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GCIC Holds Orientation for Cohort 6 Climate Entrepreneurs

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Ashesi University’s Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC) has organized an orientation for 19 entrepreneurs who make up Cohort 6 of GCIC’s business incubator.  The new cohort also marks a new phase for GCIC with Global Affairs Canada as funders.

The entrepreneurs who have been selected for the nine-month-long incubation programme are SMEs whose work and innovations are either aimed at climate change mitigation and adaptation or SMEs exploring the adoption of more climate-smart and sustainable models in their operations.

As part of the orientation, Ruka Sanusi, the Executive Director of GCIC, took the entrepreneurs through an overview of the strategic implementation pillars of the Centre’s work, whilst also sharing results from the previous business incubation of five cohorts.

“GCIC has an established track record of success. Since June 2017, we have incubated a total of 101 businesses across Ghana – 31 of these are women-owned or women-led enterprises. Between June 2017 and 2020, GCIC supported entrepreneurs generated cumulative revenues of US$2.06m, created 733 new jobs, raised additional early and growth-stage financing in excess of USD2m, and sequestered CO2 emissions of 14,500MT. GCIC’s robust business incubation program and interventions support entrepreneurs to develop and or enhance the needed mindset, skillset and toolset to go the long-haul with their climate innovation by better understanding the factors that determine long-term business success and performance”, she shared.

As has been done with previous cohorts, GCIC provided and presented each entrepreneur with an asparagus fern potted plant. Aligned and parallel to the process of nurturing their green business, entrepreneurs are encouraged to intentionally nurture the gifted plant as a daily reminder of the dedication they will also need to demonstrate in for growing their businesses during and after the business incubation period.

During her presentation at the Orientation, Entrepreneurship Consultant Leticia Browne announced the partnership between GCIC and Coursera, the U.S.-based open online course provider founded in 2012 by Stanford University professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller.  The partnership will allow GCIC entrepreneurs and their teams to access a range of selected Coursera certified courses.  She said, “We have carefully curated a catalogue of courses that you will be able to complete throughout the incubation period on Coursera.”

Dramani Bukari, GCIC’s Partnerships, Entrepreneurship, and Investment Director took entrepreneurs through GCIC’s Technical and Product Development workstream and articulated how entrepreneurs can improve upon their products and innovation to meet global standards through the support services offered by the Technology and Product Development workstream.

“We will provide the support that contributes to improving technologies and products, stimulating climate risk mitigation and management practices, and advancing the growth of climate-resilient businesses like yours. There is a specific process by which you can apply for and receive a grant. And we will require you to submit evidence of efficient and effective utilization of the disbursed funds”, he explained.

Concluding presentations were delivered by the GCIC finance team on how GCIC supported businesses could pitch for and access financial grants; and Daniel Ababio, Senior Manager at EY Ghana (GCIC ‘s implementation partners for the GAC supported program), on the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) component of the programme said “The M&E process helps us to track the growth of your business before and after the 9-month period. We are also able to accurately quantify and report on the support that you receive, and we look forward to sharing your success stories at the end of the programme’

The Cohort 6 entrepreneurs were inducted into the GCIC incubation programme on 15th December 2021.

About GCIC

Founded in 2016, GCIC is a pioneering business incubator with a unique focus on developing SME ventures and entrepreneurs in Ghana’s ‘Green Economy’. Our mission is to develop and support an exceptional set of transformational ventures and entrepreneurs who are pioneering adaptive and mitigating solutions for climate change issues in Ghana. We do this with a focus on five key economic sectors (energy efficiency & renewable energy; solar power; climate-smart agriculture; domestic waste management; water management and purification), the provision of premium business advisory and business mentoring services, technical support in the development, prototyping and testing of their innovation, as well as financial Proof of Concept grants to qualifying SMEs within our incubator.

GCIC has so far incubated over 101 green businesses making great social, economic, and environmental strides today. These businesses have together worked to avoid about 14,526 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, raised over $US2 million in early and growth-stage financing, and raked in more than US$2.28 million in revenue.

GCIC an institute of Ashesi University is currently funded by a grant from Global Affairs Canada. The Centre, with partners EY Ghana, offers the perfect mix of experience and excellence in private sector development, climate change, entrepreneurship, education and training, and research and development know-how.