OWNERS, a national network in Sierra Leone for women in business, aims to coordinate the efforts of different business women's groups and women entrepreneurs across the country.
On Thursday 7 March 2013, The Organisation of Women's Network for Entrepreneurs (OWNERS) was jointly launched by Cherie Blair and The First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Mrs Sia Nyama Koroma. OWNERS is an initiative of The African Foundation for Development Sierra Leone (AFFORD SL) implemented with funds from The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.
OWNERS, a national network in Sierra Leone for women in business, aims to coordinate the efforts of different business women's groups and women entrepreneurs across the country. The initiative exists to create a centre for the exchange of ideas, discussion of problems and the promotion of women's interests.
Formed in 2012, OWNERS will assist women entrepreneurs to organise and improve their networking methods, become better connected, gain access to business and financial services, advocate policies that will encourage women entrepreneurs, support women as they grow their businesses and contribute positively to the Sierra Leonean economy.
The Network was formed after a series of engagements with women in business in which the women identified numerous challenges they face in operating their businesses.
At the launch, the First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Madam Sia Nyama Koroma spoke about using her office to push forward the women entrepreneurship agenda. Cherie spoke about how her Foundation is working with women across the world to help them grow their businesses and positively change their lives, communities and nations.
OWNERS is now fully functional in the East and West of Sierra Leone and will expand to the South and North this year.