Training 40 social entrepreneurs through the 2022 Komseko Social Entrepreneurship Program
In 2017, the GhanaThink Foundation organized the Ghana Youth Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GYSEC) in partnership with Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT). In 2018, GYSEC expanded to become a 4th program for GhanaThink after Barcamp Ghana, Junior Camp Ghana, Ghana Volunteer Program and was renamed the Ghana Youth Social Entrepreneurship Program (GYSEP). GYSEP was rebranded as Komseko in 2020. In 2023, the third cohort of social entrepreneurs trained, with 40 completing the training program (Impact and Launch), as part of DOT’s Daring To Shift Project. This project receives funding from Global Affairs Canada.
The budding social entrepreneurs undertook an online social entrepreneurship course focused on building impact and working on a prototype of their solutions, with attendant social impact business models. They included Doris Lonta, Francis Adeina, Hamida Issahaku, Precious Anokye, Vida Dassah, Fiifi Oduro-Nyarkoh, Ivy Gbeze, Paul Etor, Abdul Hamid Adams, Hiqmat Sungdeme Saani, Portia Dumba, Sumaila Chakura, James Liiman Jabong, Elizabeth Dwamena-Asare, Ramatu Mohammed, Rehinatu Zakaria, Korkor Quarcoo, Seth Boamah, Akorfa Dawson, Raheemah Quaye, Caroline Amanor, Abdul, Rahim Imoro, Joseph Soale and Moses J. Tiborgnan. They represented the majority of the regions in Ghana, working on social entreprises that (would) impact various communities all over Ghana, within various sectors.
The program and training began with an obligatory welcome workshop on Saturday and Sunday (September 10-11) at hapaSpace in Kumasi (starting at 9am and ending at 6pm each day). Ato Ulzen-Appiah facilitated this workshop. Esperanza Yakubu was in charge of logistics, while Richmond Anane handled the finances. Nehemiah Attigah and Seyram Ahiabor were also on-hand to support the trainees in their learning. GhanaThink was used as an example of a social enterprise, and how it made a transition from an NGO to a social enterprise. Ato shared about GhanaThink’s various programs, how it raises revenue, and differentiated between its beneficiaries and customers. Albert Opoku (CEO of HapaWeb) also shared some important nuggets around enterprise development, including their experiences building hapaSpace. Fiifi Boahen, who was part of the program in 2017, came by to share their experiences from the program, etc. He has been working on the Pervita Social Hub.
A number of the training modules were covered physically at this workshop. A special session was organized to help the trainees familiarize themselves with Moodle (learn.dotrust.org). Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship covered the basics of social entrepreneurship, especially in the Ghanaian context. The Compelling Vision for Change sessions helped the budding social entrepreneurs develop vision statements for their social entreprises, leveraging the personal strengths and interests, their community needs and expected impact. The trainees were taken through Human Centered Development – around Design Thinking and Planning User Research, Researching into Solutions and Doing User Research, and Preparing for Prototyping.
Zoom sessions were organized for the trainees throughout September 2022 to February 2023 to enable them all complete the Impact Course. These included Environmental Awareness, Gender and Your Local Landscape, Intro to Personal Branding, Gender Analysis and Social Innovation, Measure Your Impact, etc. A buddy system was set up for the trainees to learn together and support each other to complete the various learning modules. 40 trainees completed the Impact Learning Plan.
The middle workshop was from October 29-30 (9am to 6pm each day), at hapaSpace in Kumasi. Ato Ulzen-Appiah facilitated this workshop, while Nehemiah Attigah handled the pitch deck reviews. Esperanza Yakubu was in charge of logistics, while Richmond Anane handled the finances. Seyram Ahiabor and Adelina Martey were also on-hand to support the trainees in their learning. A number of modules were facilitated during this workshop: Creating Prototype Plans, Social Impact Business Canvas, and Preparing Pitch Decks. A networking event – Kumasi Konnect Meetup – was organized by GhanaThink to coincide with the workshop, giving the trainees the opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs, stakeholders, etc.
