Start up Sierra Leone is part of Innovation SL Limited, a company founded by Francis Stevens George.
The entrepreneurial ecosystem in Sierra Leone is pretty weak (some say non existent) to support entrepreneurship, in particular start ups.
This website has been set up as part our efforts to map and build the ecosystem. Further, this website will offer vital links, resources and knowledge for start ups in Sierra Leone.
The importance of Entrepreneurship cannot be over stated. Look at it from the perspective of an entrepreneur:
At the initial conception, an entrepreneur needs a market opportunity, the ability to access the required resources such as human capital, technology and finance and some luck against competitors.
During their development, the entrepreneur needs to develop their business by interactively testing and improving their concept and be highly responsive to market signals to access a gap in the ‘market’, all while seeking the resources its needs for its growth and to ‘cross the chasm’ into an established entity.
During the maturity phase, an entrepreneur embeds the business more strongly in its environment, creating its own space, able to draw upon its own well-established source of resources. All the while, the entrepreneur pollinates and germinates its contacts and networks to become more resilient to new threats or competitors.
My vision is that we build an entrepreneurial ecosystem that is mapped out, visualized and
actively connecting ecosystem startups, activities, services and applications from research, events,
innovation services, advisory networks, funding instruments and talent pools oriented with startup
development phases. I am proud to say that we run the Freetown Pitch Night; we have established a relationship with Limkokwing University of Creative Technologies and we have a major multinational, Heineken, that sponsors our Entrepreneurs networking events. We continue to reach out to other stakeholders.
I also see a vision where Innovation SL develops an ideal ecosystem for entrepreneurship whereby the largest companies in Sierra Leone such as Heineken, interact with ambitious entrepreneurs hungry for success , driven by highly educated, talented graduates (our partnership with Limkokwing for example) and alumni (Diasporas for example) who cut their teeth within entrepreneurial companies providing a very strong source of ‘cultural and intellectual capital’.
This is all fuelled by a highly-networked and experienced mentoring and capital supported by expert our incubator and accelerator. Through this ‘network capital’ we provide necessary nutrients for the seedlings-seed stage and start ups.