Reading the report from Forbes magazine ‘Africa 4 Africans Youth’ can feel elated as one of its prodigies has earned an international grant to develop their startup. Ten finalists were selected from 7000 applicants to the McDan Entrepreneurship Challenge. The challenge is one of the focal activities of Ghanaian business magnate Dr. Daniel McKorley’s McDan Foundation.
According to the article, 10 startups were nominated and invited to the ceremony at Ghana’s National Theater. waiting to hear which one of them would take home the $100,000 USD prize. In any country, a $100k grant would give a startup a leg up, but in a market where the per capita GDP is around $2,200, that investment is game-changing.
Africa for Africa Youth Initiative (A4A), is a unique youth platform birthed by the Man of God, Reverend Dr. Chris Oyakhilome. It gives young African leaders the voice to speak up and air their views, contributing meaningfully to nation-building.
Women leading the way
Patience Alifo is an A4A Youth from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration. She is the founder of ‘Greenfuel Innovation Africa.‘ They produce ‘CleanChar’, an alternative to traditional charcoal made from agricultural waste. This fuel is actually made from coconut husks.
She started her company after meeting a woman in a remote village who burned wood to power the oven she used to make the kenkey and fish dish that she sells. She could not afford gas. “With this problem, I had the passion to create a solution in order to provide access to clean, smokeless and affordable energy for this woman and other women in her situation,” said Alifo.
Greenfuel Innovation Africa focuses on eco-friendly innovations to combat climate change, promote a green and sustainable economy. The company focused on providing access to clean energy for domestic and commercial purposes. There’s is a mission to minimize deforestation, pollution whilst producing clean energy. Their vision is the leading African company in renewable energy innovations.
Meet the team
Alifo Patience Dzigbordi is a young energetic lady, passionate about creating positive solutions in her community and Africa at large. As a team player and an excellent analytical thinker, she worked together with her team members, appreciating and recognizing their personal potentials and skills to help Greenfuel Innovation Africa to meet its objectives. She is a goal-oriented individual who inspires her team members to be passionate about the vision and mission of Greenfuel Innovation Africa.
Thomas Amponsah, has worked with the Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana. He is passionate about the protection and management of natural resources. He is also an advocate of climate change. Skilled in Project Management and an Expect in Green Building he is a prominent member of the team.
On the competition
At the beginning of the competition, Alifo had doubts that she would make it through. Most of the companies were run by men, and at 23 years old, almost all were much older than she was. “But I began to observe and learn through the challenge. And I can boldly say, my confidence level has increased.”
Concluding remarks on Forbes
“It’s a great privilege of investing in women entrepreneurs because they actually make things happen. They are passionate and loyal. Women always want to build trust and show leadership and results to their children and families…they are always committed to giving their best.”