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A trade fair in The Gambia helps with making useful contacts

Yankuba was one of more than 350 young entrepreneurs who took part in the trade fair organised by the Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce. Image: State of Mic

A trade fair in The Gambia helps with making useful contacts

The trade fair for young women and men in The Gambia’s agricultural and tourism sector is an important stage and networking venue. The Gambian-German Advisory Centre supported entrepreneurs with their presentation.

More than 350 young entrepreneurs presented their services and products at the latest trade fair in The Gambia organised by the Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce. 60 per cent of the participants were women. The trade fair took place in Sukuta in Western Gambia, which is the country’s tourist region. Hundreds of guests admired the jewellery, craft pieces, cosmetics and electronic products on display. They tasted various dishes and asked questions about services. The trade fair was more than just a marketplace. It offered an opportunity to make contact with national and international companies and to network with like-minded people.

Support for trade fair newcomers

The Gambian-German Advisory Centre for Jobs, Training and Reintegration (GGAC) provided assistance to young entrepreneurs who were taking part in the trade fair for the first time. They included people who had returned to The Gambia. These trade fair newcomers were supported with funding for their stands and with advertising material.

One example is Yankuba. The 34-year-old is a returnee. He used his trade stand to exhibit sand artwork, carvings, beaded necklaces and bracelets, African dresses, bags, shoes and woven baskets.

“The trade fair gives me a great opportunity to display my products. I can win new customers and form a network with other salespeople from The Gambia”, he said. The only way that Yankuba could take part in the trade fair was with support from the GGAC: “I didn’t have the money for the stand.”

Visitors were able to directly purchase his products. But it wasn’t just this income that made the trade fair so important for him. Yankuba used the opportunity to look around and get to know other companies. This means he has a better understanding of the market. “I never want to miss another trade fair”, he made clear.

Mutarr has built up a small company in The Gambia. He was given support from the GGAC to present his products and services at the trade fair. Image: State of Mic

The trade fair as a way to expand business

Mutarr is also a returnee to The Gambia. The 29-year-old used his stand to sell building components such as fittings, wires, cables, screws and sanitary pipes as well as electrical products including satellite dishes and receivers. Mutarr also marketed his services in addition to his products: he installs satellite dishes. “The construction and agricultural industries in The Gambia offer huge potential. That’s why I’m concentrating on them”, he said.

The trade fair motivated Mutarr to expand his business. He’d now like to both export and import building components in the future. He never dreamt before the trade fair that his stand would be so successful. There was a high level of interest among visitors. “This is the first time I was given support from the GGAC. It couldn’t have gone better”, he said.

Women with their own businesses and young entrepreneurs are standing in the centre of the trade fair in The Gambia. Image: GGYC

Talking face to face with customers

Another participant at the trade fair was 27-year-old Kaddyjatou. She runs a digital marketing agency and creates content for small and medium-sized companies. She also helps them to reach customers via social media platforms. Here, it's important to communicate in the right way.

Kaddyjatou used her stand to advertise her services and consultancy. This meant she could get into conversation with people face to face and explain the advantages of digital marketing.

Promoting the economy in The Gambia

One of the trade fair objectives was to create a marketplace for young entrepreneurs to support them on their career path. It should also enable them to improve their income. The trade fair therefore also contributes to growing the economy in The Gambia.

As of: 03/2023

This text is written in simple language to ensure that it’s easy for everyone to understand.

I was given support from the GGAC. It couldn’t have gone better.

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