According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 22 percent of Africa’s working population are starting new businesses – the highest rate in the world.
Additionally, in sub-Saharan Africa, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are the largest providers of formal sector jobs – and given this and other societal reasons, there is an urgent need to create and empower more and more entrepreneurs to be successful.
CEO of Mowgli Mentoring, Kathleen Bury, made these observations at the first Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC) Mowgli Mentoring Programme Graduation Ceremony – held at the Ashesi University at Berekusu in the Eastern Region on Wednesday.
The GCIC is a pioneering clean technology and green economy business incubator, housed at the Ashesi University and funded through a grant from the Royal Netherlands and Danish governments through a consortium comprised of Ashesi University, Ernst and Young, and SNV; and the United Nations University has partnered with and procured the services of Mowgli Mentoring, a non-profit mentoring organisation, to deliver an innovative mentoring programme for GCIC’s clients.
The programme’s objective is to augment GCIC’s technical and advisory services with additional mechanisms to support entrepreneurs in optimising their mindsets for entrepreneurial success and become extraordinary.
The maiden rollout involved 12 entrepreneurs and 12 volunteer mentors, selected and matched through a rigorous selection and matching process. After a successful six (6) months of mentoring support, the GCIC and Mowgli graduated the first batch on October 17, 2018. This marks the end of a pilot for this innovative mentoring programme and the beginning of institutionised mentoring as part of the GCIC curriculum.
Kathleen Bury’s speech was read on her behalf by Eva Waweru-Communications and Business Development Executive at Mowgli Mentoring, who said having watched the achievements, progress and growth of the entrepreneurs who have been part of the GCIC-Mowgli Mentoring Programme has strengthened her belief that Ghana is on the right path to see the economic and employment growth that it and the world so desperately needs.
Kathleen described her father, Tony Bury, who founded Mowgli Mentoring and owned 19 businesses, as an entrepreneurial junkie. However, the 14 mentors who had been at his side really made the difference, Kathleen added.
She described an entrepreneur’s journey as one of the toughest, yet the most satisfying and rewarding. “Entrepreneurs are critical for the development of society because they create wealth for the economy, create employment, develop philanthropists – since 95% of the world’s philanthropy is given by entrepreneurs – and are passionate believers in social democracy and the empowerment of people.”
GCIC was launched in 2016 to incubate 100 innovative climate change start-ups over four years. GCIC provides incubation services to SMEs, with 30% targeted at women-owned and led start-ups over the period in five key areas: energy-efficiency, solar energy, climate-smart agriculture, waste management and water purification.
The GCIC alumni network – called the Climate Innovation Enterprise Network – was launched by its President, Kobina Nyanteh.
Project award categories include:
Most Promising Entrepreneur Award – Awarded to the entrepreneur who has been proactive in making the most out of mentoring and shown outstanding commitment to the project, as well as taken the business to the next level – inclusive of increased job-creation and business sustainability.
Winner: Lincon Winimi Peedah
Serve to Lead Mentor Award – Awarded to a mentor who has embodied the serve to lead ethos/value and has been highly proactive in supporting their mentee, has inspired interest in their personal and business challenges, or has sought out and arranged opportunities for their mentee beyond requirements of the programme; someone who has truly embodied the ‘to serve is to lead’ philosophy of mentoring.
Winner: Seth Akumani
Most Impactful Mentoring Relationship Award x 2 (Entrepreneur/Mentor) – Awarded to a mentor and mentee who have developed a particularly good relationship, shown outstanding commitment, and achieved significant goals together. This award will be presented to the mentor and mentee within the award-winning relationship
Winner: Simon Turner & Emmanuel Asaam
Most Inspirational Mentoring Ambassador Award – Awarded to a project participant who actively sought opportunities to support the sustainable development of the mentoring culture in Ghana, build the alumni community, support their peers and embody the ‘to serve is to lead’ philosophy on a wider scale
Winner: Lincon Winimi Peedah