The second cohort of green entrepreneurs numbering twelve were inducted at the Ghana Climate Innovative Centre (GCIC), Ashesi University College in the Eastern Region of Ghana.
Climate-smart businesses have for some time now been on the agenda of government and development partners, as climate change issues have economic and development consequences for the nation.
Hence, in an effort to turn climate challenges to growth, the GCIC supports local small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) to more successfully commercialise and scale the most innovative business solutions to climate change.
The GCIC project is being implemented by Ashesi University, Enst and Young, the Netherlands Development Agency (SNV) and the United Nations University. GCIC through the World Bank and its partners set out to provide technical and financial assistance for entrepreneurs and start-up ventures, to deal effectively with climate change by promoting sustainable business models across agri-business, waste management and purification, renewable energy, and energy-efficiency value chains.
The Centre’s mission is to constantly create and support an exceptional set of transformational innovative ventures and entrepreneurs who are pioneering adaptive and mitigating solutions for climate change issues in the country.
As a green economy business incubator, GCIC offers executive education and technical as well as business advisory services to build and deepen local capacity to respond to climate change issues.
Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Patricia Apiagyei, noted that for the country to lower or even address poverty, there is a need to deal with technology.
She said business incubators like GCIC are models to promote, and went on to say that government is in talks that consider adopting GCIC’s model for its promotion of young entrepreneurs. She expressed joy that in the 2018 budget statement the Minister of Finance indicated government is going to identify and support 50 young entrepreneurs from each region of the country, and that GCIC is already embarking on identifying climate-smart green entrepreneurs.
She believes government can liaise with GCIC to identify critical entrepreneurs that are engaged in businesses in the green economy, since it is a growing phenomenon.
Director of GCIC, Rukayatu Sanusi, said the GCIC started in January this year to raise transformational business leaders – and this has become necessary due to the dynamism of the marketplace, which is constantly changing. In doing so, GCIC contributes to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and improves Ghana’s climate resilience while also creating jobs.
She expressed great excitement with the second cohort, calling them high-quality entrepreneurs working in the green economy and businesses that have the potential to transform the sector they operate in.
Madam Apiagyei used the occasion to officially launch and introduce the Clean Technology Marketing Intelligence Study. The study aims to provide market intelligence information on developments and trends within the focal areas of GCIC, to support its strategy from both global and domestic perspectives.
Sulley Amin Abubakar is a product of the University of London International Programme, a final-year LLB student and an MBA (Entrepreneurship) student at the Catholic University, Milan; and is the founder of Zaacoal, a green energy from waste business.
Zaacoal produces clean burning and efficient charcoal from common waste like coconuts. This greatly reduces deforestation, pollution and global warming. He was one of the 12 to benefit from the induction exercise.