THE CULTURE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP TO BE EMBEDDED IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS ACROSS SIERRA LEONE.
The Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project (SLEDP) acknowledges that there are a lot of cultural bottle necks with entrepreneurship in the country with most of the youths and young students not considering the field of Entrepreneurship as a viable career for sustainable livelihoods. As a result of this, the Project in line with its development objective has hired a Sierra Leonean consultancy firm CTI, to work with tertiary institutions to change this perception and mind set among tertiary students and make the idea of owning a business a very attractive proposition.
Sierra Leone’s demographic structure is made up of generally young people and having them leading and actively involved in entrepreneurship is crucial for the long-term development of the country. The Project in partnership with tertiary institutions, aim to incubate and develop innovative ideas by young students that take advantage of new business opportunities and address key challenges in the country as a critical intervention that contributes to the objective of diversifying the country’s economy.
An introductory meeting was facilitated by SLEDP between with the Service Provider and the beneficiary institutions – University of Makeni (UNIMAK), Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) and the Milton Margai Technical University (MMTU) to discuss the implementation plan and framework for delivering the programme. This includes desk review of the current entrepreneurship curricula at the three tertiary institutions and focused interviews of selected staff of the institutions. It would also entail focused interviews and/or surveys of students and graduates of the tertiary institutions who would have completed the entrepreneurship class/program.
Next steps includes the development of the training manual for the institutions’ instructors, developing an enhance curriculum for the entrepreneurship courses at the tertiary institutions and focus on the transfer of practical knowledge and skills in the field of entrepreneurship.
At the end of the period, the firm is expected to collaborate with the tertiary institutions to conduct hackathons/pitch nights and provide support in implementing the pilot program. The support will also aim to improve the curriculums of these institutions to encourage and prepare their students to practically venture into entrepreneurship.