8 years ago Continent Clothing started with a clear mission. To brighten up the world with colourful and funky African print clothing whilst providing well paid employment opportunities to local tailors in The Gambia. We think we are doing pretty well in this mission :) but we know that we can do more. And we have started to do just that.
MyFarm Africa Startup is a creative learning hub based in The Gambia, that ships their innovative learning techniques across the world, check them out here https://africastartup.org/
They approached us to help them facilitate agribusiness training to rural communities in The Gambia. This, is exactly the kind of program we have been looking to get involved with and were so excited to test this new training program.
The program, over 3 intensive weeks, would teach trainees the skills to create their own micro gardens, and use MyFarm’s incredible business guide to impart business knowledge to them, teaching them ‘how to make money’.
The first week focused solely on the skills and importance of micro-gardening, it succeeded in not only showing the trainees valuable skills, but also showed them that micro gardens are cheap and extremely effective at producing crops! That’s not even mentioning the beneficial effects of reusing what you already have to make these micro gardens.
The second week reinforced the micro-gardening skills and started to relate everything to business and how to make money. The trainees were put through their paces here and had an intense week of skills and business training. This week saw the trainees even go out into the real world and sell products to customers at the famous Turntable, Gambia… How cool is that…they did fantastic by the way. This week they were introduced to marketing, controlling finances, using technology, using people in business, cash flow, and of course selling!
The third and final week was a story of development taking place right before our eyes. The trainees just clicked! They were able to expertly train the local women of Jiroff (rural Gambian village) the micro gardening skills they only just learned themselves. The second real life selling saw an increase of over 100%, and not only this, they, without prompting were able to tell me their profits, and kept records of every single sale! One of the teams even sold out and restocked...WOW! At the end of the week the trainees were even confident enough to do their own presentations, in front of over 40 people!!
What is really special about MyFarm Africa Startup, is their use of innovative learning techniques to facilitate education…and this showed in their training methods! The training was backed up with a variety of amazing self training methods that all combined to provide the most robust and thorough training program we have ever seen! A micro-gardening guide, a ‘how to make money newspaper’, Micro-gardening apps, short and snappy business lesson videos and Dipeo - an ingenious entrepreneurial board game gave the trainees the knowledge, skills and confidence to go out there and start their own micro-gardening businesses!
The result…20 participants who at the end of the training were measurably more confident, knowledgable and had many more skills than at the beginning. They are itching to get started on their new businesses and watching this is inspiring…and you know what… I personally cannot wait to watch these businesses grow!
Thank you MyFarm Africa startup for the unique opportunity!