Cohort Incubation pitch, the role of Entrepreneurs in Social Development

entrepreneurship programmes
Training the youth in entrepreneurship programmes to develop their inner skills for job opportunities is the surest way to curb the unemployment rate in the country.
This helps to curb the depression among the youth who are always desperate in search of jobs to make a living as well as contribute their quota to the development of their communities as well the nation.
The provision of entrepreneurship programmes also eases the stress on government and other private sectors in nation-building.
Thanks to HOPin Academy, an Innovative ecosystem development company located in Tamale for its commitment to enhancing entrepreneurial programmes to create job opportunities for the youth in the Northern Region since 2012.
The organisation since its inception has been working with youths in its operational areas in many careers and entrepreneurial interventions in its innovation space which has created job opportunities among youth in northern Ghana and the southern sector as a means of complementing the national, regional, continental and global call for innovation and problem solving and to curb the unemployment rates of the country.
It also whips the interest of the youth to venture into the sector instead of looking up to the government for job opportunities as the main paths to successful financial haven and increase the national backbone in development, to increase more positive economical interventions and to create more jobs.
It is said, that many unemployed youths who complete various secondary and tertiary educations do have a business and unique ideas but do not know how to go about it to create opportunity hence the establishment of HOPin in the region to assist youth to identify their talents.
This put pressure on the government to use the limited resources to create job that do not reach the increasing youth population of the country.
Most of the youth after each cohort of the programme at HOPin are also provided with start-up kits and seed capital to commence with their businesses and rigorous screening is made to ensure the beneficiaries deserve the support.
As a means of curbing rural-urban migration in Northern Ghana, the organisation has initiated an Incubation programme for early-stage SME’s and StartUps. The programme with the support of Bidragtil Ghana aimed to support Joint Ventures with a minimum of two team members and a maximum of three skills and resources that would help solve challenges in their communities.
It also seeks to provide budding Entrepreneurs with expert-led training in key areas such as bookkeeping, sales, and marketing, product and processes, and sustainability.
With this programme, the Entrepreneurs are guided through the business development skills curriculum designed by HOPin Academy to provide skills, mentorship, and resources to create a viable and sustainable business.
The Incubation curriculum was purposefully and systematically designed for 10 weeks of training to tackle the needs of each founding business in expending their knowledge in business innovation strategies that would help the business understand both the internal and external factors of in their operations.
The curriculum spanned 10 weeks with recognized experts in the business field and IT facilitating the training. More fun activities were introduced during training to encourage participation, networking, communication, and presentation skills.
It also encourages participation, networking, and exploration of digital technology tools as a way to keep them connected with the Hub and increase their marketability and network.  
An incubation pitch is organized for the beneficiary youths to ensure a fair selection.
Eight founding teams were allowed to present the business ideas to a 3-member judge panel. The judges with skilled and experts in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the persons help to identify those with good initiative and needed support.
The “incubatees” were given three minutes each to pitch and three minutes for questions and feedback from the judges.  After an intense and keen competition, Demipearl Company Limited, an agro-processing startup came third, Eter’Artnity,a Startup that leverages the poor disposal of electronic waste to create art pieces came second and Timoya Farms a rice farm that looks to introduce irrigation farming as a way to produce quality locally made rice) clinched the topmost spot. These winning teams were given a grant of 1,000USD each. 
The beneficiaries were drawn from the agriculture, waste management, and smart city sectors.
They were also trained in, bookkeeping, business contract, sales and marketing, product design process, product life cycle, organizational structure, blogging, and web design to enhance their businesses.
MacCarthy Mac-gbathy, the Executive Director of HOPin Academy said, the organisation was established to help the vulnerable in society through innovation, and entrepreneurship and therefore has been focusing on the youth unemployed to assist them with their area of interest to build up the economy.
According to him, the first cohort of incubation this year 2022 programme recorded eight founding teams with 18 members who participated in the 10 weeks of intensive training.
The just-ended incubation had over 60% of participants as females, a conscious effort taken by HOPin to increase female participation in programs of this king in the Northern region he said.
He said the organisation helped create Social media platforms and logos for its beneficiaries to market their businesses.
He encouraged the beneficiaries to participate in upcoming acceleration programs organized by HOPin Academy and would be added to the Northern Social Enterprises Network (NSEN).
This he said is a way to keep them connected with the HOPin and increase their marketability and network.
He also encouraged the female incubatees to participate in the Pa’ba in Techpreneuship which HOPin Academy in partnership with GIZ , under their Digital Transformation Centres project training where they would be enlightened on using data analysis tools to help them in their business operations.


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