Tourism Pitch Night Report
Sierra Leone has so many tourist attractions worth adding to your bucket list. I have a couple on mine already. Visit our beaches/ islands, take a dip in sea, go hiking, climb Mount Bintumani. Our must see attractions are not going showcase themselves without us as citizens showing the world what Sierra Leone has to offer. This month’s Pitch Night aims to support the Mayor of Freetown’s target to boost the Tourism sector and create jobs.
Four (4) entrepreneurs had the opportunity to pitch ideas that solve problems that stagnates the growth of our tourism sector in Sierra Leone with a job creation arm to it.
This month’s Pitch Night was hosted at the British Council. At 6:45 PM there were one hundred and fifty plus (150+) attendees, this included the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) SL team, sponsors of Freetown Pitch Night, executives of companies and donor organisations, entrepreneurs, students and young professionals. They were a lively audience.
The event began with Emily Fanday being the MC for the night. Silent prayers were said and gave a run down on the stats of the previous pitch nights. She called on Tony Reilly, Country Director of British Council Sierra Leone who welcomed the audience.
This month’s pitch night was special. We had Her Worship, Yvonne Aki-Sawyer, the Mayor of Freetown as one of the panellists. Estelle Van Eeckhout, Brussels Airlines graced us with her presence again as a panellist alongside Bimbola Carol, Visit Sierra Leone.
The Pitchers were:
Nabie Musa Bangura, Fagira Freedom Tours
Alusine Fambulleh, Sabi Salone Tours
Martin B. Massaquoi, Experiencing Tiwai Island
Nasratu Sesay, Snap Me
Fagira Freedom Tours
Due to the high rate of youth unemployment and short supply of personnel, Sabi Freetong is an initiative that provides standby tour guiding facilities. They aim to train school dropouts and unemployed graduates on basic tour guiding operations and employ them as tour guides. Their focus is on promoting domestic tourism.
Sabi Salone Tours
Sabi Salone Tours seeks to showcase Freetown by providing friendly and educational tours to students and young people. They aim to raise awareness of locals by focusing on domestic tourism.
Experiencing Tiwai Island
Martin and team sees an opportunity from the pains of accessing Tiwai Island for holidays. They aim to promote Tiwai Island and make it easily accessible.
Using digital photography to show the beauty and rich history and heritage of Freetown is definitely key to boosting tourism and this us what snap me does.
The panellists asked the pitchers questions about their business ideas’ financial model, job creation, target market, etc.
A short movie was shown by Xtreme Africa featuring the Lunsar Cycling Team.
After the pitching and questions, the panellists commended and gave feedback on the different pitches.
Finally the Chairman of GENSL, Sheka Forna gave the closing statement and thanked the pitchers, the judges, the sponsors and the audience for making the Pitch Night a successful one.
And of course there was time for food and networking. British Council’s Cassava Bistro is definitely the place to go for food.
Written by Davephine Tholley