The Design and Technology Institute (DTI), in association with the Mastercard Foundation, has disbursed $22,000 in grant to five emerging entrepreneurs as seed capital to support their business ideas under the institute’s incubation hub.
The five entrepreneurs emerged winners in a community innovative competition organised by the DTI and Mastercard Foundation, and were presented with their prizes in Accra last Wednesday.
The initiative is a business pitch and accelerated programme designed to identify and scale promising women and youth-led enterprises with the potential to create sustainable employment for young Ghanaians.
A panel of judges drawn from academia and industry evaluated the ideas of 17 groups of young entrepreneurs from May 13, 2021 for their originality, potential impact, practicality and scalability.
AB Group – Adjustable Barbecue — came out as the overall winner and received $7,000, while the first runner-up, Mighty Men, Spraying Machine received $5,000 and the second runner-up, Haidelis Engineering, received $4,000.
Cadela Company, a Mechanised Seed Planter, was adjudged the Most Promising Idea and received $3,000 while the best Female Enterprise, Volkano Tech – Green Incinerator received $3,000.
The programme honours learners and enterprises with innovative and creative ideas in key thematic sectors of the economy, including agriculture, water and sanitation, plastics recycling, e-waste and other related industries.
Participants, as part of the programme, were involved in in-depth sector research and engagement with communities to co-design youth-led solutions for community-based problems.
Through the DTI’s Community Innovation Hub, these emerging businesses will serve as a pipeline to unearth youth entrepreneurs who will act as enablers in solving youth unemployment by creating an anticipated 450 direct and indirect jobs.
As part of the benefits, DTI will provide mentorship opportunities and business advisory services for the winners for a further 24 months.
Developing entrepreneurial skills
At the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of DTI, Ms Constance Swaniker, said “DTI believes in creativity and innovation. We are excited to introduce the Community Innovation Competition to help develop the entrepreneurial skills of Ghana’s youth as a solution to the high unemployment rate in Ghana”.
She added: “We are living in a time where continuous innovation is key for sustained growth and development”.
It was in that respect that she said the DTI believed in bringing out the innovative and creative abilities of its learners as a catalyst to create jobs and provide solutions for communities and industries.
The Ghana Lead for Education and Skills at the Mastercard Foundation, Mr James McInytre, observed that providing an ecosystem where young entrepreneurs were supported to acquire relevant skills, funding and market access would contribute significantly to catalysing work opportunities for young Ghanaians.