The Business Innovation and Incubation Centre (BIIC) of the University for Development Studies Business Directorate (UDS-BD) seeks to develop the business acumen of students, alongside academic training, to enable them take advantage of business opportunities available to them under the supportive environment provided by the University. The Vice-Chancellor’s Business Innovation Award Scheme is part of efforts by the BIIC to identify and support potential entrepreneurs among students of the UDS. The award emphasizes the need to give students an early start to participate in opportunities provided by domestic and global markets. The specific aim of this award scheme is to nurture potential business leaders among students. This year’s call departs from previous calls by broadening the scope to ensure more diversified entries to reflect the character of the University. In that case, the award will recognize any business innovation that our judges deem worthy of support. Nominations will be individually scored by a panel of experts selected by an advisory committee. Thus, entries will be based on business ideas that are innovative, workable and entrepreneurial. Entries are therefore, encouraged from all faculties, schools and disciplines in the University.
Objectives of the objective:
The objectives of the challenge are
- To identify innovative and viable business ideas among students
- To provide the technical support to enable students realize their business ideas
- To provide financial support to enable the winners implement their ideas
Format for the 2022 awards
To make the challenge more inclusive and accommodate as many innovative ideas as possible all disciplines are given equal opportunity hence the challenge will start from the campuses.
- Campus-wide competitions: the first stage will involve first and second pitching organized on the Tamale and Nyankpala Campuses. It is expected that 5 finalists will emerge from each campus (a total of 10 finalists) to participate in the final stage of the competition.
- University-wide competition: successful applicants from the first stage will participate in a final competition
- A separate pitching will be organized for UDS students on the Wa and Navrongo Campuses.
The theme for this year’s competition is ‘innovating for employment’. This is against the background that innovation has become key to employment generation as the formal sector is increasingly constrained to employing the youth. With an estimated 80% of the Ghanaian population employed in the informal sector innovation is critical to continuous growth of the sector to sustain employment generation.
Theme for Keynote address
The theme for the keynote address will be: ‘Unearthing the potential of the youth for job creation and employment: the role of academic institutions’
Awardees will have the benefit of:
- Business incubation services from BIIC
- Access to experienced mentors
- Additional support from experts in UDS
- Cash award up to GHC 25,000.00 (this is not meant to cover all budget costs)
- Support to access finance
- One personalized trophy per winning entry
Who should apply?
- Students (individuals or groups of students) currently enrolled in any programme of study in the UDS
Mode of application
Applicants must submit a concept note of not more than three pages, with font 12pt times new roman, clearly highlighting the following:
- The business idea
- The problem your idea seeks to solve
- Innovativeness of the idea (Not necessarily an invention of a new product)
- Market potential
- Potential for growth and sustainability
- Potential employment opportunities
The selection process shall follow the timelines below:
- The call for entries: 21st February to 21st March 2022
- First pitching, Tamale campus: 21st April 2022
- First pitching, Nyankpala Campus: 28th April 2022
- First pitching, Students from Wa and Navrongo Campuses: 5th May 2022
- Second pitching, Tamale Campus: 2nd June 2022
- Second pitching, Nyankpala Campus: 9th June 2022
- Second pitching, for students from Wa and Navrongo Campuses: 16th June 2022
- Final University-wide pitching for successful contestants: 28th July 2022
Entries are encouraged from all disciplines in the University. This included agriculture, agribusiness, medicine, pharmacy, public health, nutrition, nursing, education, natural resource management, environment, food processing, biotechnology, food and consumer science etc.