Telecom operator, Tigo is marking the 5th anniversary of its Tigo Digital Changemakers Competition and has committed to reinvesting an additional GHS135, 000 to advance the impact of leading social entrepreneurs in the programme.
Tigo disclosed that the competition which has been running in partnership with the international non-profit organization Reach for Change, will see a boost from its reinvestment decision to enable five Tigo Digital Changemakers to scale their social enterprises, expand their operations and impact exponentially more Ghanaian lives.
The selected Changemakers will participate in a special five-year reinvestment competition. The winners will be announced in early September 2017. For the past five years, Tigo and Reach for Change have selected some of Ghana’s most promising and innovative social entrepreneurs through the Tigo Digital Changemakers Competition.
The competition has provided winners with seed funding and access to Reach for Change’s Incubator programme, which has enabled them to turn early stage social innovations into thriving sustainable businesses that improve communities and the lives of children.
“To date, our programme has improved the lives of more than 475,000 Ghanaian children through social innovation designed to tackle some of the society’s most pressing issues, such as health, education, gender equality and more,” said Roshi Motman, the Chief Executive Officer of Tigo Ghana.
Ms. Motman added: “After five years of incredible innovations from young Ghanaians, we have decided to plough back in some of the top Tigo Digital Changemakers, to enable them to take their social enterprises to the next level and to make an impact at an even greater scale.”
Through the programme, changemakers have received support that enabled them to put their promising ideas into high impact social businesses with sustainable models. To scale their organizations further, and most importantly, make an even greater impact on Ghanaian society, Tigo and Reach for Change have shortlisted five exceptional Changemakers who are eligible to receive additional funding.
The five Tigo Digital Changemakers are eligible to receive funding from Tigo, alongside specialized support through the Reach for Change Incubator to scale their businesses into additional Ghanaian communities to maximize the impact they have on society.
The five candidates include:
Cecilia Fiaka, Tigo Digital Changemaker winner in 2013
Cecilia is on a mission to curb teenage pregnancy, drug abuse and other negative behaviours that sidetrack Ghanaian youth from reaching their full potential. Her social enterprise Nneka Youth Foundation has helped over 11,000 young Ghanaians through innovative programming that provides leadership skills, instils self-confidence and helps teens to focus on building a bright future for themselves.
Sheila Osei Boakye, Tigo Digital Changemaker winner in 2014
Sheila is addressing illiteracy among children by addressing the root causes behind low literacy levels in school teachers’ capacities. Through her organization, Literacy for Life, Sheila is helping teachers access the resources and acquire the skills they need to effectively teach their pupils proven reading and writing techniques that are making a marked difference in their performance in school.
Alice Amoako, Tigo Digital Changemaker winner in 2014
Alice is a social entrepreneur and advocate who is passionate about creating a safer and more equitable world for children with autism. She firmly believes that knowledge is the first step towards change, and has created an application – Autism Aid – that will help to change the way Ghanaians understand autism, with the additional capabilities of empowering and providing support to families and caregivers of autistic children. Her organization, Autism Ambassadors of Ghana has harnessed the power of digital technology – using the app to reach four times more users than advocacy efforts alone.
Josephine Marie Godwyll, Tigo Digital Changemaker winner in 2015
Josephine is tackling one of the biggest challenges to equality in the modern age – digital literacy. She founded Young at Heart GH to provide children in rural parts of Ghana with the training and skills they need to take advantage of digital technologies in ways that have practical applications to their daily lives. In 2016 alone, Josephine reached over 1,300 children and youth with fun, interactive digital training that teaches basic computer skills, internet research skills, and set up computer hubs across the country to provide communities with opportunities to access digital technology that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.
She also has also launched “Ananse the Teacher” app which harnesses local folklore to engage children in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.
Israel A. Yeboah, Tigo Digital Changemaker winner in 2015
Israel A. Yeboah is working to revolutionize data storage in Ghanaian schools to lead to more efficient and timely monitoring of students’ performance — which will enable teachers and parents to intervene and assist students who are under-performing in school. Israel is currently piloting his social innovation, named Unilynq, in 50 schools in Ghana.