In April 2018, following a rigorous three months of entrepreneurship classes, GCIC organised a two-day residential retreat, the Wellbeing Retreat, for its second Cohort of entrepreneurs. The Wellbeing Retreat forms part of the bouquet of holistic incubation services provided by GCIC and designed to provide the incubates with an avenue to be inspired, mentored and instructively learn from established transformational business leaders from across the African continent.
Inspired by James C. Collin’s book, Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos and Luck-Why Some Thrive Despite Them All, this year’s Wellbeing Retreat was themed Great by Choice: Social Enterprise, Transformational Leadership and The Intentional Business. Being Great by Choice is exactly what GCIC hopes to inspire its entrepreneurs to be- to rise up to the challenge of being at the cusp of something great in the green economy they operate in.
The Retreat saw speakers with substantial business leadership and or entrepreneurial experience from across sectors and industries share their thoughts, lessons, successes, joys and pain from their own business and leadership trajectory
Lucy Quist, a member of the GCIC Advisory Board and a trail blazer across Africa in the STEM and women’s business leadership space kicked off the retreat with a TEDx style talk labelled The Bold New Normal – a discussion on how entrepreneurs can take bold steps away from the norm and create shared prosperity through entrepreneurship, career and technology.
The entrepreneurs also enjoyed a session on starting, operating and growing their businesses with intent by Nana Kofi Acquah. Using examples from his own international career and entrepreneurial journey, Nana Kofi distilled upon the entrepreneurs the necessity of being purposeful with an idea, the responsibility of being patient with its delivery and the privilege of transforming oneself, one’s team, one’s clients and the society in the process.
Kofi Owusu Nhyira, CEO of Nsano was blunt with the entrepreneurs as he shared experiences from his entrepreneurial journey- the highs, the lows and the key lessons he learnt from it all. GCIC’s Executive Director, Ms Rukayatu Sanusi, led a workshop dubbed Leading Authentically where she encouraged the entrepreneurs to embrace the responsibility of leadership, ensuring that they led their businesses with their ‘whole self’ – strong personal principals, values and ethics that would ensure that their businesses, their teams and their innovation could go the long haul and enjoy the success they all crave. She encouraged them as innovators and entrepreneurs in the green space to come up with indigenous solutions to national challenges rather than ‘cutting and pasting’ from developed economies.
Following a viewing of the TED talk by Simon Sinek, ‘Start with Why”, Charlotte Ntim, at the beginning of the second day, led the participants through an reflective session where they deconstructed their ‘why’ and shared with the audience what that ‘why’ means to them as an individual, as a business, as a business leader and as a citizen. The participants also had an insightful session where Alex Bram, Hubtel CEO, and Samuel Yeboah (Mirepa Capital CEO) shared lessons on their experiences in entrepreneurship, the deliberate process of carving out a viable business model, engaging with consumers and continuously meeting their needs.
For the women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs working in the circular economy, waste-to-energy and waste-to-wealth sector, Chinwe Ohajuruka of Comprehensive Design Services (CDS) shared how she came into her entrepreneurial journey and how she manages to balance life and work as she operates her business into international acclaim. The two-day retreat came to a close with Arnold Parker, Managing Director of African Finance Bureau, sharing strategies on building a transformational business.
Head over to our YouTube page and watch videos of the event and listen to the various speakers share their experiences.
The Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC) is a pioneering business incubator whose objective is to support entrepreneurs and ventures involved in developing profitable and locally appropriate solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation in Ghana. The Centre’s key focus is on building businesses operating within the areas of energy efficiency, domestic waste management, solar energy, water supply management and purification and climate-smart agriculture. GCIC is part of the World Bank Group’s infoDev Climate Technology Program. Supported by the governments of Denmark and the Netherlands, the Centre is managed by a consortium led by the Ashesi University and including Ernst & Young, SNV Ghana, and the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa.