The inability of Ghana’s tertiary institutions to fully commercialize research/project outputs of graduates as a result of limited access to training, space, funding and other resources required by students for innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation.
And in a quest to create more sustainable working environment, the Ghana Digital Centers Limited through it’s Tertiary Digital Innovation Program, TDIP, signed a partnership agreement with the Ghana Communication Technology University.
The partnership which came off on Thursday, 15th September, 2022 seeks to address the gap by equipping students with necessary skills whilst developing their innovations into sustainable businesses that create jobs in the ecosystem.
The Tertiary Digital Innovation Program (TDIP), an initiative by the Accra Digital Centre is designed to foster digital innovation and entrepreneurship by providing support for tertiary students/recent graduates and growing technology-driven project/research works into businesses that provide extensive highly productive employment for Ghanaian youth whilst stimulating a multiplication of innovative solutions to address national developmental challenges.
Participants who have interest are required off the following; be a final year student or recent graduate of one of the participating Universities, have a concept/idea for a digital/technology or tech enabled startup. Idea has the potential to contribute to achieving any of the SDGs, have 2- 3 co-founders who are willing to spend time to develop their idea, be ready to sign on with the Ghana Digital Centers Limited for National Service.
Students willing to commit fully to the first 12 months component of the program, willing to work exclusively on their idea for the entire period. The program shall have at least 30-40% women representation of team members.
The CEO of the GDCL, Hon. Kwadjo Baah Agyemang in his remarks, reiterated the importance of the initiative, adding that students should embrace the opportunity.
“Anything you incubate just be determined that when there is an opportunity you will try to embrace it and see how far you can move to develop it and this is and opportunity to embrace it and see what God has installed for us. So I want to use this opportunity to encourage you all to take advantage and make good use of it,” he said.
“Don’t think that this is just a one off thing, the success of the initiative depends on you the students and initiators. If it becomes successful, that’s where people see the relevant of what we are doing. I wish those people that will be selected the very best,” he added.
The project coordinator, Edward Aikins explained the modalities and criteria involved in the identification of the participants.
“The program will select recent graduates, tertiary students or National Service personnel who, at the point of completion from the participating Universities, who have developed a concept for a technology startup which they have the desire to pursue upon completion and would pursue such with the needed support. These participants will have the benefit of practically working on their own innovations during the mandatory national service period, rather than working in settings that will take them off any interests in building their startups.
“Ghana Digital Centres Limited will present the names of participants to the National Service Secretariat so they will be formally assigned to the National Service Secretariat and earn the related allowance whilst GDCL supports them to build on their innovations as their core duties during the 12-month National Service period,” he said.
He stated that suitable conditions have been created across several platforms to ensure participants benefit.
“Participating teams will benefit from a provision referred to as “Start-Up Kit”, a grant package which will offer them services such as Business Incorporation Support, Branding and Digital Marketing, Lead Generation, HR Policy Development, Finance Policy Development, and shared office space. After the first 9 months, trainees will take a deep dive to fully develop their products with learnings and feedback from the field and guidance from coaches and industry experts during the period.
“GDCL will leverage the partnership with organizations and the network of mentors and coaches on the program and the wider ecosystem to offer immersive learning to trainees,” he added.