The Gambian ecosystem is at an early stage of maturity with an emerging set of actors in the network and the increasing realization of the potential of entrepreneurship development for the country’s economic growth. However, the rapid and unstructured growth of institutions in response to the entrepreneurship boom in the country has led to some overlaps and gaps. One important challenge is the lack entrepreneurship and business support services in the rural Gambia. While some institutions and business support organization entertain lose networks of advisers, experts and members in the regions, structured institutionalized support in rural areas is an area of concern for most of the actors in the ecosystem. The lack of support services and the cost of business for the rural entrepreneurs reduces the ability of youth and women to take advantage of new opportunities. The demand is particularly strong in the new growth centers upriver including along the Trans Gambia corridor.

A network analysis of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in The Gambia conducted by ITC also stressed the need for more incubation and acceleration services for entrepreneurs and specific support services targeting women-owned businesses. The analysis further emphasized the importance to forge partnerships in the ecosystem for improved complementarities and synergies in the service offering to entrepreneurs.

To strengthen collaboration across institutions, ITC supported the ecosystem partners to develop and rollout the Andandorr Programme. This pilot entrepreneurship initiative is jointly implemented by key entrepreneurship service providers in The Gambia. The programme follows a maturity-model bespoke service provision for women and youth entrepreneurs in The Gambia across all regions and strengthens information sharing through a joint CRM system.

The employability and employment creation in The Gambia is also affected by the quality and access to technical and vocational education and training (TVET). The National TVET Roadmap found a high concentration of TVET providers in Banjul and Kanifing, with approximately 75% of the 92 accredited TVET providers located in these areas. Only four training providers operate in NBR and LRR. To meet the growing demand for vocational training in key growth sectors, the project supports the roll out of technical and vocational training.

Download the ToR and other supporting documents under downloadables for more information.