GCIC head Ruka Sanusi shares lessons learned, progress and impact

April 2, 2018
A year after the Ghana Climate Innovation Center (GCIC) inducted its first cohort of entrepreneurs, the innovation hub is looking to make deeper impact within the climate space across Ghana.

Located on Ashesi’s campus, the GCIC, in the past year, has engaged with entrepreneurs in a wide range of areas within the green energy space. From bicycles produced from bamboo, to water purification processes, to recycling charcoal, to domestic waste management, the Center is helping small to medium scale companies expand their impact within their communities.

“Internally, we’re growing, not just in terms of numbers, but in terms of our focus,” says Ruka Sanusi, CEO of the GCIC. “We have a better understanding of the purpose and practice of incubation, and what the profit of incubation is about. Knowing what good looks like is really useful. We’ve engaged with a number of incubators in both the developing and developed economies, and we’ve identified key components we can incorporate within our context to enhance our impact, not only for the entrepreneurs, but for the country at large.”

In the past year, the incubation hub has awarded $124,900 in grants to its incubatees, published an industry report and continues to provide a wide bouquet of services to the entrepreneurs. Additionally, through their road-trips across the country, the GCIC is helping raise awareness among locales as to how they can help to protect the environment.

“Learning from the earlier cohorts, we are creating clearer and more structured goals for not only ourselves, but also for the entrepreneurs,” she said. “What is really important is that incubation is not just about giving grants, it’s also about incubating innovations that will not only have economic benefit, but will also have environmental impact and social benefit as well. So as a team, we have a responsibility to do this well. As cohort one graduates at the end of May 2018, we’ll collect pre- and post-incubation metrics, CO2 emissions reduced, carbon footprint, number of households reached, so we can measure how well we are actually doing.”

“Everyday it becomes clearer to us that the center has a lot to offer Ghana,” she explained. “I’m  glad we’re bringing people to the fore about the reality of the entrepreneurial journey. We hope to significantly reduce CO2 emissions, impact households, create jobs, and connect entrepreneurs with the right resources to create the needed impact.”

About the GCIC
The Ghana Climate Innovation Center (GCIC) is a pioneering business incubator whose objective is to support entrepreneurs and ventures involved in developing profitable and locally-appropriate solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation in Ghana. The Center’s key focus is on businesses operating within the areas of energy efficiency, domestic waste management, solar energy, water supply management and purification, and climate smart agriculture. Located on the Ashesi University College Campus in Berekuso, the GCIC currently has 23 entrepreneurs in the incubator and is in the process of recruiting for Cohort Two entrepreneurs.

The GCIC is part of the World Bank’s Climate Technology Program and its global network of Climate Innovation Centers which include centers in the Caribbean, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa, and Vietnam. Supported by the Governments of Denmark and the Netherlands, the Center is managed by a consortium led by the Ashesi University College and includes Ernst & Young, SNV Ghana, and the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa.

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