LIBERIA: Ministry of Commerce and Partners launch 3rd phase of Youth Startup Business Plan Competition

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry in partnership with the Business Startup Center (BSC) Monrovia, with support from UNDP through the Livelihood & Employment Creation project, announces the commencement of the third phase of the Youth Startup Business Plan Competition 2023 cohort for ambitious young people interested in starting their own businesses.

The Competition targets 300 youth drawn from seven counties: Montserrado, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Sinoe, Nimba, and Lofa counties, who will participate in two days of business skills training, and competition for business start-up grants of USD500.

The youth will learn about business and financial planning and present their business ideas to a panel of judges in the hope of securing grants of up to five hundred United States dollars (US$ 500.00). They will also benefit from coaching and mentorship support when developing and refining their business ideas.

The competition aims to foster entrepreneurship among Liberia’s youth, identifying their needs and challenges, and developing innovative and creative solutions.

Submission of applications begins on 16 August and runs up to 27, August 2023.

It is expected that applicants will come forward with business ideas from all sectors of the economy including agriculture, information technology, transportation, food processing, manufacturing, health, and along all value chains about the key sectors.

UNDP and the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry are working to support the development of a strong and vibrant private sector through business development that is aimed at contributing to poverty reduction and the empowerment of young people and People Living with Disabilities (PWDs).

In 2022, the Business Plan Competition attracted 954 applications from the targeted seven counties. The best 300 applicants were invited to the business skills and pitch training.

All 300 entrepreneurs/businesses accessed grants up to US$ 500 to start and expand their enterprises in agriculture, information technology, transportation, food processing, manufacturing, etc.

These businesses are expanding their operations, creating income and employment opportunities, and providing goods/services to their clients while contributing to economic growth and development.

All applicants are advised to apply with a registered mobile money number in their names. Applicants will be required to submit a national identification card before participating in the Business and Financial Skills Training. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Applicants who have benefited from the last two cohorts of the business plan competition are not eligible to apply to this competition.

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