The BSC Monrovia Competition offers international exposure to the most promising Liberian entrepreneurs, whilst preparing them for finance. The competition ran from June to September and from 74 applications, two outstanding finalists were selected.
Securing additional access to coaching and matchmaking services, the two winners are also invited to attend an all-expenses paid trip to the Growing SMEs Conference, Netherlands in November 2012. At which they will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with investors and other potential business partners.
Meet the Finalists
The Daily Observer
Sector: News Publication
Finance needed: $500,000 – $1,000,000
Entrepreneur: Bai Best
The Daily Observer is one of the most reputable newspapers in Liberia and is synonymous with the countries remarkable recovery in the post-conflict era. The Daily Observer published its maiden edition on Monday, February 16th, 1981, becoming Liberia’s first independent daily. Though, a struggle has been endured keeping the paper available five working days a week, particularly during the 1980s when the Daily Observer endured intense persecution from the incumbent regime.
During the civil war the newspaper was largely unavailable, but since its return in 2005 it has played a significant role in the country’s recovery, strengthening institutions and ensuring democratic freedoms in the country. Exemplifying the important role a free and independent media can have in the functions of democracy and a thriving economy. Suffice to say the publication quickly regained its leading position in the market.
In 2011, the Daily Observer celebrated its 30th anniversary – making it the nation’s oldest surviving daily newspaper. The entrepreneur, Bai Best, became aware of BiD Network’s Business Plan Competition following a training program designed specifically for media managers, with our partner the BSC Monrovia.
With the aim of constructing a new 6 story headquarters to optimize productivity, streamline workflow, and expand revenues the Daily Observer is looking to secure investment to safeguard the newspaper and the role it plays in Liberian society for another 30 years.
Sector: Recycling and Waste Management
Finance Needed: $50,000 – $100,000
Entrepreneur: James Mulbah
The Green Center of Monrovia aims to completely revolutionize the waste culture of Liberia. As Liberia’s first waste segregation and recycling center, they currently profit, not only from organic compost production, but also the production of materials from inorganic waste, and the buying and selling of recyclables. They want to inspire and educate Liberian society by demonstrating the benefits of recycling and composting for farmers, or even amateur gardeners.
The Green Center approach attaches economic value to waste and in fact makes it profitable. Obviously, the environmental benefits of such an approach are numerous; it can prevent the waste of potentially useful materials, reduce consumption of fresh materials, reduce energy usage, and minimize air and water pollution. Green Center and their recycling method also create and supplement additional industries in Liberia, providing valuable employment for young Liberians.
The entrepreneur, James Mulbah, has exciting plans for the future and aims to begin engaging in compost production, waste collection and recycling in a further six counties of Liberia. Whilst also expanding the number of recycling facilities, both within and beyond Monrovia, an ambition which James believes could eventually result in a reduction of waste in the areas of composting, reuse and transformation of 50% in Liberia.