By Aisha Tamba & Zainab Sesay
Youth Empowerment Project (Yep) in partnership with the Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency, GIEPA, and the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) recently established ‘the soft launch’ of the Gambia Angel Investors Network (Gain).
The network is a global partner-program that aims to offer opportunities and financial modelling for Gambian start-ups and entrepreneurs.
The initiative launched in several countries across the continent would seek to provide entrepreneurs a global platform to push and share their business ideas with other Angel investors, and capital venture partnerships in the world.
The launch, held at a local hotel in Bakau, was preceded by a two-day convergence on Angel investment for individual investors and investment readiness for businesses.
At least 60 participants from a variety of public and private organisations including investors, entrepreneurs and international organisations gathered for the event.
Officials say the Gain will bring a wide-range of opportunities for Gambia’s start-ups and high growth businesses thus open more doors for economic development.
GIEPA CEO, Hassan Jallow, said the establishment of the network would join the country to the largest community of the world’s equity investment market which he said would enable our entrepreneurs to connect and access with global investor markets.
“Today an Angel investor firm is established, tomorrow and beyond we are eyeing to have more incubator centres accelerators private equity funds, co-investment funds, technology parks, agro parks, corporate venture etcetera.”
He added that this will expand opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Muhammed Jagne, a Business development officer, who spoke on behalf of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Alieu Secka, said Gain comes with huge opportunities for Gambian youths to explore.
He urged them to learn from the experiences of successful entrepreneurs to help grow their young businesses.
“Business leaders in the country have already shown interest in their willingness to support the implementation of Gain, which demonstrates a lot of promise and benefits this new network will provide to young entrepreneurs in The Gambia”
Raimund Moser, project manager of Yep, said he was excited at the coming of the initiative, adding that it was long overdue.