The Aurora Impact team traveled up country mid-December to pay a visit to 3 start-ups that are a part of Aurora Impact’s 5th Cohort, who have their businesses far away from Freetown. The travel took 3 days. The 13th of December was an early rise for the team, making their way to Taiama in the outskirts of Bo where we met Augustine Macarthy who is setting up his cassava farm there. The team and him reviewed the business plan and discussed next steps. Reviewing its start-up site and business in person is an essential part of the training process since it gives the Impact team the chance to get a proper feeling about the business, where it is at and where it can go.
The Team decided to use the trip and visit the Bo Innovation Hub established by Isata Jalloh a graduate from Aurora Impacts second Cohort! She launched the Hub focusing on youth aged 6-12 years old even though the space is also used by entrepreneurs looking for a space with stable internet connection and facilities, the main focus is on the youth, giving them opportunities they dont get in their schools f.x how to get into robotics and/or use computers in an efficient way. We really enjoyed our visit in Bo and are happy that we got to see Isata’s business up and running.
The other two startups we visited were in Daru and Kenema. In Daru we met Habib, he is focusing on growing pigs, he noticed a big gap in the Sierra Leone market and therefore decided to get into pig farming. His establishment is developing and the pigs looked happy as well as the people working there but Habib has a team working with him to accomplish his vision of being able to provide the Sierra Leone market with pork. At his farm there is also cacao and palm trees, the methods used at Habib’s farm are what you would call agroecology, very environmentally and human friendly. The same can be said about Ibrahim’s farm in Kenema!
Ibrahim and his business partner Teresa are growing cassava and rice as well as managing a women empowerment project grounded in giving forward goats to sustain livelihoods.
The Aurora Impact team is very satisfied with the visits, the adventures they encountered on the way and how well the startups are doing. The team will continue to go on field visits next year and soon we are sure we will be sharing their success stories.