The Mulberrys Cleaners 2019 Entrepreneur Scholarship Winner
For the third year in a row, we asked high school and college students around the country to send us innovative ideas for their future business for the chance to win a $1,000 college scholarship. We look forward to reviewing the submissions each year to see what future business owners are planning, and we were impressed with how ambitious and thoughtful this year’s batch of submissions was. It was difficult for us to choose one winner, but there was one submission that stood out to us. We’re thrilled to announce the 2019 winner is Adama Kamara!
Adama is a current sophomore at Arizona State University working towards a major in International Public Health. She is hoping to turn this major into a Medical and Services Manager career to follow her passion of providing medical care to anyone who needs it. Her family is originally from West Africa, Sierra Leone, and she has seen firsthand the lack of medical care allocated to the elderly and impoverished community there. Her goal is to start a residential care home that provides day-to-day care to the elderly in a way that advocates for their needs without costing them a penny.
Congratulations Adama! You can check out her submission below.
Background and Vision:
My family and I are originally from West Africa, Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone and its citizens face many health challenges due to the lack of knowledge and medical care. Also, from outcomes of the Civil War, Ebola, and mudslides. We are grateful that medical help has been focused on mothers and children, but it is unfortunate that elderly care is abandoned due to various reasons. To focus on the health needs of the elderly in Sierra Leone, my vision is to start a non-profit residential care home named ‘Kamara’s Residential of Freetown’.
At Arizona State, I am currently majoring in International Public Health in hopes of pursuing a career as a Medical and Services Manager. This career and my caregiving experience will help me continue and establish my residential care home business in Sierra Leone. Through my courses, I was able to gain great information in regards to health policies all over the world. I would be able to apply my passion for health, education, and background knowledge to the company’s foundation. It is important to use my talent and skills of organization and time management to grow and expand the success of the company. With the experiences and skills I have, I am certain in my ability to build a successful business.
What is a caregiving home?
A residential care home is a live-in accommodation community that consists of professionals such as caregivers and nurses, that will assist the elderly with their day to day non-medical needs and challenges.
Demographic and Challenges:
My business will focus on both the male and female elderly population, 60 and up. The home will be located in the capital city, Freetown Sierra Leone and the business will be open to only those living in the capital area.
Challenges we may face in this business are backlash for caring for some elderlies that faced neglect due to being shamed as a ‘witch’ from the community. Also, some Sierra Leoneans may seem taboo to allow their elderly family members to be in external care, and because of that, some may have too much pride to seek the help needed for their elderly. This will lower and possibly stop our ability to provide care to a substantial population.
Financially, this business will be based off as a non-profit business, seeking creative ways to fund the business can be a huge challenge at the beginning of the business. These are challenges that may seem to be hard to overcome but through great and proper marketing strategies we can control it.
To start this business, advocacy is essential to prepare Sierra Leoneans to understand the importance of external elderly care. Advocacy includes building a team behind me by networking with the public and government officials of Sierra Leone, organizing awareness events, and stay connected with social media.
Also, it is good to seek advice and learn from those who have significant experience in this type of business. For example, my mom has over 20+ years in Caregiving experience, she is someone I can trust that will relay great learning information to me that I will need.
Researching competitor residential homes in Sierra Leone and all over the continent of Africa is crucial. I will look at what these competitors provide to the elderly and the possible ways they may have funded their own business. It is important to push my business to be better than the competitors while simultaneously providing the best care to the focused demographic.
As a starting business, there’s no choice but to use my income, microloans and invest in establishing this business. And as a non-profit business, I will need to depend on charitable donations of money and physical items such as clothing, toiletries, linen etc. These charitable donations will be from individuals, organizations, and the government through connecting, and marketing. Fundraising is essential as well. My goal is for the elderly and the families of the elderly to not have to put a dime because many of them come from poor backgrounds and are unable to keep up with payments.