The Andandoor Program by YEP

In this era, it is fair to say that entrepreneurship helps drive change with innovation and can act as the wheels of economic growth for any country. For this reason, Innovate Gambia in collaboration with Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) created the Andandorr Program for the creative industries ecosystem in The Gambia, funded by the European Union.

The objective of this program was to help artists and creative businesses overcome the challenges and risks associated with a startup or existing business; by providing a learning environment- an intensive accelerator, mentorship, and incubation program to connect entrepreneurs with a supportive network.

Additionally, this program was curated to help the entrepreneurs increase their leadership skills, business development and competitiveness, branding, sales, customer care, financial management, company team building and interpersonal communication skills.

The 9-months program commenced in September 2020 and ended in May 2021 with a final presentation in July 2021. The program also included the Andandorr Talks– a monthly series created to engage young entrepreneurs operating in the creative sectors, learn from experienced thought-leaders in leadership and entrepreneurship. Featured speakers included Hollywood Actor, Babou Ceesay, entrepreneur extraordinaire, Talib Graves-Mann, Malik A. Khan, and best-selling author, Naya F. Powell.

On July 10, 2021, the entrepreneurs who participated in the Andandorr Program were celebrated with a final event composing of an exhibition and a pitch-competition. On this day, a video unravelling of Andandorr Program participants in their places of business was shared. In the video, the entrepreneurs talked about their stories, the hurdles they had faced to make it to the top, their journey with the Andandorr Program and how it has helped them level-up their businesses.

During the program, the entrepreneurs exhibited their goods and services to increase market linkages and gain visibility. The opening of the end of the Andandorr Program was commemorated with an informal exhibition and fashion show by Bintou’s-Glowbelle, one of the participants of the Andandorr Program. The audience was left speechless by the unmatched level of creativity presented that day.

Some of the entrepreneurs were also selected to pitch their businesses to a group of judges for a chance of winning up to D20,000. It was quite exhilarating to see these entrepreneurs speak up and sell their businesses as it was visible the amount of growth and the impact of the program.

The entrepreneurs were left with motivational comments from guest speakers from the government, to never give up and to keep striving by Awamary Lowe-Khan, the Founder of Innovate Gambia and the YEP representative, Ngoneh Panneh. The impact of this program will be felt over a lifetime.

Written by:
Ndey Mariam Camara
Intern, Innovate Gambia

  • akhan
  • Aug 26th 2021
  • Comment 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *