Liberia: Encouragement To Entrepreneurs During This Global Covid-19 Pandemic

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“I’ve survived wars, refugee life, epidemics, global financial meltdowns, national economic crisis, political retributions, and I’m now experiencing a global pandemic that comes with an unprecedented economic collapse.”

Amin Modad, [email protected], Contributing Writer


My entrepreneurial journey began about 30 years ago. It informally started in 1990 with the printing of t-shirts and shoulder badges for ECOMOG soldiers and soldiers of various factions. I stepped up a notch and began purchasing cars in Lomé in 1996, driving them through Ghana and Ivory Coast, to sell in Monrovia.

Though extremely risky, these were few of the honest opportunities I saw. In 1996 I took advantage of another opportunity and began distributing cement. Between then and now a million things have happened; I’ve experienced losses & failures as well as gains & successes; I’ve paddled in various ventures and sectors including graphic arts, painting, retail, wholesale, banking, business development consulting, car rental, hospitality, food production and even public service. I’ve survived wars, refugee life, epidemics, global financial meltdowns, national economic crisis, political retributions, and I’m now experiencing a global pandemic that comes with an unprecedented economic collapse.

I’m sure there are many of you at various levels and in various sectors who are in similar situations. I know how bleak and hopeless your situations seem; I know how stressed and agonized you are seeing your investments dissipate and your life’s works collapse; I know how failed you may feel laying off or sending home staffs who depend on you and have been loyal to your goals and aspirations; I know how traumatic it is when your banks are pressuring you for payments and threatening you with lawsuits at this time; I know how frustrating and terrifying it is when you have no clue how long this will last and how you will be able to sustain your families.

However, I survived and was able to pass through all the above with dignity; Yet, until now (During This Pandemic), I had never felt more pressured and desperate. For the first time I have Been compelled to close down all my four companies and let go of staffs.

Though temporary, this is profoundly decrescent and harrowing; the situation seems so hopeless and the potential loss of lives so terrifying.

But I’m not deterred or frightened of the future! I must not allow myself to be!

I’m sure there are many of you at various levels and in various sectors who are in similar situations. I know how bleak and hopeless your situations seem; I know how stressed and agonized you are seeing your investments dissipate and your life’s works collapse; I know how failed you may feel laying off or sending home staffs who depend on you and have been loyal to your goals and aspirations; I know how traumatic it is when your banks are pressuring you for payments and threatening you with lawsuits at this time; I know how frustrating and terrifying it is when you have no clue how long this will last and how you will be able to sustain your families.

However, I wish to use this medium to encourage you to remain strong, focused, and positive. This is temporary and just a phase that tests your determination to succeed. This too shall pass! I encourage you to take this experience as an opportunity to self-assess and internalize all that you’ve been doing and experiencing the past years; analyze your strengths and weaknesses and use this period to restructure your organizations and review your business strategies/plans.

It is not about how low or how injurious your fall; what matter are, how quickly and how strong you bounce back.
Use this opportunity to look for and harness other diversified opportunities, even if totally different from what you’ve been doing or succeeding in and in any case less prestigious; think outside the box and out of your comfort zones; remember your earlier days and your most struggling periods.

READJUST YOU LIVES & PRIORITIES! This is no time for socializing and wasteful spending! Prioritize survival and recovery. Stop any activity that does not bring in revenue and might only diminish your resources and savings. IF YOU HAVE TO RATION FOOD AND UTILITIES (electricity) OR CUT BACK ON THE EXCESSES, DO SO (I’M DOING THE SAME)!

Reach out to your bankers and creditors and appeal for forbearance or restructure. It is in everyone’s interest that they understand and work with you; however, be sincere in your interactions with them. Don’t over promise or overcommit!

Last and finally, IT IS NOT ONLY ABOUT YOU! Think about your family, friends, those who work for you, and your community. CONTINUE HELPING OTHERS IN THESE DIFFICULT TIMES AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.

Remember that you play critical and important roles in your economy. Don’t underestimate how your actions and survival can impact your community and society; you create jobs & provide livelihoods, develop the capacities of your people, contribute towards your national economic growth, provide food and nutrition, pay taxes, bring in foreign exchange, and more. Don’t wait for the government, be the change you want!

I’m available through messenger to provide moral support and answers to specific issues.

MAY GOD BLESS ALL OF US AND STRENGTHEN US TO FIGHT THIS PANDEMIC TOGETHER.

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