The challenge of climate change offers a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to leapfrog older inefficient technologies, increase competitiveness and participate in global innovations.
Already, entrepreneurs face many challenges in the country but for those venturing into climate change adaptation and mitigation businesses, the challenge becomes particularly more heightened, Abdul-Nasser Alidu of Entrepreneurship Director, GCIC, observes.
Speaking to the BFT over the weekend, after a GCIC Mowgli Mentoring Programme held at the Best Western Plus, Mr. Alidu outlined some of the major problems faced as funding, returns on climate change adaptation and mitigation businesses are not as quick, therefore private businesses are reluctant to put their money there; and the challenge local businesses have with bookkeeping, market access and growth among a plethora of other concerns.
Funded by a grant from the Governments of Denmark and the Netherlands through the World Bank, and managed by a consortium comprising Ashesi University College, Ernst and Young, SNV Ghana and the United Nations University, the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC) is a pioneering business incubator with a unique focus of developing SME ventures and entrepreneurs in Ghana’s ‘Green Economy’.
GCIC supports private business ventures involved in climate change adaptation and mitigation and focuses in five key economic sectors (energy efficiency & renewable energy; solar power; climate smart agriculture; waste management; waste purification and management)
Alidu said they provide business advisory services, business mentoring, capacity building services as well as financial grants to qualifying SMEs within the incubator. They do this by identifying businesses solving the climate change agenda and incubating them.
He went on to explain that 12 businesses are receiving mentoring under the Entrepreneurship and venture acceleration which all started last year with a call for application where 12 applied to be mentors and 12 green businesses were also selected.
They are receiving training from Mowgli Mentoring, a not-for-profit organization, driving inclusive economic and social change in the Middle East and Africa. Alidu said this is the first time Mowgli is offering mentorship in sub-Saharan Africa because the World Bank wants the right mentoring model that actually works.
The benefits of having a mentor are too often underestimated. Whilst a challenge might be brand new, a seasoned entrepreneur will likely have come across something similar in the past. This is why one of the most important pieces of advice for entrepreneurs is get a mentor and this is precisely what GCIC endeavours to do in nurturing transformational and innovative entrepreneurs pioneering adaptive and mitigating solutions to climate change issues in the country.