October 22, 2018
Since its launch in 2016, the Ghana Climate Innovation Center (GCIC) has supported some 30 entrepreneurs and business owners in the Ghanaian climate space; providing a bouquet of services ranging from business advisory, business mentoring, capacity building as well as financial grants.
On October 17, in a brief ceremony, the climate innovation hub celebrated yet another milestone: 12 of its entrepreneurs became graduates of a pilot mentorship program in partnership with Mowgli Mentoring, a not-for-profit mentoring organization. Guests at the event included the H.E Tove Degnbol, Danish Ambassador to Ghana and H.E Ron Strikker, Dutch Ambassador to Ghana.
“We want to provide entrepreneurs with the right mindset, skillset and the tools to excel in entrepreneurship,” said Abdul Nassr Alidu, Entrepreneurship Manager at the GCIC. “To do this we have designed a program that has different interventions built into it to ensure that the entrepreneur gets everything they need in order to be successful. More and more we are realizing that mentoring can become a key ingredient to the success of entrepreneurs. So this pilot was aimed at providing entrepreneurs with mentors and also transferring knowledge to the GCIC on how to run a successful mentoring program.”
Over the past decade, Mowgli Mentoring has been involved with driving inclusive economic and social change in the Middle East and Africa. Their methodology provides a supportive framework which empowers entrepreneurs, women, and youth to unlock their potential and seize new opportunities. The firm has also worked with philanthropists, local and international governmental and private sector partners to provide mentoring across 14 countries in the Middle East, North Africa as well as the UK. The partnership with GCIC is the first of its kind in West Africa.
“Human capital, in essence, has two legs; a capability which focuses on improving measurable aspects in terms of skills, knowledge, and behaviors,” shared Kathleen Bury, Chief Executive Office of Mowgli, in a note to the mentors. “And capacity which focuses on strengthening that which is much more difficult to measure; the spirit of the entrepreneur, their motivation, confidence, mindset, and resilience. That is what mentorship focuses on improving. During this six-month entrepreneurship experience, we have not only trained twelve entrepreneurs and mentors, but we have seen that most of our entrepreneurs have offered to train many others, who were not even in the program. This is the kind of multiplier effect we hope to create.”
Also at the event was Dr. Elikem Tamakloe, Managing Director of leading Ghanaian medical center, Nyaho Clinic. Speaking at the ceremony, he shared his journey on growing as a business leader in Ghana.
“This initial step of mentorship is a small step on the long journey of life where you’re going to need people around you,” he shared. “To succeed on this road, be self-aware, form open and transparent communities and have courage. Acknowledging that we have to pace ourselves, that we have to take care of ourselves is so key because this journey can be isolating. Finally, one needs the courage to choose to make the right decisions because a long-term vision requires the courage to continue.”
“This whole mentoring activity was worthwhile,” shared Elorm Kupkan, a GCIC entrepreneur and beneficiary of the mentorship program. “More than just an expert, you have a friend, and sibling you look up to. Overall, it was a learning and sharing experience. Mentoring should be part of building people, as people build their businesses. You can avoid a lot of mistakes just because you have a mentor; that person to explain your decisions to bounce ideas off and to help make sure you’re on the right path.”
As part of the event, the GCIC also launched the Climate Innovation Enterprise Network of Ghana. The goal of the network is to provide a community of like-minded stakeholders to exchange ideas, provide opportunities, provide peer mentorship to one another and also help drive advocacy for promoting a green economy in Ghana.
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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