One of The Gambia’s youngest and promising agro-business entrepreneurs has described entrepreneurship as the solution to the problems confronting Africa. She called on her fellow Gambian entrepreneurs to take advantage of the opportunities created by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme.
Mbadibba Jammeh-Cham was speaking in a recent interview with the Daily Observer in Lagos, Nigeria, where she joined her fellow African entrepreneurs for the 2nd annual Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Forum.
The foundation has committed US$100M to empowering and giving start-up seed capital to 10, 000 African entrepreneurs (1000 each year). Mrs Jammeh-Cham is an entrepreneur into agriculture running a registered company called Banana Farm. She is into banana production and is looking ahead venturing into processing excess bananas.
“What we are going to do is to have two varieties; we will use the beverage bananas which people can just eat as fruits, and cook bananas such as plantain”
She maintained that as an entrepreneur who is starting business, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has greatly help to boost her entrepreneurial drive.
“I have been constantly on the internet searching for potential funding or support in any way that could help finance my business idea. I have the idea and knowledge to build the business and strategies but finance was on my neck because farming is very expensive. So I was very lucky to found the Foundation and I registered for the programme and I was lucky to be part of the 1000 successful applicants for the 2016 cohort.”
The young Gambian entrepreneur, who was among 45,000 African entrepreneurs who have applied for the programme this year, expressed delight to be part of the successful entrepreneurs after a rigorous process.
The importance of entrepreneurs to the development of Africa was stressed by policy makers including the President of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma and ex-Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo during the forum.
And for this young Gambian entrepreneur, it was motivating and encouraging to receive motivational statements from African leaders and for believing in the potentials of entrepreneurs.
“The solution to African problem is entrepreneurship.”
When quizzed as to where and when policymakers should come in to actualising the dreams of entrepreneurs, she added; “African policy makers should break down the trade barriers because we need to exchange goods and services as the goods we are importing from Europe is available in the continent.”
She urged Gambian entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to believe in themselves and stand up to bring out the good ideas to transform the continent.
Mbadibba Jammeh-Cham called on all Gambian entrepreneurs to apply for the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme in order to be empowered, mentored, and receive a start-up seed capital from the Foundation.
by Alieu Ceesay back from Lagos, Nigeria