innovate4jobsSL Crowdfunding Campaign

By Engineers for Change Sierra Leone

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A little bit of context

Engineers for Change (Sierra Leone) is a UK charity that seeks to support the development of the next generation of engineering professionals in Sierra Leone. We have recently teamed up with partners from Imperial College, London, the Royal Academy of Engineers and the Sierra Leone Institution of Engineers to deliver a programme to raise the standard of engineering education and practice at the university of Sierra Leone. While delivering this programme we discovered a tremendous appetite for self-employment, start up and entrepreneurship among the University students, staff and young people outside of the university. We also realised that entrepreneurship is treasured among the young because the lack of employment opportunities is triggering the Sierra Leonean desire to create their own success stories. We found many among the worldwide Sierra Leonean diaspora who would like to help these young entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.


But there’s a problem


Sierra Leone, is slowly emerging from a calamitous series of natural and man-made setbacks. Inward investment is growing, there is stable government, improved security and a general mood of optimism is prevailing. The problem is that while there is an improving standard of higher education, years of endemic misfortune has almost extinguished the employment opportunities for young people. We quickly realised that business start-up is vitally important since all the training and education in the world cannot bear fruit if there are no jobs to go to and no infrastructure in place to create businesses. We found many young people trying to find their way in spite of this however there is, as you might expect almost no start up culture and very little opportunity for young people with bright business ideas to bring them to fruition.


Here’s what we’re doing about it


The funds raised as part of this campaign will help these young people overcome circumstance through establishing a start-up and innovation incubator at the University of Sierra Leone, Fourah Bay college in collaboration with local and international partners. We will take in groups of aspiring entrepreneurs from the university as well as talented young people from outside the University. The incubator will provide attendees with the funding and tools to develop their ideas, make links to investors and development partners, and advise on finding markets for their products. In addition attendees will be taught the basics of starting a business in Sierra Leone. The international dimension will allow access to vital expertise and (free) advice from the UK via the Sierra Leonean diaspora, partners at Imperial College, Innovation Action and the Royal Academy of Engineering with local support from the Sierra Leone Institution of Engineers.
This will mean that the bright ideas originating from ambitious young minds in Sierra Leone will no longer come to nothing. Our aim is to ensure that some of these ideas and concepts will be converted to commercial and marketable opportunities. Your support will offer some of the tools to make some of those dreams become a reality and will surely advance the development of Sierra Leone.

Here is how you can join us

We are raising £50,000 to equip and run an innovation/startup hub for young engineers in Freetown which will be based in a building donated by the University of Sierra Leone. We have budgeted to fund the Centre for two years with this crowdfund. Your donations will be used to provide young Sierra Leonean engineers and entrepreneurs with access to product development/prototyping, intellectual property protection, partner finding, investment seeking as well as training in business startup, running an e-business, making use of social media, and dynamic innovation. In addition to training provided by the Sierra Leone Institution of Engineers the graduates will be able to draw on free advice from innovation experts in the UK thanks to our partnership with Imperial College, the Royal Academy of Engineers, the Sierra Leonean Diaspora and Innovation Action UK. We have designed a range of donation levels that should accommodate everyone and some cool perks so please do support us by using the link below.

CROWDFUNDING AWARD SCHEME FOR PRIVATE DONATIONS

Value

Item

Perk

£500

Media and Comms Bursary

Would support the Market Research and marketing needs of 1 graduate

An invite to our Autumn 2019 Diaspora Event in London and the marketing bursary will bear the name of you or your company

£250

Innovate4jobs

Donation to the Innovation Centre

Supporting the innovation Centre in its day to day running

An invite to our Autumn 2019 Diaspora Event in London and an opportunity to mentor one of the first cohort of graduates

£100

To the Future

Donation to the Innovation Centre

Supporting the innovation centre in its day to day running

An invite to meet the team during Autumn 2019 and a personal thank you letter from one of the participating entrepreneurs

£50

Make it Happen

Donation to the Innovation Centre

Supporting the innovation centre in its day to day running

An invite to meet the team during Autumn 2019 and a signed photograph of the first cohort of graduates

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    Offline donation

Team Members

Rowland Gordon

Abubakaar Bah

Georgette Greene

Hassie Koromah

Henry Smith

Magnus Cole

Maria Whitmore

Modupe Williams

Peter Fearon

Trudy Morgan

lawrence pratt

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