The Pitch, entrepreneurship competition, to support young entrepreneurs

The Pitch, entrepreneurship competition, to support young entrepreneurs
Richard Abbey, CEO/Event Director of Xodus Communications
  • …sets to award winner GH¢30,000 

The pitch, an initiative of Richard Abbey, CEO/Event Director of Xodus Communications, is an entrepreneurship competition that seeks to provide technical and financial support to a select number of budding entrepreneurs in the country to help them grow and scale up their businesses into profitable ventures.

With a proposed grand prize of GH¢30,000 for the ultimate winner, the Pitch is a 3-month long entrepreneurship competition that will be hosted once in a year from October to March.

The approach is to identify, screen, select and support the young entrepreneur with a unique value proposition for the Ghanaian market and one that has the highest growth potential among the lot with social impact in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to Richard Abbey Jnr, “the initiative is necessary to help the many startups and small businesses that have to struggle every day for survival especially in this COVID-19 induced business climate without any clearly defined support system.

Overall, the competition will help inform the Ghanaian public about the importance of entrepreneurship as a tool for post COVID-19 economic recovery for development and the winning strategies startups and small businesses need to adopt to overcome barriers to growth and profitability. It will as well help showcase some of the young entrepreneurs leading the way in the country through innovation on new products and services.”

Applicants would be invited to apply online for one month, followed by a rigorous selection process, leading to live interviews, televised production of pitch by applicants and finally a jury selection.

Mentorship drive

Selected finalists will be given a full day training on how to effectively package their businesses to attract the needed capital or investment for growth. Topics such as marketing, branding, international market entry, bookkeeping, accounting, working capital management, strategic planning, innovation, business plan development and company valuation shall be treated at the mentorship programme to equip the young entrepreneurs with the requisite skills for enterprise development. Selected participants will directly receive coaching from seasoned senior entrepreneurs, business coaches and leaders to refine and shape their current business models for better growth.

Over the long term, the five finalists will receive technical assistance from mentors and coaches for 12 months in managing and growing their businesses effectively through innovation and this will be fully funded by the Pitch initiators and partners.

Funding support and accessibility

The final participants shall have the opportunity to bid for the grand prize of GH¢30,000 through voting (at no cost) by the Ghanaian public constituting 50percent and the verdict of the jury constituting 50percent to determine the ultimate winner through a live show to be telecast live on all approved social media channels.

The Winner, First Runner Up and Second Runner Up will have additional opportunity to pitch their businesses to private equity funds, venture capital fund, angel investors and other institutional investors that the PITCH has identified as Strategic Partners for the competition. Also, the three finalists will have the opportunity to raise debt or equity from the sources that will be made accessible to them by the PITCH.

Eligible costs and ineligible costs

Mr. Abbey stated that the winner can only apply the grand prize, GH¢30,000 to only the costs of doing business such as purchasing new machines, software or technology to drive business growth, purchasing additional raw materials for production, technical assistance for testing market potential of a promising product, service, or technology.

Also, for purchasing equipment and/or working capital to undertake expansion of existing product or service to either cater for a larger market or off-takers, cost of Technical Advisory Services for Commercial investment attraction activities. The prize can also be used as funding to undertake research and analytics on markets, competitors, and sector trends, as funding to undertake export promotion activities for products or services, and as a support for Marketing of products, or a service; especially social media marketing.

On the other hand, the rules are that the winner cannot utilize funds from the GH¢30,000 grand prize to purchase a new car whether personal or for the company, funding any illegal activity as proscribed by the Laws of Ghana, sales or distribution of cigarettes or alcohol products, payment of salary arrears or existing debts, travel expenses on leisure, holiday or vacations including hotel bills or air tickets, and also not as donations to 3rd parties in any form.


Eligible contestant must be an entrepreneur, a citizen of Ghana or resident in Ghana, be between 20 and 40 years of age, must have a legally registered business, must have a business that is operating for at least 12 months with minimum turnover of GH¢50,000.

Contestant must be an entrepreneur with majority shares of at least 51 percent in the venture in case the venture is owned by more than a party, must submit a copy of National ID Card as proof of identity and age, must run a venture that has a Bank Account, and also must runs a venture that has a functional website.

Thematic areas

The competition is open to young entrepreneurs operating ventures in sectors such as technology, service, manufacturing, food & beverage, education, agriculture & agro processing, health and pharmaceuticals, telecoms and mobile and others.

Assessment criteria

“The following criterion will guide the overall assessment, rating and declaration of the winner for the PITCH; Commercial Viability of Venture – (30%), this refers to revenue size, number of customers or clients, number of employees, profit margin, growth rate of the venture, pending contracts secured, jobs created etc.

Style and Quality of Presentation – (20%), this will be based on organization, logic, financial analysis etc. Votes from the Public – (25%), the public viewers will vote to have a say in the process of selecting the winner of the competition. Votes from the Jury (25%) – the jury will vote to constitute 25 percent of the overall marks for assessing the winner of the competition.

The above criteria will also apply for each elimination stage of the competition until the grand finale when the ultimate winner shall be announced.”

The Jury (Advisory)

The jury will include founder of Xodus Communications Limited, a social change maker, serial entrepreneur and private sector advocate, Richard Abbey Junior; a former Trade Adviser at British High Commission Ghana, Selorm Kofi Dake; a Ghanaian lawyer, Elsie Apau Klu; Rebecca Donkor; and Financial Consultant/Accounting professional, Dr. Nicholas Omaboe.

Leave a Reply