The GCCI with the support of
International Labour Organization (ILO) and Italian Agency for Development
Corporation partnered and rolled out the first ever televised business plan
competition in The Gambia. The initiative emanated from the PROMEFI Project
seated in Dakar, Senegal, and manifested itself as a national business plan
competition in The Gambia, anchored at the GCCI. The competition was dubbed
“Keur Jula Challenge” to resonate with the local audience and contestants. The
competition consolidated gains made over the years in entrepreneurship promotion
and access to finance through prizes to youth small business owners who have been
in business for at least a year. The GCCI was pleased to have QCell (Telecoms
Company) as the main sponsor of the prizes for the competition. The Challenge was
a multilayered series of auditions of 450 applicants the first set of auditions
while the criteria became more demanding as the competition proceeded.
Auditions were in oral format with participants from all regions of The Gambia
representing five categories (Creative Arts, Agriculture and Food Processing,
Information Communication Technology, Logistic and Trading, Food and Beverage).
The final thirty-four contestants were boot-camped, oriented, given mentorship,
and coached to enhance their self-generated business ideas, pitching skills, and
build confidence whilst sharpening their business acumen in the process. The
competition was launched on 28th July 2022 at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, The
Gambia, and the final award ceremony held on 10th March 2023 at the Sir Dawda
International Conference Center, Bijilo, The Gambia. The competition was
characterized with a sustained interest of the general public through a
comprehensive visibility program using both conventional and unconventional
media. This report will detail the tasks and activities that constituted the journey of
the competition together with milestones and lessons learnt.

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