This was crowned with a pitch competition where the trainees leveraged their learnings to present their social impact business models. 20 budding social entrepreneurs pitched: Abdul Hamid Adams (Tondaar Ventures), Abdul Rahim Imoro (Zebra Industries), Akorfa Dawson (Nadeli), Caroline Amanor (Makers’ Minds), Doris Lonta (Splendor FabriQs), Elizabeth Dwamena-Asare (Krata Space), Fiifi Oduro-Nyarkoh (GirlHood), Francis Adeina (KAF Shares Entreprise), Hamida Issahaku (Baanjira), Hiqmat Sungdeme Saani (Baabuh Hub), Ivy Gbeze (Urban African), James Liiman Jabong (Bryt Touch IT Center), Joseph Soale (Change 4 All Initiative), Moses J. Tiborgnan (Timoya Farms), Paul Etor (Linchpin), Portia Dumba (PorduCare), Raheemah Quaye (Girls Standout), Ramatu Mohammed (Rahma’s Veggie’s Hub), Rehinatu Zakaria (Titi’s Rice Husk Entreprise) and Vida Dassah (Mum’s Gift Royal).
8 of these budding social entrepreneurs were awarded GHC1200 each to work on a project, prototype or solution for their social enterprise within a period of 2 months. They also took a second online course toward launching their social entreprises. The following modules were covered: Social Enterprise Business Model Basics, Theory of Change, Mission & Vision, Build Your Team, Introduction to Social Enterprise Financials, Costing and Pricing Your Social Innovation, Build and Validate Your Financial Model, Reach Your Audience, Lean Start Up Operations and Access Support to Grow your Social Enterprise.
The final workshop was from February 25-26 (9am to 6pm each day), at Mobile Web Ghana in Accra.
Doris Lonta (Splendor FabriQs), Elizabeth Dwamena-Asare (Krata Space), Hiqmat Sungdeme Saani (Baabuh Hub), Moses J. Tiborgnan (Timoya Farms), Paul Etor (Linchpin), Portia Dumba (PorduCare), Raheemah Quaye (Girls Standout), and Vida Dassah (Mum’s Gift Royal) were taken through developing one-pager guides and pitch decks. A networking event – Kumasi Konnect Meetup – was organized by GhanaThink to coincide with the workshop, giving the trainees the opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs, stakeholders, etc.
These 8 trainees partook in the Pitch Competition with invited guests in attendance, including Peter Asare Nyarko who was adjudged Social Entrepreneur of The Year at the Young Entrepreneur Awards organized by the Ghana Startup Network. Ato Ulzen-Appiah and Seyram Ahiabor served as judges. Adelina Martey moderated the finale with Esperanza Yakubu and Richmond Anane working on logistics and finances respectively. The judges’ scores, as well as program participation and program activity, completion of Moodle courses as well as the feasibility and discretion of the Komseko team were leveraged in selecting the final 3 award winners. Hiqmat Sungdeme Saani (Baabuh Hub), Moses J. Tiborgnan (Timoya Farms), and Portia Dumba (PorduCare) were awarded GHC6000 each to continue working on their social entreprises.
Information about the social entrepreneurs, especially those who completed the Impact Course, can be found via Komseko’s Facebook Page. Photos from the 3 workshops as well as video of the Finale can also be found on Komseko’s Facebook Page.
About GhanaThink Foundation
The GhanaThink Foundation is a social enterprise that mobilizes and organizes talent for the primary benefit of Ghana. The GhanaThink Foundation is registered in Ghana and the USA. Our vision is to build a critical mass of patriotic, passionate, positive, proactive, progressive, and productive young Ghanaian people. We work in the youth empowerment space and we run mentoring, networking, volunteering and training programs.
Our current programs are Barcamp Ghana, Junior Camp Ghana (JCG), Ghana Volunteer Program (GVP), Komseko Program. We also run communities around 28 locations in Ghana – called Konnect. We have various services for clients that are focused on youth.
About Digital Opportunity Trust
DOT is a youth-led movement of daring social innovators who have the tools, knowledge, and networks to create opportunities and transform their own communities. We support youth to become innovators and leaders, and to create and apply digital solutions that have positive impact in their communities.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, with locally-managed offices in Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Rwanda, the United Kingdom, and Tanzania, we work in 25 countries as development innovators and catalysts. Our growing network of thousands of young leaders has reached over 3 million people in marginalized communities, globally.