Empowerment knows no bounds when women unite their vision with purpose in business development, social advocacy, and volunteerism. As pioneers of positive change, let your passion be the spark that ignites a brighter, more inclusive future for all.

Over the past fifteen years, Sunah Agnes Keili has become a formidable catalyst for change within the ever-evolving realms of business development, social advocacy, and volunteerism. Her accolades, including the African Innovation Prize in 2013 and being an IVLP Exchange Fellow of the US Department of State in 2017, attest to her commitment to making a positive impact on society. Sunah’s diverse roles, from business development consultant to co-founder of Jaylay Gomei, a poetry and creative arts platform, showcase her dedication to the creative industries and youth development.

Skool Grind: A Beacon of Change in Youth Entrepreneurship

Almost four years ago, Sunah founded Skool Grind, a non-profit organization with a bold mission to revolutionize youth entrepreneurship and development across the African continent. Skool Grind focuses on empowering aspiring changemakers through entrepreneurship education and various programs, with a particular emphasis on addressing the gap in foundational support for young entrepreneurs aged 13 to 25. By doing so, Skool Grind strengthens the entrepreneurial ecosystem and enhances the success rate of emerging businesses.

Sunah’s Vision for Youth Development

Beyond her professional endeavors, Sunah is driven by a passion for youth development. She aims to establish a youth resource center to provide incubation and acceleration opportunities for young entrepreneurs, addressing the lack of support for turning business ideas into reality. This initiative also seeks to educate young people and the public on entrepreneurship as a vital driver of economic growth.

Challenges in Women’s Development in Sierra Leone

Sunah’s experiences have led her to actively engage in discussions about the challenges faced by women in Sierra Leone. Gender inequality, limited access to economic opportunities, and issues related to sexual and gender-based violence persist as obstacles hindering the empowerment of women. The need for change is evident, both socially and institutionally.

Our trailblazer acknowledges the existing challenges and emphasizes the importance of women being in spaces that support personal and professional growth. She advocates for the creation of women support groups and organizations designed to provide comprehensive support, acting as pillars for women’s success. Sunah envisions these groups as “half houses” that bridge the gap in the existing support system.

Her Female Role Models

Sunah draws inspiration from two late Sierra Leonean female role models, Agnes Fatu Keili and Mabel Kangbai, both esteemed educationalists. These women, members of women-focused groups FAWE and YWCA, believed fervently in women’s empowerment and girls’ education. Their legacy lives on through training centers established in Sierra Rutile, Kailahun, and Bo, serving as lasting monuments to their dedication to uplifting women.

Sunah Agnes Keili’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of inclusion in education and social entrepreneurship. Her commitment to bridging gaps and empowering the youth, especially women, reflects a deep understanding of the challenges faced and a determination to be a catalyst for positive change. Sunah’s vision and actions inspire us to strive for a more inclusive and supportive future, where everyone, regardless of background or gender, has the opportunity to thrive.

International Women’s Day 2024: Sharing powerful stories of Sierra Leonean Women Entrepreneurs who are breaking barriers and inspiring inclusion through their work.

Written by: arianadiaries

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