By Kebba Jeffang
TAF Gambia, a real estate developer has on Thursday, December 27 declared a young entrepreneur Amie Sohna as the winner of its “Startups One Million Dalasi Pitching Competition” as part of the 4th edition of TAFCon, a conference that brought together different platforms to discuss the way forward for the country.
The second and third places are won by Modou Lamin Fatty, proprietor of ML’s Poultry who got D500,000 and Envou Mendy D250,000 respectively.
The company’s CEO Mustapha Njie said the initiativ is part of their corporate social responsibility strategy; the TAF Foundation is formed to dedicate 1% of all revenues towards several causes that will make a difference in the lives of the communities they serve.
“We believe that the youth in this country are the key to a successful Gambia. We know the private sector through entrepreneurship is the primary driver in any economy. We want to give Gambian youths a chance to become successful entrepreneurs. We want to support start-ups with tangible results and measurable long-term value businesses via development phases with a seed capital & mentorship to succeed in their journey,” he said.
Njie assured that TAF will continue monitoring and mentoring the winners.
According to Mr Njie, the youth constitute a large proportion of the population, the vast majority of whom are unemployed.
He remarked: “We want Gambian and African youth to connect, innovate, learn, share and to be job creators in all sectors instead of job seekers. Youths are crucial to growing the economy.”
The winner of the million dalasis Amie Sohna is the proprietress of ‘Her Apparel’, a clothing line that promotes a cause by providing modest wears for women and girls across faiths.
Modou Lamin Fatty, second place winner thanked TAF Global for coming up with what he called a ‘great initiative.’
“The prize that I have won today will take me a long way and it will help me to grow my business to a higher height,” he said.
He advised entrepreneurs to believe in themselves and work harder as nothing comes easy.
Modou started his poultry farming a year ago and is now producing both eggs and meat for sale.
Envou Mendy of About Kameko (Ryde Africa) is also a startup that provides customized software solutions for businesses in the Gambia, starting operation in 2017.
Apart from the three, all seven finalists were given D50,000 for their participation.