Demba Jallow is a 31-year-old native of Foroya, Jarra Central Buiba Ward, Lower River Region, and a beneficiary of the EU-funded Tekki Fii Project implemented by GIZ. Demba has always been interested in animal husbandry and, one day, he began exploring ways of turning this interest in a profit-making venture.
“I am doing animal husbandry because the market in The Gambia is mostly dominated by foreigners especially during the Muslim feast known as Tobaski – which is a loss on the side of our economy,” he explains. He firmly believes that, if professionally managed, this sector can turn out to be quite profitable.
As someone who had the foresight even without having the resources, Demba works twice harder to curtail his individual expenses and lifestyle needs to invest in his business. “Starting is never easy, especially in the field of animal husbandry where vaccination and feeding must be compulsorily provided and I do not have the resources,” he claims, “but again I don’t underrate any work. I have to be a jack of all trades to carry out my business in the most successful way possible.”
Demba has been determined to excel in this field since the very beginning. To strengthen his management skills, he decided to join the training provided by NACCUG on Micro Business and Saving Games for young start-ups. After obtaining certificates from both trainings, he decided to take part in the business coaching program offered by GIZ in partnership with Startup Incubator Gambia (SIG) in 2019. “The program has contributed tremendously in offering me knowledge and experience during and after my training. GIZ and SIG gave me a coach who guides me in my field as well as business recording, and yearly target planning became well understood.” Demba says he now knows ways of overcoming competition in the same business and has also gained a deeper understanding of customers and their needs.
Demba believes that starting a business with meager resources is not only possible but also advisable: “It’s quite important to start with little; your ambition and determination matter well in attaining your dream, so I urge young people like me to venture into business and establish one of their own, keeping in mind that even counting commences at zero!”
As someone who started with only 4 female goats in 2017, Demba has now reared up to 27 goats and a young sheep. Whenever he has few sales, he ploughs back into breeding more livestock. Demba now has 3 goats in isolation which he is hoping to market in the upcoming Muslim feast Tobaski. This will be Demba’s first major sale since he started the livestock business in 2017. He is very positive about the outcome and hopes to get enough money to further expand and grow his business.
“I want to advise the upcoming entrepreneurs to love their business, seek advice from coaches attached to them and avoid always seeking for the expensive life or competition that do not favor their dreams.” Demba went on to conclude by thanking GIZ and partners for their foresight. “I thank GIZ for the support that they are rendering to the youth of The Gambia, I am very certain that such assistance could help in stopping irregular migration in the Gambia.”