Ninety-five young entrepreneurs participating in the 2018 AgriTech Challenge have successfully completed a two-month program of workshops and training sessions, as well as an 11-day market research tour, tailored to help them identify challenges inherent in the Agribusiness value chain and find innovative technology solutions to mitigate these challenges.
This is the first phase (January – April) of capacity building program designed to prepare them for their first business plan pitches scheduled for early May this year. Within this period, they have the opportunity to choose their partners as a first step in forming their future business teams. It is expected that approximately 24 teams, with a minimum of four members on each team, will be formed before the first pitch in May.
Several training seminars have been provided to prepare the young entrepreneurs which include Research Methodologies and Design Thinking, conducted by Dr. Nkechi Sroda Owoo and Dr. Gordon Adomdze. Building a Business Plan, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, (PwC), Innovations on the Shelf, conducted by the University of Ghana, Legon, School of Applied Sciences, ICT and Innovation, conducted by MFarm, and Think Innovation, Think Creative, conducted by the GRATIS Foundation
The objective of these training seminars is to ensure that the young entrepreneurs understand what goes into creating sustainable businesses, categorize problems identified during their research tours, and then use their learnings to create innovative business ideas with their customers in mind.
The research tour across six regions in Ghana is an integral part of the 2018 AgriTech Challenge activities which helps the young entrepreneurs to understand the agricultural value chain and create businesses out of the solutions to the challenges identified. In the next phase, the young entrepreneurs will participate in a second market research tour, as well as attend workshops focused on pricing and finance, and marketing communications.
George Sarpong, Kosmos Energy’s director of corporate affairs, who leads the Kosmos Innovation Center said: “We want to ensure that our young entrepreneurs get off on a good start in designing their business ideas. These capacity building, mentorship, and business support programs, will enable them to design innovative solutions that address the needs of Ghana’s agricultural sector and simultaneously create viable business opportunities.”