The Business Incubator Centre of the University of Professional studies, Accra has shortlisted two student entrepreneurial groups for the 2021 Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge (GSIC).
The two finalists — BolaMall and Golden-Bio – were selected from a field of 20 business groups which appeared before a selection panel. Their sustainable business solutions caught the attention of the panel of judges at the final pitch session held on Friday, May 7.
The two will represent the UPSA at the global contest in June this year.
The global innovation contest brings together innovators, entrepreneurs, programmers and developers to provide the creative ideas and sustainable business solutions needed to address global issues in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Shortlisted participants are given the opportunity to connect with other passionate innovators around the world to explore innovative approaches to social change and receive support to help advance their solution to the marketplace.
The most innovative and promising global venture is awarded $50,000 in seed funding for business at any stage of the competition.
Commending the student entrepreneurs for their ingenious ideas, the Coordinator for the Impact Entrepreneurship programme at UPSA, Dr Andrew Ayiku, underscored that innovation and entrepreneurship play a critical role in helping communities and nations mitigate and respond to some of the world’s biggest challenges.
As a result, he said, the world needs bold ideas, sustainable solutions and a nurturing environment that supports innovation.
“That is why we applaud these students for their creative ideas that leverage new technologies to provide practical solutions to real world challenges,” Dr Ayiku said.
Bolamall designed a web and mobile application to address the improper waste disposal and recycling menace being experienced in Ghana and the African continent at large.
The business model operates in such a way that, it serves as an intermediary to connect waste collectors and individuals by providing an online platform for these individuals and firms to manage their wastes by selling them in a well segregated and treated form, a unique, affordable and user-friendly shopping experience for recyclable wastes for their customers.
The mobile app also offers an opportunity to donate and receive donated reusable waste through identified centres in cities across the country and the African continent at large.
Golden-Bio Company Limited is a company formed to specialize in the designing and construction of affordable, well-kept and well-maintained public toilet facilities for communities with high rates of open defecation in Ghana.
These public toilets would also serve as a source of raw materials (solid human wastes excrete) to feed Bio-digesters for the production of bio-methane gas and other renewable gases for use in the homes of these communities as a source of energy as well as providing fertilizers for agricultural use.
The Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge
The Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge has connected more than 2,500 innovators from 17 countries around the world — including Australia, South Korea, Rwanda, Ireland, Mexico and Peru — recognizing their outstanding social ventures based on positive impact and financial sustainability.
The Challenge invites teams to engage with one or more of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Students can address any social or environmental problem of their choice as long as it is aligned with at least one of the Global Goals.
It is organised by the University of San Diego and University of St. Thomas in partnership with UPSA and 27 other participating universities.