Industry Meets Academia at UCC SRC

Winners of Africa’s Biggest Idea Challenge

Hundreds of student entrepreneurs have competed in the maiden edition of an entrepreneurship contest dubbed ‘Africa’s Biggest Idea Challenge – UCC’, conceived and organised as an initiative of the Student Representative Council (SRC) of Cape Coast University (UCC).

It was part of the SRC’s week celebrations this year which took place at Auditorium 900 of the university last Thursday, April 20.

The contest sought to enhance the entrepreneurial skills of students, bring industries closer to academia and create a link between young entrepreneurs and established industrialists, and equipping actual student start-ups with knowledge and resources to grow their business.

The grand finale featured captivating idea pitching presentations from finalists, keynote addresses from dignitaries and business moguls and musical performances.

Former Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Ekow Spio Gabrah, was the guest speaker for the week-long contest’s finale event. He urged the students of the university to identify and make good use of their talents, and also advised them to be prayerful since “most brilliant business ideas are God-given.”

“If you want to make money and you want to be successful in this sector, you must know how to manage your time,” counselled Nana Sam Brew Butler, who is the former chairman of the university’s council and substantial chair of the occasion.

Notable among the dignitaries present at the ceremony were Dr Eugene Darteh, Vice Dean of Students; Prof Eric Wilmot, Provost of the College of Education Studies and Prof Livingstone K. Sam-Amoah, Provost of College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences.

Patron of the contest, Dr Edward Amarteifio, remarked how tough it was to eliminate some of the businesses as most had rather intelligent ideas. However, when it came to it, ‘Oyonkopa Originate’, a fashion start-up owned by final year Economics Student, Kweku Opare-Mensah, won the ultimate prize of a whopping GH¢10,000.

Health-niche social enterprise that engages in health advocacy, research, health media, coaching and medical entrepreneurship, ‘Coats & Scrubs’ headed by Adwoa Boatemaa Bonsu, came as first runner-up and took home GH¢5,000. Placing third and taking home GH¢3,000 was ‘Modest Rabbit Farms’, a rabbit meat production and processing outfit headed by Musah Halidu.

Ably supported by a three-man team, including Kwame Nimo, Christopher Dadson and Collins Kwame Adu, Dennis Appiah Larbi Ampofo is the SRC president and the brain behind the project. He explained that student entrepreneurs applied to be part of the competition, and after rigorous screening and a series of presentations, 11 businesses made it to the finale.