IFC-FCS AFRICA / CASA PROGRAM

FCS Africa / CASA Program is to strengthen the private sectors of fragile states. FCS Africa / CASA Program provides support through a combination  of initiatives that includes among others a  focus on gender (a ‘gender lens’ is helping ensure IFC projects support women in business).

To this end, FCS Africa / CASA Program has agreed to sponsor “Dare 2 Aspire-Women in Entrepreneurship”

IFC’s CASA Initiative in Sierra Leone

WHAT IS THE CASA INITIATIVE?
IFC’s CASA Initiative, launched in 2008, is helping design and implement integrated strategies specially targeted to support economic recovery in conflict-affected countries. The Initiative is supported by Ireland, the Netherlands, and Norway, while Denmark and Sweden provide additional support in South Sudan and Liberia respectively.

The CASA Initiative focuses on:

• Improving the business environment through regulatory reform

• Strengthening small and medium sized businesses and support institutions, such as chambers of commerce

• Rebuilding financial markets, banks, and other financial institutions

• Increasing private sector involvement in providing and rebuilding infrastructure such as roads, ports, schools, and power stations

CASA’s Support
IFC’s CASA Initiative is helping strengthen smaller businesses in Sierra Leone and is working with the government and private sector partners to introduce regulatory improvements to the country’s investment climate.

Supporting Smaller Businesses
IFC is helping improve access to finance in Sierra Leone for individuals and businesses through the Africa MSME Program, the Microfinance Program, the Trade Finance Program, and the Leasing Program.

IFC’s SME Ventures Program is providing risk capital and advisory services to smaller businesses in the country, which are receiving training support through IFC’s Business Edge and SME Toolkit training products. IFC is also helping strengthen Sierra Leone’s financial markets by supporting the establishment of a Credit Bureau and a Collateral Registry.

CASA has also provided advisory support to the National Revenue Authority, which has authorized all major banks to accept tax payments. In the past, taxpayers could pay their taxes only at tax offices, so this innovation is saving taxpayers a considerable amount of time.

More

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Saffie Barrie Akam

Saffie Barrie Akam is a Sierra Leonean Pharmacist and owner of Everhealthy Pharmacy where she focuses on delivering an excellent and affordable pharmaceutical care for her community.

Saffie worked for one (1) year as an intern at Connaught hospital, City Pharmacy and the Central Medical Stores under a program coordinated by the Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone. Later, after she then proceeded to start her community Pharmacy practice.

Saffie attended the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy and is also a member of the Pharmaceutical society of Sierra Leone.

She is also a preceptor for the internship program for new Pharmacy graduates in the community practice setting.

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Haja Mariama F. Myers

Haja Mariama F. Myers, is the Managing Director and Interior Decorator at Estu Enterprises, a Premier Class Construction and General merchandise Company, with the confidence of a diverse base of clients including Government and Non- Governmental Organizations.

She is also the Chief Executive Officer of Estu Delight Company Limited an Agribusiness and Food & Beverage Manufacturing Company, their core products are; Smoothies, Juices and Organic Honey.

Haja holds a BSc in Biological Sciences, Certificate in Proficiency in Public Procurement Management, MSc in Procurement, Logistics and Supply Chain Management and she is a Mandela Washington Fellow.

She has over five years of business experience with specific interest in Construction, Agriculture and Tourism.

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Aminata F Kandeh

Aminata F Kandeh is an entrepreneur that is into fish farming. she has a BSc in Aquaculture and Fisheries Management from Njala University, Sierra Leone.

She has worked with many institutions such as; Restless Development, Goal SL and World Fish Center. Aminata also participated in different training and conferences within and outside Sierra Leone.

She is a young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) fellow 2017 and Obama African Leaders 2018.

Aminata is the CEO and founder of Agro Fish Farm company ltd.

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Christine Sesay

Christine Sesay is one of the Founders of Freetown Business School which was established in February 2017. She has over 10 years’ experience in key roles of increasing responsibility; demonstrating excellent stakeholder relationship management skills, with strong commercial and negotiating expertise; managing complex international projects, consistently ensuring a high calibre of professionalism, safe and efficient execution of operations.

