Oui Carry is a Dakar-based import logistics company founded by Youssou Owens Ndiaye. It is the country’s only import company that enables locals to order products online and to track them throughout their entire journey (including customs), ensuring their safe arrival in Senegal.
The business was a finalist at the 2016 GREAT Entrepreneur competition, a nationwide British Council project that targets Senegal’s young up and coming business owners.
“Being a GREAT Entrepreneur finalist helped us a lot in terms of visibility and credibility,” admitted Youssou Owens Ndiaye. Through the competition, Youssou and his ten-member tam benefitted from a year-long mentorship with the global non-profit Enablis.
This mentorship helped Oui Carry secure their first investment worth CFAF 200 million (332,000 USD) with Teranga Capital.
“From the start, I told Youssou that he had what it takes to raise money himself,” explained Ibrahima Ba, Director of Enablis Senegal, who was also a jury member for the GREAT Entrepreneur Season 2 competition. Ba’s team helped Oui Carry define its needs assessment, develop its entrepreneurial development plan and provided logistical, transport and customs support.
“Youssou has similar strong values of respect, integrity and professionalism,” added Ba, whose organisation currently supports 105 entrepreneurs in Senegal. “He has a clear vision of where he wants to be in the future, is highly motivated, knows his market and has humility.”
GREAT Entrepreneur is the only televised young entrepreneurial competition of its kind in Senegal, offering chances for young business owners, such as Ndiaye, to build their skills, expand their networks and cease opportunities to expand the visibility of their project both nationally and regionally.
With the funds from Teranga Capital, Ndiaye and his team plan to develop their local e-commerce market and expand into the sub-region over the coming year. They reportedly have thousands of clients, growing every year, and are looking to branch into neighbouring Mali.
“My advice for all the other young entrepreneurs out there is to not give up…and get ready to work a lot!” said Ndiaye. It seems all his hard work is paying dividends.
For more information about GREAT Entrepreneur, read here.