Mobile network operator Tigo Ghana and Reach for Change, a non-profit organisation, have announced the winners of their 2016 Tigo Digital Changemakers competition.
The first place winners, a joint application, are Abdul Razak Gausu, Abdul Alhassan and Damien. T. Punguyire of Child Care Information Centre. They received GHȼ70,000 for their digital innovation which is helping to improve on infant health by providing parents and care givers with SMS and automated voice calls.
Two runners-up, Ernestina Edem Appiah and Herman Heinrich Hesse were also awarded GHȼ30,000 each for their digital solutions. Ernestina leads on an initiative that helps children to code while Herman runs a development programme that improves children’s vocabulary.
Together all the three winners are the 2016 Tigo Digital Changemakers. They also received a place in the Reach for Change incubator programme and will get up to five years’ professional support to help them build sustainable social enterprises.
The incubator includes mentorship, coaching, trainings and access to a global network of social entrepreneurs.
“We are thrilled with the selection from this competition: all three have exceptional social innovations and we look forward to working with them to help them develop and scale their projects,” said Solomon Twum, Regional Portfolio Manager with Reach for Change Africa.
He said these social entrepreneurs had very strong potential to be financially sustainable with ventures expected to create social change for years to come.
Gifty Bingley, Director for Corporate Affairs at Tigo Ghana, said: “Technology is increasingly becoming more central to social inclusion and Tigo is excited that through our digital inclusion agenda and in partnership with Reach for Change, we are supporting digital entrepreneurs to ensure the development and wellbeing of children.”
She said the impact of the programme could not be overemphasised as previous Changemaker winners had and continued to work in very deprived and remote communities across Ghana.
Two additional finalists also received GHȼ5,000 grants to help them complete the development of their digital applications. Elijah Amoo Addo’s app will work to reduce food waste and solve nutritional deficiencies among vulnerable children while Edem Isaiah Akpan is working on a digital application that will promote hygiene among children.
Since 2011, Tigo and Reach for Change have awarded 20 social entrepreneurs with both financial and professional support grant funding and support through the intensive Reach for Change incubator programme.
They have also supported dozens more through accelerators designed to help transform ideas into investment-ready initiatives.
Reach for Change Africa is a non-profit organisation that invests in innovative, early-stage social entrepreneurs who are addressing problems faced by children, youth and women in seven countries across the continent.