Personal interview with Alie, a young entrepreneur from Sierra Leone. Don’t miss it!

Thank you very much for keep supporting the young entrepreneurs from Sierra Leone, monitored by IOM!


As a return to your valuable support, we would like to share with you this month’s Newsletter from the program, that we hope you’d enjoy!



This month, Anisia from Airfunding had an interview with Alie, one of the young entrepreneurs from Sierra Leone that are participating in the IOM’s Entrepreneurship Program, and we’ve had the chance to know a little more about him, his motivations and dreams. Please keep reading!


Interview with Alie Conteh, a young entrepreneur from Sierra Leone




  • Hi Alieh! Thank you for participating in this interview! I would like to ask you some questions, so your supporters get a chance to know you and your work better. To start, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your personal story?

My name is Alie Conteh; I am a Sierra Leonean, residing at Sierra Leone, West Africa. I was born on the 13 October 1995. I was raised by a single mother because my father died when I was just a kid. Being raised by a single poor subsistence farmer was really tough for us; we have to undergo serious hardship and struggles to makes provision for our basic needs. After my high school education, my mother could no longer afford to pay my tertiary education, therefore I decided to engage myself into entrepreneurship venture by starting a small business on my own, continue my education and taking care of my siblings.

Despite the struggles and hardship with persistency, hard work and the faith I have on God, early this year I graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Resource Management. I have also completed series of certificate courses such as Entrepreneurship, Business Management, Computer Basics, Sustainability and Development. In January 2021, I and other well meaningful young people formed a nonprofit organization called Coalition for Sustainable Peace and Development-SL, an organization, advocating for youth, children’s and women empowerment in Sierra Leone.


  • Recently, you have been chosen leader of the group of young entrepreneurs participating in Airfunding for NGO, how do you feel about it?


Being a leader is hard, exciting and fulfilling, all at the same time. It takes serious commitment, hard work, persistency and passion for what you do. Notwithstanding that, I am overwhelmed and extremely happy because I see it as a challenge and also an opportunity to unleash my leadership skills and potentials and also the ability to network with others.


  • Why do you think you were chosen as a leader?


Due to hard work, honesty, humbleness and persistency in what I believe in and also the passion I have for entrepreneurship and the leadership qualities I possess.



  • Can you explain a little what your business idea consists of?


My business dream is to be able to enrich my community with a computer training center.
In this center I want, not only to offer printing and internet services for everyone, but to train people on different computer skills.


My goal is to become the number one training centre for different vocational skills, which is gear towards helping youth with the right technical skills needed to empower them to grow.


  • You are one of the participants of IOM’s Entrepreneurship Support for the Youth program, which is a great opportunity for you. Are you happy to be part of this initiative?


IOM Sierra Leone is implementing different youth empowerment programs in the country, which is helping young entrepreneurs like me to develop sustainable businesses through training and mentorship on entrepreneurship.


Of course I’m very happy to be part of this, as now I have chance to achieve my goals, which will help me to support other young people of Sierra Leone to become financially independent and further develop their skills as well.


  • Could you tell us a bit about how all the candidates were selected to join this program?


The following steps were followed in the selections process:
– The application was open to all interested entrepreneurs or those who want to engage in business to apply
-Then, the application were screen thoroughly based on our business ideas
– Successful applicants were called upon for pitching of business idea at the IOM Sierra Leone headquarters in Freetown.
– After the pitching successful candidate were also called for a five day training on basics of entrepreneurship
– After the training a six month coaching and mentorship on entrepreneurship and business management sessions was also held.




  • How has been your experience with Airfunding and the team in general, so far?


Honestly, everyone among Airfunding team I have got the privileged to connect or talk with has been very polite and open to respond to all my questions and they are all aiding me in this process. I must admit I am bless to be among you.


  • Some curiosities about Sierra Leone. Did you know that?


– The name “Sierra Leone” dates back to 1462, when Portuguese explorer Pedro da Cintra, sailing down the West African coast, saw the tall mountains rising up on what is now the Freetown Peninsula and called them the “Lion Mountains” or “Serra Lyoa “.


– Sierra Leone is located on the west coast of Africa, north of the equator. It has a land area of 27,699 square miles (71,740 square kilometers).


– Sierra Leone has some 250 miles (400 kilometers) of coastline, giving it both bountiful marine resources and attractive tourist potential.


– The climate is tropical, with two seasons determining the agricultural cycle: the rainy season from May to November, followed by the dry season from December to May.


– The population of Sierra Leone is 7.97 million people, the majority being children and youth. The population had been increasing at just over 2 percent per year, though this has declined somewhat since civil conflict began in 1991. Thirty-six percent of the people live in urban areas.


– Different reports list between fifteen and twenty different ethnic groups. The two largest ethnic groups, the Temne and Mende, each comprise about 30 percent of the total population.


– While each ethnic group speaks its own language, the majority of people speak Mende, Temne, or Krio. The official language spoken in schools and government administration is English, a product of British colonial influence. It is not unusual for a child growing up to learn four different languages.



Remember that you can directly communicate with Alie in the Supporters Community in Facebook. Don’t forget to join the community if you haven’t done it yet, by clicking on the following link!