Meet Bomaya H. Kamara, MSW | Founder and CEO of Salone Linkup, LLC

National Black Business Month

Salone LinkUp is proud to announce the launch of “Shop Salone,” a powerful initiative celebrating National Black Business Month by highlighting and promoting businesses owned by Sierra Leonean entrepreneurs. This campaign seeks to empower local communities, foster economic growth, and encourage support for Salone-owned businesses.

Under the theme “Moving forward together, Shop Salone – Empowering the Present, Building the Future,” Salone LinkUp’s Founder & CEO Bomaya Kamara aims to achieve from this campaign’s key objectives greater awareness, African diversity showcased within Sierra Leonean entrepreneurialism, community involvement, sales growth amongst businesses, and create a lasting impact on this upcoming West African community.

We had the good fortune of connecting with Bomaya Kamara and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Bomaya, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I asked myself four questions: How can I use my talents and skills to earn extra income while also making a difference?; What can I do to contribute to the Sierra Leonean community?; How can I positively impact my Sierra Leonean peers?; What is lacking in our community? Networking and community-building aren’t something we take advantage of in our community. Also, young Sierra Leoneans don’t have consistent outlets where we can come together for work, growth, and play. Lastly, the young Sierra Leoneans back home (Sierra Leone) lack support systems for personal and professional growth. This is where Salone Linkup (SL) comes in – We want to be the link and go-to platform for young Sierra Leoneans globally.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
During the day, I’m social workin’;  It has always been my mission to serve and empower the youth population, and improve programs and community organizations. 

I’m also a strong advocate for civic engagement and community-building. I enjoy volunteering, mentoring, and educating people about the importance of voting. I’m affiliated with a few professional and community organizations, and I’ve had the opportunity to serve on a few boards to do things that I’m very passionate about.

I also enjoy event planning and connecting people. So, at night, I’m thinking of innovative and fun ways to link young Sierra Leonean professionals and entrepreneurs, and makin’ moves to build the Salone Linkup brand and community. I created the brand to empower young Sierra Leoneans and build a positive narrative about Sierra Leone. Not many people know about Sierra Leone, and if they do, they would probably mention mudslides, ebola, and blood diamonds. Sierra Leone is a hidden gem and has such a rich history and culture. 

At Salone Linkup, our mission is to create a community where young Sierra Leonean professionals (YSLPs) and entrepreneurs can be empowered, celebrated, and spurred creatively to achieve more, enough to foster the advancement of Sierra Leonean culture, business, and national pride through providing new opportunities and connections such as networking, curated experiences, resources, referrals, inspiring content, personal and professional development opportunities, volunteering opportunities, partnerships, collaborations, and more.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
To Sierra Leone, West Africa aka Salone, of course!  

Monday – Tuesday: We would stay at The Place Resort at Tokeh Beach. Tokeh Beach is one of the top beaches in Sierra Leone. The Resort itself is a beachfront resort with ocean and mountain views. On Monday, we would hang out at the beach and enjoy different water activities. On Tuesday, we would visit the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

Wednesday – Thursday: We would stay at Estuary Resort at John Obey. Estuary Resort is a beautiful place for relaxation and is Sierra Leonean-owned. It is also known for its boat parties and amazing seafood. On Wednesday, we would chill at the resort and tour the area. On Thursday, we would hang out at the dock, eat, play games, and go for a boat ride.

Friday – Saturday: We would stay at the Hub Hotel. The Hub Hotel has a nice pool, good drinks, and hookah. We would go for a swim on Friday morning at the Hubb Hotel and eat breakfast there. For lunch, we would visit a Sierra Leonean-owned local restaurant in the city called Kabba Restaurant after a tour at The national museum, Peace Museum, and Cotten Tree. Also, we would shop for gifts at one of the oldest markets called Big Market. For dinner, my BFF and I would eat and party at Vanity Lounge. Vanity Lounge is an upscale Lounge in town where most notable Sierra Leoneans hang out. On Saturday, we would visit Bunce Island. Bunce Island is a popular tourist location. It is tied to the slave trade and was once a British Slave Castle where slave traders once operated.

Sunday: My BFF and I would go for a morning walk at Lumley Beach and then take pictures of the I love Salone art installation. For lunch, we would eat pizza and have ice cream at Gigibonta. In the evening, we would hang out with friends at Lagoonda Restaurant at Mamba Point Lagoonda Resort and go bowling after.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people I would like to thank. I’d like to give a shoutout to my family, friends, mentors, and coaches. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for their love, patience, and support. I’d like to give a big shoutout to my cousin, Ami. She encouraged me to start Salone Linkup. I had so many doubts and fears and her saying “Just Start and learn along the way” really influenced and pushed me to get Salone Linkup established.