SABA is an initiative of the Somalia Investor Magazine consortium aiming to motivate Somali business to realize their hidden potentials and promote the Private-Public-Dialogue, the SME sector, as well as Women and Youth entrepreneurs. We want to show case the Somali side of creative, bold and daring positive attitude of Somalis that has kept the country breathing since the advent of the civil strife in 1991. The award aims to encourage ease of doing business in Somalia by also recognizing civil servants and government departments, who are perceived by the business community to facilitate user friendly processes in government bureaucracy.
SABA also aims to trigger a paradigm shift in the international news media and international arena in general where by 2018, the world will wake up to a different song- media headlines where businesses are awarded for best management practices, business persons and entrepreneurs are feted for creating jobs and wealth in Somalia. The old song where many have an entrenched negative perception that Somali has little positive image to offer except for chaos, violence and disorder-will gradually fade out. It is a grand vision-but we have faith and commitment to make it happen.
Since 1991, Somalia has been in turmoil. However, amid all the disorder, violence, killings, Somalia prides itself to be the first country to have efficient and fast around the world money transfers. Business has strived in cities and big towns. Somalis, in the words of Samiyo Omar….. “We Somalis don’t look back. We just keep going!!”
Somalis have inborn entrepreneurship talents, hence SABA aims to uncover and discover more of this hidden talent among Somalis.
The news media is full of ‘a bomb here and an explosion there’; but little is said about ‘a business here and a success there’-this is where SABA will come and fill the gap. Positive news. Motivating news.
SABA stands for Somalia Annual Business Award. The Somalia Investor Magazine Consortium conceived the idea and involved experts of many years standing in the design, programming and successful delivery of awards in Eastern Africa. SABA invites all businesses in Somalia to come forward and present their success stories. The SABA process is ring-fenced with water tight integrity in all stages from the selection of participants, evidence collection, evidence analysis to the award declaration.
SABA has the objective to:
1. Sustain and strengthen Public-Private-Dialogue
2. Reward public servants and departments that facilitate business in an efficient and seamless process manner
3. Strengthen business acumen among Somalis by encouraging Somali business people to be formal and organized
4. Promote, support the SME sector, women and youth entrepreneurs
5. Celebrate successes and learn from failures
6. Spearhead growth and stable businesses and triggering the sprouting of new businesses
7. Link emerging companies to finance and mentorship
8. Connect financial streams and supply-chains to those entrepreneurs who are seriously organized and in need
9. Create a publicity platform that will show case business success in Somalia
SABA has a team with a wealth of experience in design, organizing and delivering award programs in East Africa. The design of SABA will ensure that it is water-tight. The participating companies and individual participants (the youth SME entrepreneur, the best SME woman in business) will be verified before entering the program. =Participants will be given brief training so that they are aware of the award assessment criteria. The assessing team of experts will also undergo training so that they know the assessment criteria and methodology. The data collection will be done in Somalia under strict supervision of the Awards advisor, who is a professional with 30 years experience in consultancy work, 15 years experience in Somalia and 16 years experience in award programs. The data analysis and computation of preliminary award recipients will be done under secured environment. The final declarations will be done by a team of eminent persons in Somalia. All these steps are designed to increase the credibility of the award and prevent any chance of guesswork or rumors surrounding the awarding process.
As stated in the objectives, SABA participants will have the opportunity to be connected to banks and financial life-lines. Some Mogadishu banks and big businesses have expressed willingness to provide supply- chain facilities and financial streams to businesses that:
(a) Have entrepreneurs who are seriously organized and in need
(b) Business people who have embraced the culture of having formal and organized systems in their businesses
(c) Will be offered training and mentorship facilities. All these will strengthen business acumen among Somalis and generate sustainable businesses and growth.
SABA is a non-profit initiative that aims to motivate and improve the Somali business community by publicizing the good stories and successes of Somalis through a business award system.