Innovation SL, as an Entrepreneurship Support Organization, is launching this Crowdfunding platform-MonitoFarm to meet the seed capital needs of young Agripreneurs in Sierra Leone. Given our work in building the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem; in incubating and accelerating Start-ups and Scale-Ups, we see the lack of seed capital as a critical missing piece of the start up ecosystem.
Agriculture (including forestry and fisheries) is the mainstay of the Sierra Leonean economy employing over 60 percent of the labor force mostly at the subsistence level. The agricultural sector is constrained by several factors including lack of improved inputs, labor shortages, and post-harvest losses. Land degradation and deforestation have resulted in declining soil fertility, which in turn has undermined sustainable agricultural development in the country.
Despite the above challenges, we are seeing an increasing number of young people moving into Agriculture. At Innovations Axis( our incubation hub), we can count 6 of our start ups as Agribusiness, whose founders are all under 30 years old. It is very encouraging to see young people moving into this sectors. Often these young men and women are university graduates. They bring knowledge into farming and are much more likely to use digital technology. They also have disruptive business models.
More crucial, they have the potential to employ other young persons, especially in the rural areas. However, these young agripreneurs are faced with the lack of available finance for their business ideas from traditional banks. They have unproven business models, which reduces their chances of funding. As innovative entrepreneurs, they are turning to digital technology to access investment from the general public.
MonitoFarm is a crowdfunding platform to provide seed funding for young people with Agri -business ideas.