#NotYourAverageGhanaians participating in the DOT Unconference 2018 via GhanaThink’s GYSEP

Ato Ulzen-Appiah
5 min readOct 12, 2018

In 2017, in partnership with Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT), the GhanaThink Foundation organized the Ghana Youth Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GYSEC) — #GYSEC2017. 20 budding social entrepreneurs were chosen to learn, be trained, and compete. 6 winners represented Ghana at the DOT Unconference in Rwanda. They were — Ivy Barley — Developers in Vogue, Princess Allotey — ArithOut (Kids And Math), Enam Agbozo — Y-TIDE(now Radix Nest), Justica Anima — Green Arts Culture, Lamisi Atinga — Savana Oils, Mawuli Amenyedor — Ho Node Hub. They benefited a lot from being in Rwanda and they hvae continued to enjoy a lot of support from DOT, GhanaThink, etc.

In 2018, GYSEC has become a 4th program for GhanaThink after Barcamp Ghana, Junior Camp Ghana, Ghana Volunteer Program and was renamed the Ghana Youth Social Entrepreneurship Program (GYSEP). 24 budding social entrepreneurs were chosen out of 220 applications to learn and be trained. As part of the program, 6 budding social entrepreneurs from Ghana would be there at the 2018 DOT Unconference in Kenya — Proschia Gaisie (Let’s Share), Emily Bansah (Solar Barter), Doreen Aglago-Cofie (Heighten Up), Bright Bruce Acquaye (TGYC), Simeon Martey (Tamale Children Hub), Michael Sedinam Tenu (XCel Packs).

Bright Bruce-Acquaye leads The Ghana Youth Co-Operative. They are a business and employment youth cooperative that transitions unemployed youths from inactivity to self employment in a collective framework. They seek to mobilize and unite youths and their resources to invest collectively into profitable business ventures that has the potential to provide jobs for members of the coop. Since they started in 2018, they have 25 registered members now and have stablished a relationship with the department of Cooperatives office. After launching of the Cooperative, they would continue to fundraise and establish the first co-op business.

Doreen Aglago-Cofie leads Heighten Up. They promote women’s leadership in corporate organizations. They achieve this by ensuring diversity in organizational structures. Their vision is to create organizational environments where women are equally represented in leadership as men. They have conducted a research on women representation in management teams and/or board of directorship using the Ghana Club 100 companies awarded in 2017. They are organizing mock dialogue conferences in schools. They are also preparating to shoot advocacy videos and photos on Women’s Inclusion. They are also building a Virtual Coaching app.

Emily Bansah leads Solar barter which is a social enterprise that has the sole aim of solving the issue of lack of power supply in rural and off-grid communities. This system is flexible such that we provide our customers with the solar kits in exchange for a bag of cocoa which is approximately equivalent to the bag of cocoa. After the barter trade is functioned, the team will then market the bags of cocoa for profit which is ploughed back into the enterprise. The focus community for the solar barter project is Daboase in the Western region of Ghana. The solar barter team has signed a formal agreement with the Sunking Solar company

to be the supply partners of solar kits to the solar barter team. The Solar Barter team is also in talks with Ghana Energy Commission to factor the solar barter project in the national policy for renewable resources. The team members also include Prince Essel — Project Manager, Fatimatu Iddrisu — Administrative Officer, and Dominic Akoto — Logistics Manager.

Michael Sedinam Tenu leads XCel Packs. This paper packaging solutions social enterprise is founded and managed by Eadberta Tweneboah Koduah, Rhoda Agyekum, Evelyn Lotame, Winfred Dzankah, Benjamin Lawson Doe, Bernard Mwinyoglee, David Marquis and Tenu Michael Sedinam Korku. Their mission is to reduce the use of rubber and plastic bags as they are the major cause of sanitation issues due to their inability to decay. They envision to be the leading maker of product packaging solutions provider for brands and individuals globally. They began production on 5th September, 2018 and have received about 7 orders and have completed 4. They are looking forward to securing investment which will enable them purchase a production machine to enhance the production process.

Proschia Gaisie leads Let’s Share together with Kingsley Amuah. Their mission is to provide the needed assistance to victims of gender based violence and a possible preventative orientation. Their vision is to create an opportunity for victims of gender based violence to share their predicaments by provision of hotlines and short codes for anonymous lodging of complaints aimed at creating the needed assistance and empowerment to victims. They are looking to get a short code and hotlines running and then to launch the special enterprise.

Simeon Martey leads the Tamale Children Hub. The Hub is aligned to exceed the standards of all major education systems in the Metropolis making it the most reliable center to keep babies and toddlers between the ages of 3months — 2 years whiles their parents concentrate on their work/jobs. The Hub also equips school children after school hours in extra curricular activities for a holistic child development. They run a day long services making it so innovative,creative and convenience for users, beneficiaries and our customers.

They would be joined by Ivy Barley, who was at the DOT Unconference in 2017, Esperanza Yakubu (DOT Social Innovation Program Community Facilitator) and the Ato Ulzen-Appiah (director of the GhanaThink Foundation)

As youth delegates, they would be sharing experience, knowledge and passion with other youth attending the Unconference. Some would be running youth-led sessions, these act as opportunities to collaborate, learn, validate the social innovation idea and network with other delegates. The Unconference sessions will feature six themes, which will provide the general topics for the sessions. The Unconference would be from October 17–19 in Nairobi, Kenya.



Ato Ulzen-Appiah

I’m part of @GhanaThink which runs @barcampghana @JuniorCampGhana @volunteeringh, etc & @Museke. Read #mightyafrican blogs & @Abocco’s @ #GhanaConscious.