Following the runaway success of the inaugural edition and in line with the commitment of the CEO of the McDan Group of Companies, Daniel McKorley, to see the economy transformed through an entrepreneurial revolution, the second season of the McDan Entrepreneurship Challenge has been officially launched.
At a ceremony in Accra, the event brought together thought-leaders across various sectors including United Kingdom’s (UK) High Commissioner to Ghana, Ian Walker and CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Yofi Grant.
Speaking at the launch, Mr. McKorley offered the rationale for the initiative, stating that it is borne out of his commitment to mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs as he believes in a shared, common destiny of the nation.
“The McDan journey,” he said,” is not about dishing out money but about building the mentality of the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
Founder of the Alkoh Shea Butter company and winner of the season one of the Challenge, Alhassan Hamza Akoligo told the B&FT that with an offtake agreement with the United States for a guaranteed purchase of 70 percent of his products, he is eagerly awaiting the commencement of AfCFTA and the business opportunities it brings.
“I am very happy with how things have turned out as only a short while ago, I couldn’t imagine I’ll be here. The year has been mixed with the setting up of the factory and making trade contacts. Unfortunately, COVID-19 disrupted a number of processes but I am thankful that we seem to be winning the fight against it.
“I am really looking forward to seeing what opportunities the AfCFTA will bring not only for my business but for Ghana as a whole,” he said.
Executive Secretary at the Office of the Vice President, Augustine Blay, whilst re-affirming government’s commitment to supporting the youth grow and expand their businesses, expressed delight that of the 15,000 applicants across all 16 regions of the country, 25 percent were women. He expressed optimism that subsequent editions will have more women participating and winning.
Speaking at the unveiling of the official logo, member of the panel of judges, Dzigbordi Dosoo, stated that the lighted bulb over the McDan name pointed to a structuring of brilliant ideas. “By the time the contestants have they would have passed through the McDan University, where they will be equipped with the necessary skill set for success,” she added.
Other members of the jury which over the course of 14 weeks is tasked with selecting the most deserving entrepreneur from the 80 vying for the position are Simon R Turner and Percy Amoo-Yanky.
The McDan Entrepreneurship Challenge is a TV reality show which gives young entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their idea for the ultimate prize of US$100,000 in funds and mentorship. It also seeks to uncover and incubate the best new Ghanaian entrepreneurs and businesses.