GrassRoots Hub in collaboration with Ghana Tech Lab (GTL) organized a six-week intensive web development training – GTL Base Program – for 30 young people in Sunyani, the Bono Region, Ghana. The initiative is under the Pathway to Sustainable Employment (PaSE) program with support from the Ministry of Communications, MasterCard Foundation’s Young Africa Works Initiative and the World Bank. The training program was organized with the purpose of curbing the high rate of unemployment among young graduates, by providing a platform where these graduates can be equipped with employable skills, coupled with related capacity building opportunities for their personal and professional development.
The training program commenced in July, following an ecosystem mapping conducted by the organising partners in the Bono Region. Through the ecosystem mapping, we identified that only 25% of businesses or entrepreneurs in Bono region were accustomed to digital technologies. With the rising job opportunities created through digital technologies, it was pressing that we offer the platform to the teeming unemployed youth in the region to acquire the needed skills in web development and the use of digital technologies. We believe that equipping the youth of Sunyani with these sought-after skills will offer them the ability to create their own start-up business and/or take advantage of the existing technological opportunities which is underutilised in the region, as part of our commitment to contribute to creating sustainable employment opportunities and the sustainable development of the Bono Region.
As part of the Base Program, participants formed two-member teams of 15 in total, and further engaged in an Innovation Week; the Innovation Week was the final week of training were the participants utilised the design thinking methodology to discover societal problems, frame these problems and create technological ideas that can serve as business solutions. From the team interaction during the innovation week, we observed these teams develop innovative start-up ideas in light of the digital skill training they received.
Against this background, GrassRoots Hub will be organising a Local Start-up Innovation Pitch Summit, dubbed: “Sunyani Start-up Summit” on Friday September 11, 2020 to offer these 15 innovative start-up ideas from the web development training program the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges and an audience of potential angel investors, business experts, accomplished entrepreneurs, award-winning software engineers, mentors and coaches, among other affluent individuals in Sunyani; with the sole intent of attracting possible investors of their start-up ideas.
GrassRoots Hub is a social impact and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) innovation lab that is dedicate to promoting social good. Over the years, we have partnered with organisations like the Ford Foundation, NEXUS Global, the Ghana Tech Lab, among others to provide training programs that contributes to the sustainable development of the Bono Region where we operate. This Web Development Training Program is therefore, one of our success stories which will add to the many other impact stories done and others yet to come.