Reimagining Social Ventures During COVID-19

2020 Social Venture Challenge winners share their journey

As this year’s Social Venture Challenge teams prepare to pitch their ventures to a panel of judges, we revisit a few of last year’s teams to see how they are faring and what role reimagining and resilience have played in their entrepreneurship journey.

Kwabeng Robotics and Mentorship Hub

Ofori- Kwabeng Robotics

Left to right: Ofori Richard and Yamoah Veronica. Founders of Kwabeng Robotics and Mentorship Hub, Ghana.

Tell us about yourself and the name of your team 

At the 2020 Baobab Summit, Kwabeng Robotics and Mentorship Hub, a tech hub led by Ofori Richard and Yamoah Veronica from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana won the Social Venture Challenge and thus were accepted into the Resolution Fellowship Programme.

What is the challenge that your business, Kwabeng Robotics and Mentorship Hub, addressing and what has been the impact so far?  

We are addressing the challenge of the low interest and the gender inequalities in pursuing Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs at high school and tertiary levels of education.

Mostly innovation and industrialization of any country is STEM-driven. However, in Ghana, the female population is under-represented in the STEM field. As a team, we want to use the motivational effect of robotics and mentorship to ignite their desire for STEM programs and bridge the gap between young men and women when it comes to the interest in pursuing STEM programmes in Ghana.

In May 2021, we held a mentorship session for participants of our programs which was geared towards helping participants understand the essence of STEM programs and why they are the right people to pursue it. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the start of the robotics aspect of the project was delayed. We have now purchased the robotics kits and the materials required to start the robotics training session and looking forward to resuming in September.

How did you feel when you were announced as a winner of the Social Venture Challenge and how has winning impacted your venture?  

Winning the Resolution Project Social Venture Challenge was one of our best moments in life. It was also overwhelming since it was our first time participating in the Social Venture Challenge and seeing all the great ideas presented, winning meant a lot to us.

When we started the social venture, one of the challenges we encountered as a team was financing so winning the Social Venture Challenge helped us to have access to sources of funds to ensure the smooth running of our project. We have learnt a lot from the Resolution Project community through mentorship and networking. We have also had access to other funding opportunities to scale up the project.

The fellowship offers professional courses that have helped our team to learn and reconsider certain plans and activities for our project.

How have you had to reimagine your venture since winning last year? How do you see it changing again in the post-Covid year?  

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to reimagine our work and connect to the project participants via virtual interactions and Zoom meetings. Post-COVID-19, many of our project participants will be in the haste of being in classrooms and training sessions physically.

What have you learned about leadership as a Social Venture Challenge Winner and as an entrepreneur? 

One of the things we have learnt as Social Venture Challenge Winners is that challenges are inevitable, and they present new ways to innovate and be creative. Additionally, the team you work with must share the same purpose for greater success as entrepreneurs.

What advice do you have for the current Social Venture Challenge finalists?  

Our advice to the finalists is that it is easy to win the competition the moment you make to the finals. You were selected from among many competitors. Therefore, be confident in your venture as you present to the panelists. We wish you the best of luck and we are ready to listen to your pitch. Welcome them to the Resolution Project Community!

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