By Lansana Fofanah.
Restless Development Sierra Leone has engaged the banking sector as part of their Business Development Services 2018 training for sixty young entrepreneurs at the Obasanjo College Newton.
This was in a bid for the participants to meet with financial institutions and learned possible ideas of how to set up a small scale business in a form of self-employment.
The Consultant Field Officer for Restless Development, Abdul Karim Mans Kanu said that already participants have visited various business houses within their communities but it would be better for the banking sector to meet with them also since they have a role to play in financing some of their proposals and business ideas. “This is an opportunity for them to have an insight in to how banks operate so that they would be able to develop criteria on how they could possibly secure loans to start up their own businesses”, he said.
The Credit officer of Ecobank Waterloo Branch, Francess Harding said that Ecobank Microfinance has lots of facilities where as some students from the Obasanjo College have benefited from their loan schemes. “Most of the time people fail in business because they establish a business in the wrong environment because they don’t do research before venturing into it. Banks are always willing to assist business people with the right idea and approach.
Alhaji Sulaiman Fofana, Principal of Obasanjo College said that the Business Development Services is a program designed by the National Youth Commission with funding from the United Nations Development Program to empower young people in actualizing their skills. “This is a manifestation of the commitment of government towards youth empowerment to take leadership role and to secure their future through commerce. Government cannot employ everyone but with this, they will be able to create employment for their colleagues who might not get the five million Leones grant”, he said.
Daniel T J Lansana from Sierra Leone Commercial Bank said that participants need to do thorough research before establishing any business and they should grab the opportunity to develop themselves through this training which he said is very expensive in some institutions.
Madam Zainab Samba Bangura from BRAC Microfinance Sierra Leone also made meaningful contributions on their terms and conditions of granting loans and how they have been providing support for youth to be engaged in businesses.