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“Investing in success with social enterprises”
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“Investing in success with social enterprises”

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Michael Gyekye new picSome high-flying social enterprises in Ghana have been given business development support by the British Council Ghana, writes Michael Gyekye, 23, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Ghana, as he takes a look at two enterprises that recently won top awards.

The British Council’s Global Social Enterprise Programme, which draws on the UK’s expertise to support the development of social enterprises in the UK and other countries, hosts a competition to encourage social enterprises.The beneficiaries were the winner and runner up in the second edition of the Council’s contest dubbed the Duapa Challenge.

Top prize winner, Trotro Tractor Limited, is a local social enterprise which is building a platform to provide mechanized farming services to local farmers through mobile phones and GPS technologies.

CowTribe, the second prize winner, is also an agro-development social enterprise that has currently enrolled more than 6000 local farmers onto its mobile app, which is used by farmers to diagnose animal diseases without the assistance of a vet.

The two promising social enterprises will receive business support packages from the British Council Ghana. The support consists of seed funding, business trips to the UK and support for business incubation. As the top prize winner, Trotro Tractor Limited has received GHC10 000 (~ £2000) as a seed fund.

Project Coordinator at the British Council Ghana, Cosmos Adjei, explained “the Duapa Challenge is an early stage social innovation support competition which seeks to provide seed capital for an already existing, early stage viable social enterprise.”

“The winner and the first runner-up will also be fully sponsored to participate in the British Council Entrepreneurial Africa Project in London,’’ continued Mr Adjei, adding, “the execution of the Duapa Challenge also seeks to connect leaders of viable early stage social enterprises to the leading local social impact incubators to provide support from ‘idea to market.’ ”

michael-gyekye-invest-pic-1Reflecting on their achievements, founder and Chief Operating Officer of Trotro Tractor Limited, Emmanuel Ansah-Amprofi, remarked that “the awards present fresh opportunities and markets for the growth of Trotro Tractor Limited and social enterprises like us. It further goes to validate our idea, and our goal to inspire more young people to bring innovation into the agricultural and agribusiness industry of Ghana”.

For Trotro Tractor Limited, winning the Duapa Challenge has cemented its reputation as a highly promising local social enterprise. The achievement comes on the heels of its recent sharing of the top prize of US$100 000 in the Kosmos Innovation Centre’s Agritech Challenge, another prestigious local social enterprise competition.

Founder and CEO of CowTribe, Peter Awin, said, “it is a key milestone for us, a great endorsement of our mission and an opportunity to receive the much-needed support, including mentorship, to continue to innovate our business model.”

With youth unemployment a perennial social problem in Ghana, the Duapa Challenge is a welcome intervention for encouraging innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation by the youth for the youth.

Reach me on Facebook at Michael Adu Gyekye

Photos: Top – Cow Tribe team. Inset – Trotro Tractor Limited Team. Both courtesy of Michael Gyekye

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About me: I aspire to be a communications, management and policy development consultant. I am a graduate of B. A Political Studies from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. I am especially interested in politics, business, technology and sports. I love to read, write, facilitate programs, offer analytical commentary and travel.…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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