Liberia has suffered 14 years of civil conflict that brought devastation and destruction to many lives and property. The country’s economic and social sectors were in ruins. The oldest country in Africa, once a society where people from all over the world came to acquire high quality education, was broken and set back. 60% of Liberia’s population is under the age of 35. The youthfulness of Liberia’s population is even more pronounced in the capital Monrovia, a city of 1.5 million people. After years of civil war Liberia’s economy is recovering but employment is scarce. Young people yearn to work, but lack the opportunities and often also the skills. Monrovia alone has hundreds of thousands of students enrolled at the different universities, but many find themselves struggling to stay at school and make ends meet for lack of opportunity.
SMEs play a pivotal role in Liberia’s ambition to become a middle-income country in 15 years, but they face a number of constraints limiting profitability and growth; lacking knowledge and resources, limited infrastructure, and a lack of access to finance, which combine to make this sector small and less competitive. SPARK has acquired a central position in SME development in Liberia, due to its inclusive programs that address the economic and education needs of youth and women in a conflict sensitive manner.
As Liberia moves on the road of recovery and development, there’s a huge demand to promote economic development. SPARK is contributing to this by developing and running activities for their target group, young and ambitious Liberians. For these inspiring entrepreneurs and already existing entrepreneurs SPARK and its local partner BSC Monrovia organise Business Plan Competitions, Business Development Services, and inspirational workshops.
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