Emilee Otoo Quayson and Matilda Asantewaa Sampong are both students of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). On Tuesday, August 6, 2019, they both took home a cheque of GHC 100 K and the honour of being recognised by Ghana’s first citizen for their innovative efforts.
At the second season of the Presidential Pitch competition, both students held their own against nine other competing teams to clinch first place and take home the GHC 60 K cash prize, and they also managed to wow President Akufo-Addo enough to make him reach for his checkbook and gift them an extra GHC 40 K.
The students of KNUST got everyone’s attention when they took to the stage and revealed to everyone that they have, in fact, perfected a process that involves producing sanitary pads using banana and plantain fibre. And by the time they were done talking, they had made a strong case for themselves which ultimately saw them emerge winners on the day.
Both female students slugged it out with nine other teams and responded to questions before a panel of judges, in the presence of the President of Ghana, ministers of state and members of the diplomatic corps, at the Presidential Pitch event in Accra.
Their business, which is called Floyabana Pads, focuses mainly on rural women who cannot afford the mostly imported sanitary pads that are rife in the Ghanaian market.
The Presidential Pitch is a project put together by Ghana’s Ministry of Business Development to offer both financial and technical support to young Ghanaian entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 so as to enable them to implement their ideas.
As per the guidelines of the competition, the ideas presented are expected to sound all the right notes with respect to check all the boxes in such areas as feasibility, innovativeness, scalability, and impact.
This year’s edition of the competition started with about 200 competitors but that list was whittled down to a final 10 after the preliminaries. And the students will now be smiling home with GHC 100 K investment money having won the final contest.
The first and second runners-up were rewarded with GHC 40 K and GHC 35 K respectively while each of the teams that finished fourth to tenth received GHC 25 K.
In his keynote speech at the Pitch, President Nana Akufo-Addo applauded the finalists for their determination and creativity while urging them to keep up the development of their talents and skills.
He expressed optimism that the contributions of the 10 would encourage more young people to develop problem-solving ideas that would create jobs for others.
The President also challenged the finalists to develop and enhance their entrepreneurial skills in order to compete favourably with global businesses, as he is convinced that it is the best way Ghana can make the most of the opportunities offered by the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement that is now imminent.
Featured Image Courtesy: ghanaweb.com