By Alimatou S Bajinka
A holiday pop-up market dubbed “She Sells”, organised by Woman Boss has opened up at former Dream Park, SeneGambia featuring 41 rural and urban women entrepreneurs. The holiday pop-up market started receiving customers on 21st December 2021 and is set to close today 23rd December 2021. Our reporter visited the “She Sells” market yesterday 22nd December 2021 to find out what kind of items are being sold and how the market was progressing.
Speaking to an intern at Woman Boss, Ndey Marie Camara, she explained that “last year it was just women from the urban area, so this year we decided to include women in the rural area, so as to bridge the gap between the rural and urban entrepreneurs”. The objective of “She Sells” is to support rural and urban women.
“This is an annual event, we had the first one last year, this is the second of it kind, we organised this event to promote and empower women businesses,” said Ms Camara.
According to Ms Camara, 50 women entrepreneurs were expected including “35 from the urban area and 15 from the rural area, so the rural women are all here, but some of the urban women in the last minute have emergencies and couldn’t make it. So we currently have 41 entrepreneurs as of now, 15 rural women and 26 from the urban area”.
Our reporter spoke to urban entrepreneur, Haddy Dibba, the founder of Dabs, a local business that creates fabrics and products such as African Prints and local fabrics to make products such as shoes, bags, accessories and others.
Ms Dibba noted that the Pop-Up Market helped her build up her business connections. “I do have a lot of customers through the Woman Boss Pop-Up Market, because what I do is, if you are not able to buy, I give you my business card for you to call me whenever you are ready to buy. This has helped me a lot in making a lot of customers during the sales and even after the sales because most customers reach out after the sales and buy my product, this is my second time participating in the Woman Boss Pop-Up Market and it has been a great experience”.
Rural entrepreneur Sarjo Manjang, a native of Kiang Kwenella, from the Tresor Women Warriors, who deals in Batik, expressed gratitude to the organisers. “We are very grateful to the organisers of this annual event, we are selling here and we are selling for ourselves because at the end of the day, it all goes back to us and we thank God for that. We are just hoping that at the end of the day all our products are sold out”.
First-time participant and rural entrepreneur, Judith Alimatou Foon, the founder of “She Made” spoke about her African handmade products. “Today am selling travel pillows, bonnet for women, face masks, hand fans, handbags, books, wall decorations, earrings etc”.
Speaking about the sales Ms Foon explained that ”the business is going quite well, from yesterday to today, I made few sales, apart from sales am networking with people, exchanging my business card and that’s [been] really helpful because many people are getting to know my business”.
In contrast, urban entrepreneur Madam Kaddijatou Ndongo, a businesswoman from Wassu, and a first-time participant in the Holiday Pop-Up Market expressed her dissatisfaction with the low turnout of buyers. “I sell Bananas, and this is my first time selling here. I do buying and selling, so I depend on the profit I make at the end of the day, I was here since yesterday but, I sell nothing more than D300” she lamented.
According to information received about the organisers, “the Woman Boss is a female-focused organization which fosters Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership, where women and girls curate, collaborate, innovate, and grow. Woman Boss provides women entrepreneurs with an inspiring community and an experiential process that catalyzes innovative thinking and enables them to successfully scale their businesses”.
This report is part of our ongoing efforts to promote the role of women towards National Development and self-empowerment. Gainako was not paid for this publication.