The Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) in partnership with Innovate Gambia and key ecosystem stakeholders on Monday opened the ‘Andandoor’ Creative Industry (CI) Accelerator programme for 30 entrepreneurs at The Disruptive Lab in Fajara.
Over the course of one year, the Accelerator Programme for Creative Entrepreneurs will provide effective and tailored support for 30 promising young creative entrepreneurs at two levels of maturity: emerging and expanding, while simultaneously strengthening the creative industries sector.
The 30 entrepreneurs will benefit from tailored business support services, industry-specific technical and financial support, market linkages, and other customised support coupled with coaching and mentoring from both local and global business leaders.
The end result is to produce successful businesses, prepare for access to possible funding through pitch readiness, business plans, increase knowledge on growth into new markets, and create jobs.
Speaking at the opening, Serign Omar Lowe, Director L and D for Innovate Gambia pointed out that we do not have a lot of creative industry institutions in The Gambia.
Lowe added that they will get participants industry ready, highlighting that the benefits of the training are limitless depending on how much participating beneficiaries put into the program.
Fatim Badjie, a consultant for YEP said the program is a pilot meant to accelerate entrepreneur’s businesses.
She said the main ambition of the ‘Andandoor’ program is to ignite and support the creative industry which they believe is not only an avenue to create employment but also support young people into driving the economy in a very interesting way.
Fatim, an entrepreneur herself, informed trainees that no idea is too small, and no dream is too small, noting that it just depends on how much effort you put into it.
She also told them that the YEP program is dedicated to supporting them and their ambitions.
“How you receive this training will determine who else will have the same opportunity as the project is a pilot,”
Thus, she explained that it is important that participants are extremely disciplined with the program and try to invest much energy into it.
She urged them to take full advantage of the program as there are a lot of people not fortunate enough to get the same opportunity.