As part of efforts to promote enterprise skills development, address graduate unemployment and the disconnect between stakeholders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Ghana, the Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID), University of Ghana in collaboration with the Imperial College London (ICL), and the impact hub Accra, launched the ‘Innovation for African Universities Connecting Accra Project’.
The two-phased project, which was launched in May of 2022, sought to understand the entrepreneurial needs of students in the first phase. This was done through a series of round table discussion and virtual coaching sessions. After which student entrepreneurs were sampled and engaged to understand their needs.
The second phase of the project, which was climaxed on Wednesday at the University of Ghana campus, began with an official launch, where 28 entrepreneurial teams consisting of over 100 students were recruited, coached and mentored for two and half month’s period. The six finalists were CARTAgro, Agrimecarb, Fihankra Comtech LLC, Feathery Care, Stefarms and Mam Ne Fo.
Taking her turn at the finals, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, was hopeful incubators and such competitions will help solve the perineal graduate unemployment problems. She was impressed with the six finalists and asked for more private sector support to help hone the skills of the students to fend for themselves after school.
To help solve the huge graduate unemployment challenge, the University of Ghana teamed up with the private sector to set up an innovation hub. Pro-vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Felix Ankomah Asante, described the hub as the spotlight of the future for students.
The project is fully funded by AMG fertilizer a freezones company owned by a Ghanaian, Ernest Appiah. Prof. Asante added that, but for the partnership with Agricultural Manufacturing Ghana, it would have been just another document on the tables of the university. He believes it will serve as a template for other schools to follow.
The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Ernest A. Appiah, a well-known angel investor and a philanthropist, a keynote speaker at the event, attributed his life’s challenges as one of the many reasons why his outfit sponsored the development of the University of Ghana Business School Innovation and Incubation Hub with millions of Ghana cedis.
Upon engaging the six finalists, he subsequently supported each of them with a seed fund of GH¢20,000. He admonished the young entrepreneurs not conform to the status quo due to fear, intimidation or the lack of resources. Mr. Appiah was willing to support all the other students who engaged in the IAU Connecting Accra Project competition with their business registration to stay compliant.
Mr. Appiah, who is also an alumnus of the University of Ghana Business School, further expressed his conviction that projects like the IAU Connecting Accra Project, is essential to create a vibrant atmosphere where student entrepreneurs are encouraged, trained and given the platform to attract the needed resources to ensure success.
About AMG Fertilizer, West Africa’s leading freezones fertilizer company
As Ghana’s leading importer of fertilizer, Agricultural Manufacturing Group plays a critical role in feeding West Africa, by helping farmers to increase both crop and food production in a sustainable manner. The leading solely Ghanaian owned fertilizer importer in the country, AMG is noted for constantly improving years of shared success and satisfaction with the farmers, customers, investors and stakeholder.
AMG is a wholly owned Ghanaian Company and currently ranks as the largest importer and distributor of fertilizer in the country. With its state-of-the-art crop specific blending unit, it has the capacity to produce crop specific fertilizer blends for every crop. The company is noted for constantly improving years of shared success and satisfaction with the farmers, customers, investors and other stakeholders
IAU Connecting Africa winners
Feathery care, the unicorn which seeks to reduce the chick mortality rate to as close to zero during the brooding stage, emerged as the winners of the student enterprise pitch competition termed Dema Day under the IAU Connecting Accra Project.
Innovation for African Universities Connecting Accra Project, was supported by the British Council, Imperial College London and Impact Hub Accra.