The Sankalp West Africa Summit, the largest gathering in the Global South focused on impact entrepreneurship and sustainable development, successfully held its 1st Edition in Accra, Ghana on June 12-13. The summit, which took place at the UPSA Auditorium, showcased and celebrated high-impact enterprises from the African region, specifically those addressing crucial development challenges. The event provided a platform for the finalists to present their ventures to a distinguished panel of business leaders and investors.
Among the ten remarkable finalist impact enterprises representing West Africa were notable startups in various sectors. Agriculture was well represented by Alcoford Corporation from Togo, Green Afro Palms from Ghana, and Kitovu Technology, Farm Corps, and Simkay Foods from Nigeria. Clean energy startups ShaQ Express and Sustainable Energy Technologies Ltd from Ghana, healthcare startup Drug-It Solutions from Nigeria, and circular economy startup Pad Up Creations from Nigeria were also part of the prestigious group.
The top awards of the Sankalp West Africa Summit 2023 were presented to four exceptional young entrepreneurs whose innovative ideas have the potential to generate significant impact while addressing complex social challenges. The winner of the Sankalp West Africa Awards 2023 was Green Afro-Palms from Ghana, an agricultural startup engaged in sustainable oil palm farming and processing. Their efforts also include farmer sensitization programs to promote environmentally friendly practices in the oil palm industry.
Kitovu Technology from Nigeria was recognized as the First Runner Up. This agri-startup specializes in building climate-smart farming and post-harvest infrastructure in Africa, providing smallholder farmers with decision support, tools, and resources to optimize productivity and income.
ShaQ Express, Ghana’s first superapp, claimed the title of Second Runner Up. This technology company addresses the evolving needs and challenges of the e-commerce and logistics industry, with a mission to connect packages with people.
In a distinct format, the ‘Sankalp Ecosystem Award’ was determined through a voting process involving practitioners from the developmental ecosystem. The award was bestowed upon Pad-Up Creation from Nigeria, a circular economy startup manufacturing washable and reusable sanitary pads as a sustainable solution for women and girls in Africa. Their innovative approach demonstrated how intent and innovation can significantly contribute to sustainability and social welfare.
Arielle Molino, Sankalp Lead and AVP Intellecap Africa, expressed her satisfaction with the enriching experience of the Sankalp West Africa Awards 2023. She highlighted the incredible potential and business promise of the participating startups, emphasizing their ability to drive action, foster collaborations, and achieve positive outcomes. The event, supported by Visa Foundation, IDRC, Siemens, AFEX, Energy Catalyst, and Miller Center, attracted over 300 change-makers from the West Africa region.
Sankalp Forum, initiated by Intellecap in India in 2009, aims to create a thriving ecosystem for business-led inclusive development. With 31 editions and over 2,000 showcased and discovered entrepreneurs, Sankalp has become one of the world’s largest impact enterprise-focused platforms. Through its connections to investors, Sankalp has facilitated funding of over USD 800 million and disbursed cash grants exceeding USD 1.2 million. The forum collaborates with governments, corporations, influential platforms, media, and civil society to drive a paradigm shift in inclusive development approaches.
Intellecap, part of the Aavishkaar Group, is a pioneer in building enabling ecosystems and directing capital towards creating a sustainable and equitable society. With a presence in India and Africa, Intellecap provides a broad range of consulting, research, and investment banking services across critical sectors such as agriculture, livelihoods, climate change, clean energy, financial services, gender and inclusion, healthcare, and water and sanitation.
Having engaged in over 700 global initiatives across 60+ countries and facilitated investments exceeding $1.1 billion, Intellecap partners with multilateral agencies, development finance institutions, social enterprises, corporations, investors, policymakers, and donors. Their common action platform, Sankalp Forum, plays a crucial role in shaping markets to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Notable clients of Intellecap include USAID, World Bank, Ford Foundation, The Hans Foundation, Doen Foundation, GIZ, DFID, Hindustan Unilever, P&G, International Finance Corporation, Asian Development Bank, and Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.