She is currently the Acting Country Director for Clinton Health Access initiative (CHAI), a global health organization committed to strengthening integrated health systems in the developing world and expanding access to care and treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

Prior to CHAI, she was the Deputy Country Director for Operations at GOAL Sierra Leone. With deep desire to return to Africa, she moved to Niamey, Niger to work with an Irish Organization – Concern Worldwide as an Assistant Financial controller.

Her career started out as Account Assistant at construction/Maintenance company – CAG manufacturing in Dublin. Then she worked for an accountancy practice Houlihan and Cushnahan where she progressed from the Real Estate accountant to the Financial Controller over a 4 year period.

She is a fellow of the Association Chartered and Certified Accountants (FCCA), holds a BA in Accounting & Finance and Master’s Degree in Finance.

She is the founder and CEO of Africa’s Moneyprenuer, a financial education platform created to help make discussing money and finances easy and fun. She is determined and driven leader, who is passionate about wealth management especially in our African economies

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Ann-Marie Zorokong

I’m Ann-Marie Zorokong. I was one of the junior pitchers on this year’s pitch event and my business idea was Waste Management through Recycling Of Plastic into Pavement Tiles.

I want to start by saying thanks to God for providing a conducive and suitable atmosphere for this year’s event. I also want to extend my thanks to GEN SL for giving us the platform to share what we had in mind as business ideas and by so doing has opened doors of connections for us.

On this year’s event I experienced lot of positive things that have been an inspiration to my daily life. Before the event I had to go through prepping in which I was able to to know the areas that needed more attention and was able to do my calculations, analysis and was finally very prepared for the pitch event.

This year’s pitch event has opened my heart the more to give back to my people in the least way I can and also taught me to never give stop trying till I achieve my goals.

My expectation now is for me to become a trained and qualified recyclist that will serve as our country’s own Bill Gates and by so doing will help in my little way to make our beautiful nation a better place for all biodiversity.

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Angelica Adama Sillah

I am Angelica Adama Sillah. I was one of the Junior pitchers for the Dare 2 Aspire: women in entrepreneurship event which was held on the 13th November at the 232 complex beach road Aberdeen, Freetown.

My idea that I pitched was to increase in the production of local rice. The event was awesome because I was motivated and also had the opportunity to meet with noble women that inspired me.

It also made my dream to begin to come true by linking me with the west African rice company which I am very grateful and thankful for. My expectation now is for me to be able to solve the problem of hunger in our local communities. I also want to thank GEN SL for giving us this opportunity to share our ideas.

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Hannah Adama Gbla-Dare2Aspire

My name is Hannah Adama Gbla. Few month ago I have a plan of opening a cake shop in the future, but never thought there is a platform where your dreams can be a reality.

I am part of an organisation call Inspiration for her and our leader due to his relentless effort met with Mr Francis the Director of GEN, who asked us to bring our ideas and be part of the pitch night. At first it was challenging, trying to know the problems I want to solve and putting them into slides, meeting after every two day for corrections and prepping.

It reached to a point I almost gave up, I thought the stress was too much not knowing every success comes with a prize. I was nervous, always thinking my idea is irrelevant. On the last day of the prepping, I thought I was saying rubbish until the judges urged me to continue then I became so determined.

Then the day Finally came, I was confident and still nervous, thinking what would I say in front of Intellectuals, they already know more than I do. After her lordship the Mayor talked to us, saying we can do it, I became so determined.

I pitched my idea to everyone and that was the beginning of my success. I emerged as the winner of the junior pitchers, was given a mifi by Orange(that I wanted so badly for research), given an opportunity to meet with the pastry chef etc.

GEN did all their best to trained us very well. Despite the challenges they were there to help us.

Tuesday was really inspiring I now have a different mindset that no matter how small you are, you can still create a difference.

I can now speak boldly in public and share my idea with youths.

I am looking forward to see our ideas become a business and working together with GEN to inspire other youths in the country.

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