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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Amcham restates commitments to entrepreneurship development

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At a press briefing held yesterday at the Sahel Plaza marking the start of the Global Entreprenuership Week, the organisation stressed that women and youth in the country needed to focus on creating sustainable and trans-generational businesses.

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Abdoulie Baks Touray, president of Amcham told journalists: “It is basically to showcase the role of entrepreneurs in fostering socio-economic development across the globe. The program is funded by the Kaufman Foundation with its headquarters based in Kansas City, USA. It has benefited from an endowment of 2 billion dollars and this is one of its major activities. Each year, we come up with a theme and this year the theme is; ‘Women in Entrepreneurship and Angels Investing.’ Female entrepreneurship will take centre-stage this November and Women Entrepreneurship Day will be launched on November 19. The day is an opportunity to celebrate, engage and empower female entrepreneurs. There are VIPs such as Michelle Obama who will talk on the theme for this year as well as conduct programmes in different countries including The Gambia. 

“For The Gambia, we have a theme for the Women Entrepreneurship Day called: ‘The role of Insurance as an Instrument for Sustainable Business Development.’  When we look around, we did realise that the insurance industry has really been a pacesetter in terms of promoting the advancement of women entrepreneurs. We have taken note that out of the 11 insurance companies that are operating in The Gambia, all are private sector companies and of these 11, 4 are headed by women entreprenuers. These include Great Alliance Insurance Company, International Insurance Company, Royal Insurance Company as well as Takaful Insurance Company. We will be having a programme to indicate that women are indeed  trailblazers as far as the insurance business landscape is concerned.”

Kebba Njie, the chief executive officer in his address said there is need to focus on creating businesses, growing them, and a mind shift to make start-ups and existing ventures sustainable and trans-generational.

“This week is celebrated in over 150 countries including The Gambia. You will recall that in August this year, the American Chamber of Commerce organised for the first time a Youth Entreprenuership Week. This was geared towards promoting youth entrepreneurship and giving them the confidence to become employment creators. That is the direction that we should all take and that is the role of AmCham. We want to make sure that the youth are properly prepared to become leaders in the private sector. We have seen success stories and we should be able to do better. Having seen the young people of this country and the promising nature of their involvement in enterprise development, we at AmCham will make sure that we support them.” 

Alieu Jallow, the business development and entrepreneurship affairs manager of AmCham explained that his institution takes aim at assisting young people to become successful entrepreneurs. 

“Recently, we conducted the Youth Entrepreneurship Week which was a success and during the closing ceremony, we had the privilege to announce the issuance of a grant for a startup incubation project. This is geared towards assisting young people start their businesses from the grassroots. The programme is one of many interventions that the AmCham and the US Embassy brought for Gambian youth. It is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and job creation for the majority of the country’s youth. This will give them a platform where they can venture into tangible and scalable businesses. We have realised that there are a lot of startup failures in businesses of about 80 percent but this programme will serve as a guide and build their capacities.”   


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