Five SMEs Receive US$25k Seed Capital From DTI

Economics Dti Smes
Economics Dti Smes

The Design and Technology Institute (DTI) has rewarded five learners of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with a total seed capital of $25,000.

The reward is to support the business ideas of these SMEs under its pre-accelerator programme as part of the Community Innovative Project.

The competition is a business pitch and accelerator initiative designed to identify, recognize, and support promising student-led enterprises with the potential to scale up and create sustainable jobs for the teeming unemployed youth.
Ms Constance Swaniker, the Founder and CEO of DTI, congratulated the five teams on their well-deserved qualification for the grand finale.

She said as a TVET Centre of excellence, “we believe that empowering youth-led SMEs is crucial in driving Ghana’s economic development and accelerating progress towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
The CEO said they were thrilled to be able to provide opportunities for youth-led SMEs to scale up and reach their entrepreneurial potential through the Community Innovation Project.

The Project seeks to build a portfolio of innovative start-ups who will be incubated and supported with seed capital, business development services, access to market, and a makerspace to grow their innovations from ideation into sustainable businesses.

She said as West Africa’s premier prototype development centre, they were on a journey to train and develop learners, who were attuned to the socio-economic needs of people, community, and business.

Ms Swaniker said DTI was ready and willing to develop innovative solutions to meet such needs to generate income for themselves and create sustainable jobs for the youth.

The overall winner, Master Kraft received $ 10,000 for developing a multi-purpose wheelchair for the aged and the physically challenged.

The First runner-up, Tom SB developed a burglar proof security system and received $ 7,000
The Second runner-up, Quickserve, also developed a mobile app for supply of welders and digital innovators and received $ 5,000.

Other consolation prizes went to FIRM-JZ, who developed a Multipurpose Ladder Trolley and received $ 1,500, while Nine Tech Engineers AdvansRule received $ 1,500

The initiative honours learners with creative and innovative ideas in agriculture, water and sanitation, plastics recycling, e-waste, and other sectors of the economy.

Participants, as part of the competition, were involved in in-depth research and engagement with communities to co-design solutions to address communal problems in a sustainable manner.

The winners will graduate and advance with their prototypes into a six-month pre-acceleration programme.
There will be a pre-acceleration programme to serve as a platform for the winners to gain extensive business management, financial and operational resources, and will be the catalyst for fund raising activities and investment opportunities at DTI.

Mathew Tietaah, the team lead for MasterKraft, expressed gratitude to the institute and appreciated the team for the effective collaboration.

He said there had been challenges on their journey to victory but with the support of their facilitators they managed to overcome them.

The five finalists were selected out of a shortlist of 15 teams that went through a six-month training in problem identification, research, ideation, and prototype development which commenced on December 15, 2021.
The competition formed part of DTIs three-year partnership with the Mastercard Foundation under the Young Africa Works Transforming youth TVET livelihoods for sustainable jobs.

The project will provide 40,000 direct and indirect work opportunities for the youth in the country.
Meanwhile, the Institute has commissioned an ultra-modern machine workshop and makerspace for effective teaching and training.

The machines will enable the learners to effectively work on their ideas and concepts, design and develop prototypes, and ensure products developed are precise and meet the requirements of industry and consumers.
Ms Swaniker urged industry to collaborate with TVET institutions such as DTI to develop products that were relevant for them.

“We are open to work closely with industry to champion a cause aimed at developing prototypes and products that will address the needs of industry while creating jobs for the youth,” she added.

Send your news stories to Follow News Ghana on Google News


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here