In the last week of January, Cordaid inducted the fourth cohort of its Resilient Business Development Services (RBDS) program in Sierra Leone. 12 new Small and Medium Size Enterprises from diverse sectors are taking their business to the next level by joining Cordaid’s business development program.
(January 28, 2019. SMEs and Cordaid PSD team at the induction ceremony.)
Business Development: over 60 SMEs trained
Cordaid ended the third cohort in September 2018, with 30 SMEs graduating. We will now be going into the fourth cycle with over 60 businesses trained. Cordaid, along with its partners have also provided business development programs, trainings, and technical assistance worth over 13 Billion Leones the last three years. These figures show our commitment to building a thriving and sustainable private sector in Sierra Leone.
The overall goal of our private sector development strategy is to develop highly motivated and skilled entrepreneurs, especially in priority sectors.
Mohamed Wurie, Cordaid Private Sector Development Manager
Rigorous selection process
Cordaid is delighted to continue our Resilient Business Development Services (RBDS) program this year. The participating SMEs were chosen through a rigorous selection process, which started in July 2018. Through roadshows, info sessions, talk shows and more, there was a 6 weeks campaign, to search for ambitious entrepreneurs looking to take their business to the next level. Of the numerous applications, and after an on-site field visit, an assessment day and a panel interview, 12 businesses were selected to join the business development program.
Mohamed Wurie, the Private Sector Development Manager, explains the unique strategy of the RBDS program: “The Overall goal of our private sector development strategy is to develop highly motivated and skilled entrepreneurs, especially in priority sectors. We support scalable ventures, with a sustained base of local service providers working with these businesses, and a gradual adoption of new practices by the wider business community.”
The program follows three previous cohorts, with training provided for over 60 SMEs. Key intervention activities for the RBDS Program include:
- Business Training;
- Business Coaching services for all SME owners;
- Peer to Peer Learning;
- Ecosystem Events;
- Technical advisory services from consultants on setting up plans and frameworks in management.
“The benefits I had, cannot be measured”
CEO of Kingtom Bakery, Mr Ibrahim Conteh, was part of the Cohort 2 cycle. He received investment from the investment arm of Cordaid, Cordaid CIMBV and shared his experience with the incoming SMEs: “This is a very valuable program. The benefits I have had, cannot be measured. If you are only willing to apply what you learn from the program, you will definitely see an improvement in your business. I am where I am today in my business because of the Cordaid business development trainings.”
Cordaid in Sierra Leone
Cordaid has been in Sierra Leone for the last 22 years, primarily as a donor for 20 years and as an implementing partner for the past 2,5 years.