The Aurora Foundation is deeply honored to have been selected as UNDP’s Business Development Service provider for the second Cohort of „The Growth Accelerator Programme to support women-led cooperatives and MSMEs in Sierra Leone. The launch of the programme took place on the 6th of November; as you can imagine, it marked a milestone for us at Aurora Foundation, and we are beyond grateful and excited about the future.
The event took place at the New Brookfields Hotel; since early morning that day, the atmosphere was charged with a sense of purpose and commitment to gender equality, economic empowerment, and sustainable development. The program is not merely a program; it represents a vision for a more prosperous, equitable, and sustainable future for female entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone. It will support the growth of innovative, viable, and ambitious women-led cooperatives and MSMEs.
Why all the hype, you ask? Well, it’s no secret that women have a pivotal role to play in entrepreneurship. Their contribution to global economic growth is immense, but they’ve often had to jump over unique hurdles to get there. That’s where the Growth Accelerator Programme comes in, smashing those barriers and creating a space for women to shine in the business world.
Some key components of the program we will be implementing include:
1. Skills Development: We recognize that entrepreneurship entails more than just an idea; it demands a comprehensive skill set. Through tailored programs, mentorship, and networking opportunities, our aim is to empower women with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate the complexities of the business world.
2. Access to Finance: One of the foremost challenges women entrepreneurs face is the lack of access to financial resources. Through this program, we will provide financial literacy training, while UNDP will provide access to funding, ensuring that financial constraints do not hinder these women from realizing their business dreams.
3. Measuring Impact: Accountability is a cornerstone of how we operate. We are committed to continually measuring the impact of our initiatives. This ensures that the resources are effectively deployed and that the lives of women entrepreneurs are genuinely improved with successfully run businesses.
This isn’t just another program; it’s a movement towards a more inclusive world. Imagine a world where women entrepreneurs aren’t the exception but the rule. It’s not just about fairness; it’s about kickstarting sustainable development. When women succeed in business, it’s not just their lives that change; it’s their families, communities, and the entire global economy that benefits.
The 18 MSME’s who were chosen for the Growth Accelerator Programme 2023 Cohort are the following:
Malin Limited Malin Limited Company
Saveway Beverages Ltd Saveway Beverages Ltd
Women in Energy Sierra Leone Limited Women In Energy Sierra Leone Limited
Grace and Co. Food Processing Enterprise Grace and Co Food Processing Enterprise
Siko Max Enterprise
Sinava Women Agricultural Development Association Siwadafoods
Barbah’s African Bags and Shoes Investment
Jalimi Farms and Foods Jalimi Foods
Lambano SL Limited Lambano Limited
Sanctuary Farms and Resorts Sanctuary Farms and Resorts
Gobifo Women Farmers Association
Bo Vegetable Enterprise
Adam’s Gardens and Farm SL Adam’s Gardens and Farm SL
Bokatala investment company
Moawoma Rural Women’s Cocoa Development Cooperative Society
Green Life Farm Limited
We look forward to the journey ahead and thank the UNDP Sierra Leone deeply for the trust granted to us.
Here are some beautiful pictures taken by the talented Hickmatu Leigh; she was a part of Aurora Impact´s Cohort 3 – we are very proud of her and happy to work with her continuously.