A US$1.4 World Bank funded innovation hub, the Ghana Innovation Hub (GIH), has been launched in Accra pending the official opening in October this year.
The hub project is an initiative under the e-Transform programme of the Ministry of Communications to improve the efficiency and coverage of government service delivery using Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
With its working space at the Accra Digital Centre (ADC), the hub is aimed at building partnerships with stakeholders in the Ghana entrepreneurial ecosystem through the provision of physical space, business development support, investment matchmaking and ecosystem support for young entrepreneurs and businesses in the country.
The hub is also expected to contribute to innovation and digitisation of Ghana’s economy through the services that would be provided at the centre which would be open to public use from October 1.
Speaking at the launch, the Project Manager of the GIH, Ms Susanne Roelofsen said one major challenge faced by potential and young entrepreneurs, aside from capital, was working space to operate.
Therefore, she said, the establishment of the hub would provide space, as well as give other advisory services to people on how to create working space for their businesses.
She stated that the services that would be given at the centre would mainly focus on key sectors in the economy which included agricultural, financial, healthcare and educational technologies, as well as tourism and social security.
Ms Roelofsen said the project was funded by the World Bank Group through the Ministry of Communications with an amount of US$1.4 million.
The funds, she explained, was to be used for the setting up of the space, attracting right consultants that would help run the programme and operational costs for the coming months till the end of 2020.
“We are trying to generate enough revenue so that the programme can still run after 2020,” she added.
Ms Roelofsen indicated that the hub was made up of four consortia which tendered in their proposals after calls were made by the Ministry of Communications to establish an innovation hug in the country.
The consortium, she mentioned, was set up of Blue space Africa, the Ghana Technology University College (GUTC) and MDF West Africa to provide technical, advisory and training support to the hub.
She said as part of the initiative to contribute to the technology ecosystem in the country, there was going to be an incubation programmes that would develop the ideas of entrepreneurs into business models and testing the assumption of the model in the market.
“We are nurturing the next generation of innovators by providing physical working space, as well as business development services, investment matchmaking and ecosystem support,” she added.
Ms Roelofsen said it was imperative to have a quick and straightforward way to describe business models since it would help you present it to stakeholders or work strategy with your team. This is what the hub seeks to help entrepreneurs achieve.
“The centre will provide an avenue for entrepreneurs to identify their customers, create revenue and activities and resources and partnerships needed to operate,” she added.
She ,therefore, called on entrepreneurs and businesses to join one of the incubation programmes at the centre to further build their product, services and business models. — GB