Be Driven by Innovation - President Akufo-Addo Charges Presidential Pitch Winners

President Akufo-Addo has charged winners of the 2020 Presidential Pitch to focus on developing innovative ideas as they go about growing their various businesses.

The President gave the award recipients the charge when he addressed a brief ceremony at the Jubilee House to present the winners with their cheques to support their respective businesses.

"I want you to see yourselves first as Ghanaian entrepreneurs. But apart from being Ghanaian entrepreneurs, you have a huge world out there which you have to do your best to conquer. So you must see yourselves both as Ghanaian entrepreneurs and global entrepreneurs, people who are going to change the circumstances in which we all live," President Akufo-Addo noted.

"For that to happen, innovation, new idea, and that is why you have been selected as the Presidential Pitch winners. The whole principle should be innovation, innovation, innovation," President Akufo-Addo added.

In a brief remark on behalf of his colleagues, Douglas Akoglo, the overall winner of the 2020 Presidential Pitch registered the appreciation of all the winners to the President and he pledged that they will put the resources advanced to them to good use in order to grow their businesses and to create jobs.

"I want to assure you on my behalf and on the behalf of my fellow winners that we will ensure that these funds are put to good use to the benefit of our community, of the country and to everyone," Douglas Akoglo said.

1st, 2nd and 3rd Place

Douglas Akoglo, the Chief Executive Officer of SheaCoal Zoyanna Enterprise, who pitched on developing sheanut residue into charcoal emerged as the overall winner of season three of the Presidential Pitch. He received Seventy Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC 70,000.00) and an additional Thirty Thousand Cedis (GHC 30,000.00) from the President personally. Theophilus Dumenyo (Anquito), placed second and he received GHC 60,000.00 and Cornelius Nyobator (Verdant), who was third, also received GHc 60,000.00. The rest received between GHc 30,000.00 and GHc 50,000.00.

Judges of the Pitch

Season three of the Presidential Pitch had four (4) judges. They are Richard Abbey, the Chief Executive Officer of Xodus Communications Limited, Rebecca Donkor, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Makeup Ghana, Dr. Pascal Brenya, Training and Capacity Development Expert and also the Chief Executive Officer of Focus Central and Rashida Saani Nasamu, multiple award winning serial enterpreneur and Chief Executive Officer of I-ZAR Group.

2020 Pitch Contestants

The ten (10) contestants who participated in the pitch are Abubakar Salih (Edoedo), Michael Atamakira (Project Wastek), Justice Amanfu (Geeks and Clicks), Abdul Gafaru Amin (Imperishable), and Cornelius Nyobator (Verdant). The remaining are, Ahiatrogah Norkplim (Dela Technologies), Irene Atawobe (SheaMe), Douglas Akoglo (SheaCoal Zoyanna Ent), Theophilus Dumenyo (Anquito), and Kendell Elizabeth Mantey (Lednek Soycaff).

Why the Presidential Pitch

It is estimated that two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) young men and women are thrown out onto the job market from the country's educational institutions. The formal sector is currently only able to absorb some 2% with the remaining 98% either looking for jobs in the informal sector or becoming unemployed. The Presidential Pitch seeks to deepen entrepreneurial passion amongst Ghanaian youth through the incubation of business ideas into innovative and enterprising business opportunities.

The Presidential Pitch

The Presidential Pitch is a project designed and organised by the Ministry of Business Development to offer young Ghanaian entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 the opportunity to market their business ideas and get financial assistance to implement those ideas. The project is in line with the President’s vision to assist young entrepreneurs to nurture their business ideas and improve livelihoods. The pitch usually involves 200 competitors and through the competition, they are scaled down to 10 finalists. The GH¢30,000.00 to GH¢70,000.00 seed money given to the winners is a grant and not a loan. The ideas presented by the contestants must exhibit four characteristics: feasibility, innovation, scalability and impact.