A total of $22,000 has been disbursed to five businesses as seed capital to support their business ideas under the Design and Technology Institute (DTI) incubation hub project.
The five businesses participated in a Community Innovation Competition.
Adjustable Barbecue (AB Group) received $7,000, as the overall winner, with Mighty Men – Spraying Maching receiving $5,000, as the first runner-up.
The second runner-up went to Haidelis Engineering and they received $4,000.
The Most Promising Idea went to Cadela Company – a Mechanized Seed Planter. They received $3,000.
Best Female Enterprise went to Volkano Tech – Green Incinerator and they received $3,000.
A statement issued in Accra said the initiative was by The Design and Technology Institute (DTI) and the Mastercard Foundation.
It said the competition was 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.
The statement said the programme honoured 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,” it said.
The statement said through the DTI’s Community Innovation Hub, the emerging businesses would serve as a pipeline to unearth youth entrepreneurs, who would act as enablers in solving youth unemployment by creating an anticipated 450 direct and indirect jobs.
It said as part of the competition, DTI would provide mentorship opportunities and business advisory services for the winners for 24 months.
Madam Constance Swaniker, CEO of DTI said “DTI is a private Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institution that 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 said “We are living in a time where continuous innovation is key for sustained growth and development. As an institution, we believe in bringing out the innovative and creative abilities of our learners as a catalyst to create jobs and provide solutions for communities and industries.”
A total of 17 groups of young entrepreneurs participated in the competition, which commenced on 13th May 2021.
Ten teams made it to the semi-finals held on 17th June 2021, out of, which the five most outstanding groups with the most innovative ideas and potential to scale and create jobs within local communities, emerged as winners.
The competition forms part of a three-year Young Africa Works “Transforming youth TVET livelihoods for sustainable jobs’’ partnership between DTI and the Mastercard Foundation.
The programme will provide 40,000 direct and indirect work opportunities for young people in the country.
Mr James McInytre, Ghana Lead for Education and Skills at the Mastercard Foundation, said 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.
DTI’s Innovation Hub seeks to build a portfolio of innovative grassroots start-ups to be incubated and supported with seed capital, business development services, access to market, and a maker space or work shed to grow promising innovations from ideation into sustainable businesses.