With youth unemployment soaring in Ghana and in most Sub-Saharan African economies, the need to open new market space and create conditions for social innovation is without doubt the most critical policy imperative that occupies any government that is interested in private sector growth.
This recognition provided context for a recent social entrepreneurship workshop that was organized by Rural Heights Foundation, a nonprofit that intervenes in primary and secondary education and also women economic empowerment in rural Ghana.
The workshop, which was organized for the entrepreneurship club of Apam Senior High, was successful.
Students were taken through a business model generation simulator that enabled participants gain working knowledge of how to create competitive and possibly, disruptive business models in both orthodox and unorthodox market spaces.
The emphasis on evolving trends in digital content and mobile technology was a key feature of the workshop as participants were encouraged to acquire new-economy skill sets in addition to the traditional functional and generic skills that Ghana’s educational curriculum provides.
Over 40 members of the Entrepreneurship Club participated in the workshop, acknowledging through post-event feedback, the benefits accrued in terms of new knowledge and skills acquired. The project was co-facilitated by Junior Camp Ghana, an NGO that focus on Mentoring Senior High students to succeed in life.
The Big Picture
Most of Rural Heights Foundation’s current interventions are in Gomoa West district where educational outcomes at the Basic and Primary levels clearly suggests a weakening of the fundamentals that serve as critical drivers of academic performance.
According to information from Ghana Education Service, in 2011, 70% of all students who sat for Basic Entrance and Certificate Examination (B.E.C.E) in Gomoa West, failed and therefore were unable to progress to Senior High School.
For the past three years (2011-2014), average pass rate of B.E.C.E candidates for Gomoa West was 31.79% (Data sourced from Ghana Education Service and District Directorate of Education, Apam).
This workshop was therefore an integral part of executing the Foundation’s theory of change, which is; improved academic outcomes are tightly coupled with two interlocking drivers: (1) an empowered teaching staff that employ innovative approaches to enhance learning experience and (2) a program of instruction that aligns pedagogy and content with the emerging demands of global markets.
Rural Heights Foundation is a nonprofit organisation that engages in social advocacy and direct intervention in the area of well-being, education and micro enterprise within rural Ghana.
In 2016 our project focus is to provide financial literacy and civic education to rural schools in the Gomoa West district, Central Region.
Additionally, we are providing skills development training and small grants to 50 women in Gomoa Pinanko and Ampia-Ejumako in the Central Region to start micro-enterprises. You may scan the QR Code to view a video of the project on YouTube.
Credit: Rural Heights Foundation