In Côte d’Ivoire, the BJKD Foundation (Bénédicte Janine Kacou Diagou) has just arranged the 3rd edition of its Young Entrepreneurship Award. The winners were announced during a ceremony held in Abidjan on 19 September. In the choice of projects, the BJKD award emphasizes gender parity. And the podium for the 2020 vintage was dominated by women.
Among the five winners of the BJKD Foundation Award for Young Entrepreneurship this year are four winners, including Sara Coulibaly. She won the main prize for her company Naïma Dolls, which has been in operation for five years.
“We are a company that specializes in the design and marketing of African-inspired educational games with the black doll as our flagship product. We also have the special thing of being a 100% female company. We have three brands: Naïma Dolls, which is the most famous toy brand, Calao, which is the consumer toy brand, which allows us to have toys in 2000 to 5000 CFA francs and then a publishing house, which is’ call Naïma Edition, which specializes in the transmission of African culture to our children. “
Naïma Dolls currently has 55 employees. With the fifteen million CFA francs of the BJKD grand prix – almost 23,000 euros – his boss plans to increase the production volume. Among his projects: Build a factory in Ivory Coast within three years to produce the dolls locally. Sara Coulibaly was one of the ten finalists in the 3rd edition of the BJKD Foundation Prize for Young Entrepreneurship, where this award was one of the institute’s activities.
Dominique Mobioh Ezoua, in charge of her communication: “The aim of the Foundation is essentially to promote young entrepreneurship, the emergence of new talents at the artistic and cultural level, reintegration also into the economic and social structure of disadvantaged people.. the ten finalists in the competition selected five winners: the first prize was the main prize, fifteen million CFA francs, the second prize, the innovation prize of ten million, the third prize was female entrepreneurship, five million, the prize for the best project, of three million, and the last prize was performance, two million CFA francs. “
The BJKD Foundation carries the initials of Bénédicte Janine Kacou Diagou, CEO of the NSIA Banking and Insurance Group. UNDP’s representation in Côte d’Ivoire has established a partnership with this foundation this year. A partnership developed by Jonas Mfoutié, Deputy Resident Representative for UNDP in Abidjan: “This partnership aims to support innovative young entrepreneurship in Côte d’Ivoire. Out of the thousand projects analyzed in this selection process, there were 100 shortlisted projects. So our support aims to support these 100 projects in order to unlock the potential of these projects for Côte d’Ivoire. We aim to support 1,000 innovative projects for Ivorian youth over the next two to three years. ”
So far organized for Côte d’Ivoire, the BJKD Prize for Young Entrepreneurship was to be awarded next year to twelve UEMOA and CEMAC countries.