Ms Maureen Erekua Odoi, Co-founder, AABN Innovation and Technology Institute, has urged students of Design and Technology Institute (DTI) to prioritize social networking as they embark on their entrepreneurial journey.
She said good social networks could help facilitate one’s business goals and provide opportunity, advice and support in growing and developing their businesses.
Ms Odoi was speaking at the DTI’s Community Innovation Project Competition in Accra, where five young entrepreneurs will receive a total of $ 22,000 to execute their ideas.
The Competition seeks to empower trainees of DTI to create innovative solutions to problems in the community, local industries and the country through the application of knowledge and skills gained in their areas of study.
It is also to encourage students to develop the skills of entrepreneurship as a solution to unemployment in the country.
Using the Competition as a platform, students will showcase and exhibit their skills in developing solutions that will help tackle the challenges of our society.
She said this at the opening of DTI’s two-day Community Innovation Projects Competition.
Ms Odoi said they should network with the right persons when the opportunity came and be persuasive in sharing their vision or projects.
“Look at things from different perspective, read and learn more to upgrade yourselves in your fields of endeavour,” she said.
Ms Constance Swaniker, Chief Executive Officer, DTI, said the competition was initiated to empower trainees of the institute.
She said it was to create innovative solutions to problems in the community, local industries and the country through the application of knowledge and skills gained in their areas of study.
“It is to encourage them to develop the skills of entrepreneurship as a solution to unemployment in the country,” he added.
She said students through the Competition would be given the opportunity to pitch their projects and funding support to execute their ideas in partnership with MasterCard Foundation.
“Partnership aims to create 40,000 direct and indirect opportunities for the youth especially young women over the three year period,” the CEO said.
She said after the Competition the winners would be given the needed guidelines to ensure they succeed in their business to provide jobs for others.
“Projects were focused on thematic challenged areas such as agriculture, water and sanitation, plastics recycling, e-waste amongst others,” she said.
Mr Raymond Adu Adjei, a Student at DTI and a participant, said his project which was a “Hand ploughing Machine” was created to solve a problem in the Agricultural sector.
He said through engagement with farmers as part of their research, they observed the challenge of farmers in preparing their lands, hence the machine to make work easier, faster and increase productivity.
Winners at the end of the Competition will receive cash prize as follows; first prize $7,000; first runner up $5,000; second runner up $4,000
Consolation prizes of $3,000 will be given to the most promising idea and $ 3,000 to the best female enterprise.