Growth Accelerator Liberia Hosts Forest-Based Enterprises Workshop

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Implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Accountability Lab (iCampus), last week the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Growth Accelerator Liberia supported by the European Union in Liberia and the government of Sweden, held a three-day Forest-Based Enterprises workshop in Ganta, Nimba County.  Amongst others, the workshop focused on insights and practical skills to empower participants with knowledge in their various respective fields while allowing them to explore the world of arts and crafts, learning intricate designs and techniques to enhance their craft, as well as covering practical sessions on honey production, post-harvest handling, innovative bamboo product design, and marketing techniques for non-timber products. Speaking to participants on the first day of the workshop, Deputy Minister for Small Business Administration at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Benedict Dolo encouraged participants to pursue collaboration instead of competition, stating, “We are the only ones that can build Liberia.” He also stressed the importance of prioritizing Liberian products to boost the local economy and foster national pride. Echoing his views, the UNDP Programme Coordinator, Abraham Tumbey stated the goal of the cohort, which is to support non-timber forest products as a sustainable livelihood alternative while protecting our forests. Tumbey emphasized the importance of participants using the funds wisely to ensure they do not revert to their previous circumstances. Generally, the workshop covered various key topics, including forest conservation and responsible forest management practices. A crucial Business Plan Development session equipped attendees with the knowledge and tools to create effective and strategic business plans and set a solid foundation for future growth. Participants also explored alternative livelihood development within forest enterprises and learned best practices in bamboo production. Additionally, sessions on business crafting and innovation provided practical insights and strategies for success. This workshop has provided a wealth of knowledge and inspiration from Investment Partners (Bloom Bank Africa – Liberia, United Bank for Africa – Liberia, and Ecobank – Liberia) assisting participants in gaining the knowledge and utilizing the tools to succeed and drive sustainable growth in their communities.

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