Prince’s Trust International (PTI), in partnership with Fidelity Bank Ghana and Environment 360, has held the pitch finals of the Enterprise Challenge, a programme which seeks to introduce Senior High School students to business concepts and entrepreneurship. Described by Forbes as one of the “five leading global programs supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs”, the Enterprise Challenge, works with young people to develop business ideas that positively impact environmental issues in their communities.
Prince’s Trust International was founded by His Majesty King Charles III, formerly The Prince of Wales, to help tackle the global crisis in youth unemployment. The organisation works with local partners across 18 countries to deliver employability, education and entrepreneurship programmes, including the Enterprise Challenge.
As well as inspiring an entrepreneurial spirit and equipping young people with the requisite skill-set and know-how to run an enterprise, the overarching aim of the programme is to encourage young people to be socially responsive and responsible, by channelling their creative prowess to make a positive impact on their community. Additionally, the programme is geared towards developing the participants’ confidence and providing experienced guidance to enable them to make informed decisions about their future.
The inclusion of climate literacy modules provides participants with the principles of sustainable development and the importance of considering environmental impact alongside profit. Supported by business mentors, young participants explore the stages of setting up and running a business through a digital business simulation game.
Twenty-five (25) teams participated in the 2022/23 edition of the programme with five teams eventually being shortlisted for the finals. The five finalists were then given four sessions with a green business mentor to support each team to finetune their business ideas with particular emphasis on a cost and profit structure, as well as effective sales pitching techniques ahead of the final event.
Speaking at the event, the founder of Fidelity Bank and a member of the Prince’s Trust International Africa Advisory Board, Mr. Edward Effah, expressed his delight with the diligence and business acumen demonstrated by the students. “Looking at the ideas presented by our students today, I can confidently say that Ghana indeed has a bright future. The ability of these young ones to develop environmentally friendly green business ideas and the confidence with which they articulated these ideas is quite impressive. I am particularly impressed with their level of environmental awareness, and I believe such programmes will go a long way to help Ghana and Africa achieve the SDGs.”
The five (5) teams which participated in the finals included Team Mervs from Kinbu S.H.S., Team Doyen from Sacred Heart S.H.S., Teams Texco and Flow from His Majesty’s S.H.S. and Team Phoenix from Brainy Brain S.H.S.
The winning pitch came from an all-female team from Kinbu SHS. They presented an innovative green business concept of turning palm kernel waste, generated from making palm oil, into briquettes to replace the use of charcoal and wood cooking fuel. This environmentally friendly alternative to traditional cooking fuel is compact and smokeless and devoid of any harmful effects to human health.
Among other pluses, the judging panel were impressed that the product is ready for market with a broad immediate and potential customer base.
For their prize, the team received seed money from Fidelity Bank to start the process of registering their business and building on their business idea and turn it into a viable commercial entity. Presenting the funding to the team, the Head, of Digital and Brand Marketing of Fidelity Bank, Eric Frempong Amponsah stated that, “Fidelity Bank is proud to partner with Prince’s Trust International on this programme. Serving the community is one of our core values and education is a key pillar of our social impact initiatives. We look forward to working with Prince’s Trust International on future projects.”
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