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Miss Constance Elizabeth Swanika

Capacity Building, The Crux To Startup Growth In Africa

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Startups

May 17, 2021, 7:28 p.m.

Founder of Design and Technology Institute (DTI), Miss Constance Elizabeth Swaniker, says that most startups need capacity and not funding.

According to the renowned Ghanaian sculptor, capacity is a necessary factor as funding. During the DTI Innovation Business Competition, which was held on May 14th, 2021, at the Design and Technology premises, Miss Constance explains that a startup may get all the funding they require and still experience stagnation and, in extreme cases, may have to liquefy the business. The DTI Innovation Business Competition is a pitching summit designed to bring out innovators, support businesses, and create jobs.

Therefore, she charged the students prepared to pitch before the honorary judges to build capacity and not get caught in the bandwagon loop.

Capacity means the ability to use and understand information to make a decision and communicate any decision made. In the founder’s speech, she lacked the capacity to understand financial matters, which affected her decision-making. She narrated a bitter experience where three of her employees stole vast sums of money because she understood nothing of economic issues. Amidst tears, she urged startups to build capacity and knowledge so that they can make better-informed decisions.

Capacity can also be defined as the maximum output level a company can sustain to provide its products or services. Depending on the business type, capacity can refer to a production process, human resources allocation, technical thresholds, or several other related concepts.

In this regard, the startups are to erect a company that can employ 15-20 individuals and, in three years, must have provided employability for 40,000 youths in Ghana.

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In my opinion, Ghana is fortunate to home such a talented and capacity-built institute. At first sight, one notices its plush, neat and eco-friendly environment, welcoming and warm students who are ever ready to address any concern, and its security and protocol consciousness.

The institute has a knack for recycling, which shows in the various artworks displayed. I observed many statues on the compound, and most of these statues were made of plastic water bottles and car tires. My personal favorite is the eagle which has been designed and sculpted from scratch with car tires. Amazingly, the pavement has been arranged with plastics, and the seats for visitors have been built with car tires and welded metals. The classrooms are also made from shipped containers decorated with glass and arts.

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The environment features a workshop where all the cutting, welding, and fabrication takes place. It is impressive to note that palm kernels are used as fuel to provide fire.

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In partnership with Mastercard Foundation, the design and technology institute is on a mission to become West Africa’s premier industrial job training and prototype center within ten years, expanding across ECOWAS to graduate over 20,000 students annually.

Launched in 2019, the institute models green industrial practices, champions locally sourced product innovations, and celebrates gender diversity in employment. In addition, the institute advocates for an enabling environment in West Africa to support innovative local businesses’ rapid formation and launch.

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Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.

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