On December 20th 2015, Shaqodoon and KIMS held a one day business plan competition event for 11 young entrepreneurs. The aim of the business plan was to encourage growth of entrepreneurial activities in Somaliland and young entrepreneurs were dared to pitch their business ideas in front of potential investors.
It was day that was well-structured and implemented for excellent investment process for emerging entrepreneurs. Kaah Islamic Microfinance Institution (KIMS) launched Youth Enterprise Initiative (YEI) project to introduce the new initiative intended for Somali youth to provide mid-sized loan capital from $5000 up to $ 50,000 with the objectives of expanding opportunities to Somali youth employment, through job creation and skills development, as well as providing financial access to young entrepreneurs and build youth enterprises through a combination of innovative financial and non-financial services. When the project was launched over 200 loan applications had been received. Twenty entrepreneurs were selected from diverse business sectors on the bases of viable business ideas.
Shortlisted entrepreneurs were then referred to Shaqodoon to receive start-up trainings on basics business management and entrepreneurial skills, so they are able to launch and run businesses at the early stage of their growth and also provide ongoing specialized business development services to the entrepreneurs.
Those entrepreneurs have gone through two months boot comp training, mentorship and business plan development support services, after a long trainee performances evaluation and support during boot camp training.
After the training completion, Shaqodoon organized business plan competition event, held at Mansoor Hotel for 11 finalist entrepreneurs, they were given the stage to pitch their business ideas in front of the investment committee. The investment committee consisted of four members, representing the consortium of the project. The panellist were given the task of reviewing business plans submitted by young entrepreneurs before holding the pitching event. The panellists were given scoring sheet to assess the business profitably, sustainability and market demand for the product/service. The panellist also assessed the business plan, market opportunity, knowledge and experience of the owners, perspective of company in community work and self-employment, and their forecast of how many people they anticipate to employee as result of starting up. During the event the panellists asked the competitors few questions relating to their passion to start a business, their mind-sets and other questions that related to their business. Below are the list of business plan competition panellist.
- Abdi Abdulahi- General Manager of KIMS
- Abdi Abdulahi- Credit officer at KIMS
- Abdikani Deria- Program Director of Shaqodoon
- Mohamed Abdi- Project Manager of Shaqodoon
On 17-19th December, the 11 finalist entrepreneurs were called on day workshop at Shaqodoon’s One Stop Shop Center to help and prepare entrepreneurs for the pitching day. The entrepreneurs were provided elevator pitch training, and each trainee presented his/her business idea in front of Shaqodoon Business Development Officers. The youth were given possible questions that could be asked by the investment committee and were given heads up to prepare answers for all areas of the business plans in particular financial information, revenue model, market opportunity and forecasting.