A female woodworker, N’Yillah Elizabeth Cawray, 21, won NLe30 Thousand for pitching the best business idea during a prestigious pitching competition sponsored by the World Bank at the Milton Margai Technical University on Goderich Campus in Freetown.
Speaking after receiving a cheque for NLe30 Thousand for the top prize on Saturday night, Cawray revealed that she started her professional trade in woodworking two years ago in Freetown.
As her passion for works of art, at 16, landed her in an industry that has long been seen as a man’s domain across the country, the young woodworker said she can now tackle a range of sustainable projects, like office tables, Tv stands, beds, and other furniture.
Cawray has promised to invest her top prize reward to procure more working equipment to enhance her production and to ensure the sustainability of her trade.
The pitching competition was open to business idealists until November 24. Only eight competitors pitched their best trade ideas during the competition, and cash prizes were given to the top three: NLe30,000, NLe20,000, and NLe10,000; for the winner, first runner-up, and second runner-up; N’Yillah E. Cawray, Arnold Coker, and Isatu Sesay, all respectively.
Other sponsors for the pitching competition included the Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project, Milton Margai Technical University, and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDA)