As you know, I went to Saint-Louis for the FundWell Microfunding & Mentorship Ecosystem. In my last post you can read all about the amazing region and island of Saint-Louis. Today, I want to focus more on the FundWell Microfunding & Mentorship Ecosystem. I definitely want to introduce you to all the people behind it. Also, I just want to share more about our week at the amazing University of Gaston Berger. Let’s go!
FundWell Microfunding & Mentorship Ecosystem
As a recipient of the 2019 Mandela Washington Reciprocal Exchange Felloship, Sharesa partnered up with YALI Fellows Kémo Touré and Pape Ba Gahn. They created a microlending and mentorship program called the FundWell Microfunding & Mentorship Ecosystem #FundWellMME2019. Furthermore, the idea is to have workshops on different subjects for a group of about 20 entrepreneurs. At the end of the program, the entrepreneurs have to implement everything they have learned into a presentation and participate in the pitch competition. Eventually, some of the entrepreneurs will get funding in order to support their business projects. Let me now introduce you to the people behind the FundWell Microfunding & Mentorship Ecosystem.
Sharesa Y. Alexander & Sonia Gaillard
Sharesa Y. Alexander Esq. and Sonia Gaillard are both American professionals from Austin, Texas. Sharesa has a Jurist Doctorate and a Legal Masters in addition to a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication. Currently, Sharesa is working in Texas as a Senior Attorney. Sonia has a Undergraduate Degree in Computer Science from Winthrop University. Additionally, she has a Masters of Science Degree in Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas Austin. Sonia was the recipient of the 2018 Mandela Washington YALI Reciprocal Fellowship, which made it possible for her to travel to Senegal to assist Fadieye during #ELITESenegal2018. This year, was Sharesa’s turn. Together they have put in a lot of effort to organize the FundWell Microfunding & Mentorship Ecosystem.
Kémo Touré Jr.
Kémo Touré Jr. is a Mandela Washington 2016 Fellow with a focus on Business & Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University in Chicago. During this experience he won the YALI Business Plan competition. He won $75,000 to invest in Wutiko, his business venture. Additionally, Kémo is an African serial entrepreneur with over eleven years of entrepreneurial experience in both Europe and Africa. Currently, he is leading Wutiko, a professional platform that provides opportunities to connect entrepreneurs, job seekers and companies. Today, Wutiko has regular offices in Mauritius, Nigeria and Senegal. Kémo holds a Master’s Degree in engineering from the Ecole Centrale de Paris, France. After a short experience at Accenture then at BNP Paribas, he launched in 2008 his first startup in Europe then two years later, in 2010, he decided to return back to Africa.
Pape Ba Gahn
Elhadji Ahm Demba Ba Gahn is also a Mandela Washington Fellow. His focus was on Civic Engagement at Northwestern University in Chicago. Elhadji is passionate about the development of leadership and entrepreneurship among young people. He graduated in Management of Organizations from the Higher African Institute of Training. Elhadji has worked with various NGO’s in Senegal within the management and implementation of entrepreneurship programs. He capitalizes on more than 10 years of experience in support, particularly in the development of entrepreneurship training tools and processes. Elhadji is an Entrepreneurial Consultant for many organizations that he supports in the delivery of training services. Additionally, he is involved in the facilitation of the development of business model (s) for SMEs. He is also passionate about life skills and his development in everyone’s life, especially for entrepreneurs.
the incubator of UGB
The incubator of the UGB is a reception and support structure for business creation and development project developers who, by providing them with the skills and tools they need to start and grow their businesses. an innovative company will enable them to turn their idea or project into a structured and viable business. It covers the entire northern area of Louga to Matam. The incubator team is under the management of Ndimby Faye and Fatoumata Sow. Both ladies and their team were definitely very knowledgable, and helpful during the program.
The FundWell Microfunding & Mentorship Ecosystem was in partnership with the incubator of the University of Gaston Berger. Kémo, Pape and the incubator of UGB gave the courses during the week. Sharesa and the mentors were the judges during the pitch competition. My role throughout the program was to take pictures, assist the organizers and I also did some translation. Definitely watch the video below for some live footage from during the FundWell Microfunding & Mentorship Ecosystem.