote young innovative Liberian entrepreneurs. He described the competition as different from other similar competitions in Liberia.
“This will make people to understand what BSC Monrovia is all about, what we do, who are our target audience, and the ideas from the young people that will get them started to drive our economy forward,” he clarified.
Dennis said the potential entrepreneurs entered the competition with their own business plans, which were later evaluated to identify the last 20.
Meanwhile, potential entrepreneur Patience Koenig, the CEO of the PK’s Organic Cocoa Company in Montserrado, said she was extremely grateful to be part of the BSC Monrovia business plan competition this year. She disclosed that her dad was a cocoa farmer in Lofa County that fell ill and could not continue with demands of the farm.
“Because of that, I was motivated and decided to find a solution to this problem. I decided to establish this cocoa manufacturing company a year ago that is going to produce affordable and quality cocoa products for low income earners in Liberia,” she added.
According to Koenig, since the company was established she has been able to supply the local market with a minimum of five hundred samples of her products every month, adding: “All of our products are handmade; we really want to grow bigger than this.”
Potential entrepreneur Gladys M. Freeman specializes in the production of pure Liberian honey, and believes that her idea can make a difference. According to Freeman, her company, Pure Liberian Honey (PLH), has been working with over a hundred farmers in beekeeping in Nimba, Lofa, Bomi and Grand Bassa counties, with Nimba County producing the highest.
The PLH head said the group trains the local farmers on how they can better produce their own honey. Like the other potential entrepreneurs, she lauded the British Embassy, Chamber of Commerce and the BSC Monrovia family for the high level of support and opportunity to drive the Liberian economy to another level.