Business Plan Competition for youth entrepreneurs in Kismayo.

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April 2nd, 2016 Shaqodoon in partnership with Micro-Dahab MFI held a long day business plan competition event for 15 young entrepreneurs. The aim of the business plan was to encourage entrepreneurial capabilities of young people, by giving them the opportunity to pitch their business ideas in front of potential investors.

M-Dahab launched Youth Enterprise Initiative (YEI) introducing new initiative intended to provide mid-size loan capital (from $5000 up to $50,000) to start or expand their businesses with objectives of expanding opportunities for Somali youth through entrepreneurship as an effective strategy to fight against poverty in particularly chronic unemployment among youths, 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. Once the project was launched, over 200 loan applications had been received. Twenty entrepreneurs were selected from diverse business sectors to enroll into entrepreneurship boot camp training for period of two months. During the training period, youth were given access to comprehensive and interactive training course, business development support services, develop winning business plans with continuous business plan development support, which was provided by Shaqodoon throughout the training period.

After completing two months comprehensive Build Your Business training, Shaqodoon organized a one day elevator pitch event, alongside with M-Dahab held at Kismayo Agan Hotel. The fifteen [15] finalist entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas in front of the investment committee/panellist, consisting of M-Dahab and Shaqodoon. The youth pitchers were give 10-15 minutes to present their business plans in front of the panel, followed by 10 minutes of question and answers where young entrepreneurs defended their business plans and respond to committee inquiries.

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