Business Bomba 1
The Business Plan Competition (BPC) an initiative of the Ministry of Trade & Industry (MTI) of the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) through the Private Sector Development Strategy Programme (PSDSP) was supported by the UK’s Department for International Development in Sierra Leone (DFIDSL) and the Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF).
The BPC’s key objectives were to stimulate entrepreneurial activity and support entrepreneurs in the process of developing successful businesses.
The BPC rebranded as Business Bomba (BBC) began in May 2009 but was officially launched in July 2009 by the Vice President of Sierra Leone. The programme was designed in five phases: the Pre-Launch Phase; Phase I; Phase II, Phase III and Phase IV.
In the Pre-Launch phase, the necessary operational details about the competition were developed, and marketing to mobilising interest and launching the competition were done;
Phase I was the application phase where participants submitted their business idea and basic plan and these were then scored and judged to take forward 60 qualifiers into Phase II;
Phase II involved developing full business plans for the 60 qualifiers and these were further judged to choose 20 finalist to go through to Phase III;
Phase III saw further refinement of the finalists business plans, these were also judged through a Dragon’s Den style process with a single National Panel to choose the top five Bomba winners.
The top winners were announced at the Grand Finale and Awards Ceremony.
In Phase IV, the final phase, AFFORD-SL monitored and evaluated the progress made by entrepreneurs and businesses that received awards and provided support to the winners through the business voucher scheme.
The project which ended in August 2010 had numerous key achievements:
- A strong marketing campaign and penetration in all regions, particularly the rural sector, went on to yield 600 enquiries, nearly 50% from the regions, and 20% women and nearly 30% young people. 300 applications were received nationwide with Freetown accounting for 60 %
- Successfully ran 20 business development and support workshops in all the regions and nearly 50 clinics for information dissemination. We had positive comments from nearly all attendees who felt that even if they did not win they had benefitted enormously from the workshops
- Successfully delivered 56 six page business plans for each of the qualifiers with key criteria of considerable input from the qualifiers themselves. All were delivered within the deadline and requisite templates and formats. The majority of qualifiers had never produced a business plan before
- Helped create and or expand at least 20 new entrepreneurs who are enthusiastic about their business growth
- Successfully delivered the first ever Business Bomba BDS National Conference at Miatta International Conference Centre to much acclaim and over 300 delegates. This conference brought together a host of BDS providers, experts and entrepreneurs to network, exchange ideas and develop relationships.
- Raised the awareness for the need of BDS services amongst entrepreneurs