By Matthew Kanu:
On the 8th October 2016 the University of Makeni organized their 2nd Business Idea Competition for forty two new MBA students .
Addressing students and invited guest before the competition Dean of Commerce and Management Victoria Iheanacho said teaching, research and community engagement are core values of the university that led to the establishment of the MBA Program .
She noted that The University of Makeni is grateful to the ALTIS Business School of the Catholic University of Milan and the Catholic University of Kenya for their positive partnership and collaboration in establishing the executive MBA in social entrepreneurship in Sierra Leone “ We need innovation and creative thinking to be able to reach a peak in the development of Sierra Leone. You will all agree with me that entrepreneurship is what we need in Sierra Leone” she emphasized .
Madam Iheanacho stated that the MBA Program create the opportunity to be job creators rather than a job seekers that aimed at producing a new brand of Sierra Leonean entrepreneur that will able to combine economic success with social and environmental sustainability ,
She further maintained that the program also helps participants to develop their business idea into an investment through the development of a business plan, thus turning great ideas into great business, and also to link up with investors ,incubators and partners .
The business idea competitions gives the MBA participants opportunity to pitch their business idea for the first time to a panel of judges which comprises of investors, business experts , business partners and facilitators . The business idea competition is an initial assessment of the MBA participants business coaching .
At the end of the competition Abdul K Mansaray said that the participants had put together very good business ideas but the best among them with full scholarship was Musa Sanu Konteh with the business idea title VES Maize Production and Marketing .
Speaking in an interview Musa Sanu Konteh said he spent hours and days researching about what could be a business idea that will contribute in the economic development of Sierra Leone
He mentioned that a successful business idea depends on full concentration, possible investment and community engagement “It is something that is practical and can contribute to national development. It is something that is visible, enhance youth employment and attract investors to support your dream ” he noted .
Mr Konteh noted that the MBA program aim was to teach, support, strengthen and train entrepreneurs to be self sufficient and stand out in the business community. “My business idea is called VES Maize Production and Marketing .This enterprise will provide poultry feed for poultry farms . Maize forms over 70% of the feed for poultry farms . Our farm site will be expanded and there will be communities engagement to inform farmers that maize production is not time wasting and can contribute to agricultural development” he emphasized
He said maize contribute very highly to our household nutrition values and it has several vitamins . “There is already ready market, the industrial consumers like ADAX Bioenergy use maize to produce ethanol that can generate electricity ,restaurants ,hotels, government line ministries all need maize for their daily food” he explained .
Mr. Konteh also reiterated that an FAO 2010 reports state that Sierra Leone slightly produce 50,000 tons of maize but with an initial capital there will be an increase in production more than the 50,000 tons mentioned . “My business is just starting with an Initial capital investment of thirty three million five hundred thousand Leones using labor” he said.
Nigeria is the biggest producer of maize in Africa followed by south Africa and Tanzania . The United State is the biggest producer of maize globally. And this increase their social standing in society. So if Sierra Leone can invest in maize production our economy will develop and there will be more jobs for young people