[Liberia] President Johnson-Sirleaf launches boss center for SMEs
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has officially launched the Small Business Administration (SBA) Business Opportunities through Support Services (BOSS) center at the Ministry of Commerce.
In May 2016, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in partnership with the United Nations Development Programs developed the project to establish a network of business opportunities through support services.
The BOSS centers are in existing county service centers across the country, working with the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The Country Director of UNDP, Mr. Pa Lamin Beyai, said BOSS is a partnership between the Commerce Ministry, Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
“BOSS provides an opportunity for beneficiaries to become their own ‘BOSSES’ by empowering them with skills and knowledge to conceive business ideas, developed business plans, and use them to grow and manage their own businesses.
“Established in early 2017, the partnership seeks to support micro, small medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Liberia by providing opportunities for start-up entrepreneurs to thrive through provision of business support infrastructure at the county level,” Beyai said.
The UNDP Country Director continued: “It is anchored on the county service centers, the primary channel for decentralized service delivery of the MIA, and coordinated through the small Business Administration Bureau of the MOCI.”
Beyai disclosed that through the partnership, four BOSS centers are already operational in Bong, Grand Bassa, Margibi and Nimba counties offering a range of non-financial services to local entrepreneurs promoting business linkages and building capacity for business incubation.
“These centers are also used to instill business expertise and related services, targeting primarily the youth, women, and small agriculture producers,” Beyai said.
Commerce Minister Axel Addy said the Boss center is intended to create opportunity for businesses in Liberia. Min. Addy added that BOSS will be a major source of information for entrepreneurs.
“BOSS is to create new bosses; we want to see business owners interacting here. This creates another avenue for our entrepreneurs,” Addy added.
The Commerce Minister urged employees and user of the BOSS center to keep the place in tight adding that it is not his center rather for Liberian entrepreneurs.
The main objective of the project is to enhance Liberia’s decentralization program and provide support to the MSME policy implementation in Liberia through opportunities to start-up micro and small enterprises and establish business support infrastructure at the county level, the centers will work to strengthen many beneficiary groups; youth, women and small through the provision of financial and non-financial services.
This will help facilitate the government’s inclusive growth agenda.
The program was attended by partners and stakeholders in the MSME sector such as UNDP, the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, the Liberia Business Association (LIBA) and the Liberia Agriculture Development Activity (LADA).
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry also used the occasion to inform Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector that its annual MSME conference is slated for the second week in December. The conference will be held at the Liberian Marketplace, Nancy B. Doe Jorkpen Town Market in Sinkor.
The conference will be held under the theme “From Vision to Implementation, Buying Liberian, and Building Liberia” with special focus on “Promoting Information and Communication Technology in Liberia.”