September 4, 2017
Local entrepreneurs, business leaders and government officials gathered on Tuesday (29 August) to celebrate the progress made through the UK funded Sierra Leone Opportunities for Business Action (SOBA), has supported businesses across Sierra Leone to create jobs and increase the income of Sierra Leoneans. The Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry and the British High Commissioner were keynote speakers at the event.
The SOBA initiative has provided specialist business advice to 59 businesses across the country, including poultry farmers, seed and fertilizer vendors, and solar product distributors, targeted because of their importance to regular households and smallholder farmers. Thanks to SOBA’s support, businesses have invested nearly USD$ 6 million in improved products and services, resulting in 47,000 people across Sierra Leone increasing their monthly incomes.
These great results are owed to the investment and commitment of Sierra Leone’s small and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Their willingness to take risks and to introduce innovative new business models will benefit women and men across Sierra Leone. The Government of Sierra Leone was also a crucial partner for the programme, supporting policy changes and piloting initiatives that will ensure private sector-led growth into the future.
SOBA has been working to develop the private sector in Sierra Lone since 2013. The British High Commissioner, Guy Warrington said “initiatives like SOBA are part of the UK’s commitment to helping Sierra Leone pursue a long-term development path, away from aid and towards home-grown economic growth and prosperity that benefits all.” The SOBA initiative has demonstrated that developing the private sector can result in large scale impact on all Sierra Leoneans. Ultimately, it will be Sierra Leone’s businesses and entrepreneurs that drive tomorrow’s growth.