Audrey S. Darko, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sabon Sake is convinced that her business will win the Climate Launchpad 2019 Global competition in the Netherlands in November.
In her words, diligence and hard work pay off.
It took some time to meet up with her, especially as she has been doing some international travel, pitching her business to potential donors and partners.
Despite her grueling travel schedule, her face lit up when I asked about Sabon Sake – the climate-smart agri-business that won her second place in the Climate Launchpad 2019 Africa Regional competition in Kenya, a few weeks ago.
Sabon Sake is a green business startup which focuses on transforming agricultural waste into soil amendments that regenerate soil health as well as isolate carbon to help mitigate climate change. This is in the quest to maximize crop yield to ensure food security in Ghana and Africa, while providing jobs and making profits. It is no wonder that her business won the theme award for Zero Hunger at the Africa Regionals competition.
Audrey S. Darko started her business while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the Ashesi University.
When asked how she juggled her studies with business – blending academic studies with running a team of brilliant young people – she took a pause, smiled and responded, “The end goal is my fuel. Everything counts. There cannot be too much time, no. But when you find yourself carrying out a task, give it your best because it is essential. Also, my team at Sabon Sake is an amazing one. They make each goal seem within reach”.
According to Ms. Darko, participating in the Climate Launchpad competition has “built confidence in my team, made us more diligent in our thinking and work. Most importantly, it has deepened our approach to solving major problems facing our world in a greener and cleaner tech fashion”.
She expressed gratitude for the support of the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC) in bringing Climate Launchpad to Ghana, and the investment of time and resources that the Centre has made in selecting and preparing entrepreneurs from all over Ghana for the global competition, adding: “The GCIC support and bootcamps have been monumental in helping all the participating entrepreneurs to think deeply about their business, their business model, and what it will take to take the business idea successfully to the marketplace”.
When asked how she felt about winning two awards during the African Regionals of Climate Launchpad competition, Ms. Darko expressed her excitement for the achievement. She said her team was blessed for the opportunity to seek out solutions to reduce carbon emissions, through their business.
She reiterated, “it has deepened the motivation for Sabon Sake to keep on working towards achieving the goal of creating a more regenerative agricultural ecosystem across Ghana and Africa”.
Climate Launchpad is the world’s largest clean-tech and green business ideas competition. It is aimed at unlocking clean-tech potential that addresses climate change. The competition creates a global stage for those ideas and offers training, coaching, knowledge and tools to help them grow into successful businesses.
This year’s competition saw the participation of over 100 teams from more than 50 countries. The competition will climax with the global competition in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on November 14th and 15th.
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 College and including Ernst & Young, SNV Ghana, and the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa.