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For many it is impossible to think of starting a business without having thousands of dollars in seed capital. Not so for Alhaji Siraj Bah. At 18 and with only $20 in savings, the Sierra Leonean founded Rugsal Trading, an enterprise that now directly and indirectly employs 38 people.
Sadly, Bah’s story has its roots in tragedy. In 2017, Bah (pictured above) lost his adoptive parents to the Freetown landslides that killed over 1100 people.
After the tragedy and to fend for his family, the then 16-year old took a factory job with a company that packaged purified water. It was this that gave him closer insight into the tragedy that befell his parents.
Bah believes the mudslides were caused by the high level of deforestation around the city as well as by the high amount of plastic waste generated by local factories. It was this that inspired him to last year start Rugsal Trading.
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Featured image: Rugsal CEO and founder Alhaji Siraj Bah (Supplied)
The Anzisha Prize seeks to fundamentally and significantly increase the number of job generative entrepreneurs in Africa, and is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation. Through Ventureburn, they hope to share inspirational and relatable stories of very young (15 to 22 year old) African entrepreneurs and the people that support them. [learn more]