Impact Hubs: Innovation through community in Ghana
The Ghanaian entrepreneurial landscape is booming and impact/innovation hubs have become the beating heart and centre of this community. This is especially true for young entrepreneurs with great ideas and vision seeking likeminded people to synergise with. This is where the story of innovation hubs, their impact on the entrepreneurial landscape and the growing culture of collaborating for national change cannot be ignored. In keeping with our ongoing theme around impact hubs, we take a look at Ghana and the collaborative eco-systems thriving within the nation’s local communities.
All successful entrepreneurs are celebrated for the innovations they develop and the utility they provide to their communities, sometimes even to humanity as a whole. The end products or services they provide are showcased and heralded as the culmination of all their experiences and efforts. The journey towards the achievement of a noteworthy offering, as many can attest to, is a lot more nuanced and complex than what is usually revealed through most success stories we hear. This is understandable as there is only so much information one can fit into a newsreel.
Most stories involving entrepreneurship have focused on the innovation in question. However, in recent years, this style of storytelling from an entrepreneurship perspective has evolved to portray a more holistic narrative reflecting the journey. The journey involves the process, and for many young entrepreneurs in Ghana today, the story of their progression would be incomplete without the vital role played by various innovation hubs that have sprung up across the country, along with the enterprising communities they provide.
More than mere co-working spaces, these hubs have quickly cemented their place in the entrepreneurial landscape as pressure cookers from which effective collaboration and innovation are born. There is a true sense of a coming together of minds when visiting any one of these hubs. Whether it be Impact Hub Accra, where the Djembe Communications sponsored African Women In Technology Conference recently took place, iSpace, known for housing Accra’s technology startups, or the Workshed, a platform for uniting change makers, the one theme that runs through is community.
There is such a sense of reassurance about the future of the entrepreneurial eco-system when one observes the way entrepreneurs take advantage of these spaces. Perhaps even more exciting is how the hubs proactively create platforms and open their doors to events which encourage collaboration, team work and nurture fearless thinking.
These hubs afford young entrepreneurs access to capacity building and personal development tools through seminars and workshops, as well as even potential funding opportunities. In return, investors often look to hubs for potential opportunities and market insights as they have quite the reputation for churning out really creative and forward looking entrepreneurs.
Ghanaian impact hubs are like a hive-mind, but one where no one loses their individuality or uniqueness. Rather, partnership through community is encouraged and ideas are enhanced. In the end, the biggest beneficiary is Ghana, its people and the wider continent.
By Toyin Dania, Country Manager, Ghana