Freetown Pitch Night- A Critical Element in an Entrepreneurship Ecosystem
The Freetown Pitch is more than a night where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas. It is a platform for them to connect, build their network and crucially, demonstrate their innovative abilities.
The Freetown Pitch Night is part of efforts to build an ecosystem in Sierra Leone that will support a new breed of entrepreneurs-value creating entrepreneurs.
An entrepreneurship ecosystem “refers to the elements – individuals, events, organizations or institutions – outside the individual entrepreneur that are conducive to, or inhibitive of, the choice of a person to become an entrepreneur, or the probabilities of his or her success following launch. (wiki)
It is fair to say that at worst, we lack an ecosystem that supports entrepreneurs, and at best what we have for an ecosystem is at a birth stage. The diagram depicts an Ecosystem. The Freetown Pitch Night is part of the Networking Asset (Gathering places).
Value creating entrepreneurs (as opposed to rent seeking entrepreneurs) need an ecosystem that would allow them to flourish. We are beginning to now see the slow emergence of a significant number of such entrepreneurs. At the August Pitch Night, we witnessed three innovators in the Circular Economy. These entrepreneurs where turning waste to wealth, not only creating value for themselves, but for society as whole.
There are several entrepreneurship value creating styles. In essence, value creating entrepreneurs seek to create value for society, seek a higher purpose than simply making money. These entrepreneurs have a clear blue print for their company’s genuine contribution to our society. Further, the entrepreneur’s existence is reflected in the products and services they create and how their company operates.
This is the opposite of a rent seeking entrepreneur which is defined as the use of the resources of a company, an organization or an individual to obtain economic gain from others without reciprocating any benefits to society through wealth creation.
Freetown Pitch Night provides opportunities to enhance the development of a new breed of value creating entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone; entrepreneurs that will create world class products and services while addressing local needs.