Creativity Group

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Creativity Group: Raising problem solvers, innovators, entrepreneurs, leaders and social thinkers

Kumasi, Legon, Cape Coast, GhanaKumasi, Ghana
Year Founded:
2010
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Africa is plagued with a lot of problems. But where are problems, there also exist opportunities. We see these problems as a unique opportunity for us to empower the youth to solve our own problems through innovation and technology and further help them to establish businesses out these solutions

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if students graduate with practical solutions to societal problems and with companies to employ others instead of looking for jobs?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

For Africans to be able to solve our owns problems and achieve sustainable development , we will need an education system which seeks to develop wholesome individuals ready to meet and solve both local and global challenges. Our education system has failed to produce more problem solvers, entrepreneurs, changemakers, critical thinkers and inventors over the years. Graduates are trained to be come out as job-seekers instead of job-creators

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

To empower the youth and encourage innovations, Creativity Group seeks to create a collaborative, interdisciplinary platform for undergraduate students who are eager to use their knowledge with innovation and technology as a tool, to solve problems in our communities and in Ghana for social interventions and sustainable development.We are creating a platform to empower the youth to bring about much needed innovative solutions to our water problems, hunger, educational problems, energy issue etc. These students will then be provided with entrepreneurship training and business development for their innovations. An enabling environment and support will be provide to scale up these innovations and prototypes into products and companies.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Gloria Asante hails from a village close to Kumasi. She has been admitted to read chemical engineering. For Gloria, this is her opportunity for her to use her knowledge to gain to solve the River blindness problem in her village due to untreated water. She joins our group and propose her idea. We send her through a design process to confirm and frame her problem, identify the target group and market. We provide her with technical guidance and resource. She learnt how to fabricate , make and work on her idea to turn into a prototype then scale it up into a product. She is guide to develop a business around her innovation. Gloria then start a business out of her solution for river blindness, bring about impact, youth empowerment &job creation

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

One way to measure our impact is tracking the personal development of our members, the number innovations our members comes out with and then how these innovations achieve their potential impact and how many get scaled up into businesses. 540 undergraduate students have benefited directly since the beginning of 2010. We currently have 30 innovative projects which are meant to solve problems in our society. 4 start-ups by students have already come out of our platform since the beginning of 2014 and we are also working to set-up 10 projects into companies. 15 innovative projects has so far come out as a results of our GESA Makers Faire competition for undergraduate students. They are all undergoing business development to help the scale their innovation. About 2,000 undergraduates and 10,00 high school students have benefit from our seminars, competitions, training and events.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

In 5 years, I want to have established and scale up our innovative student platform to all universities in West Africa so that more solutions to our problems will come from these youth. We also want to help empowered the youth to have established at least 100 companies from their projects and innovations in the next 5 years. We hope to most African countries in 10 years. We will need strong partnership with universities. This platform has the potential to empower the youth to bring about much need innovative solutions to our water problems, hunger and famine problems, energy issues etc
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The group funds its activities and operations by rendering services like technology development and technical service for clients, organizing of student competitions etc. Our long-term financial plan include developing business models around our innovations and setting-up some of innovators into start-ups. We typical own from 10%-30% stake in the start-ups. Associate members of the group who are include our alumni will pay annual subscription

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are a quite number of will-be competitors which are the other innovation hubs such as Hub Accra & Tech Hub. But most of these focus mainly on mobile development not many promote hardware innovations and have the technical background as we do. There are other student and youth groups on campus which are also either innovative or promote voluntarism but our group has the uniqueness of promoting both and has a strong technical know-how to use technology to solve societal problems. Our interdisciplinary collaborative approach gives us a competitive edge and brings about comprehensiv solution
Team

Founding Story

About 5 years ago, I remember my friends and colleagues laughing and questioning how can I do that after I suggested we as student of KNUST, instead of complaining and waiting for lecturers/university to make our course more practical and hands-on, we can create our own platform for hands-on practicals and working on innovative projects just as our colleagues at MIT, Stanford etc. I proceeded to start Creativity Group together with my friend a year later. Along with my partner, we realised that we were just also becoming complainers just as others. This push us to act and start this platform. And I have with persistence, determination and dedication been able to grow the platform for us to have that innovative platform for students.

Team

We currently have the mother group, Cg Central which coordinate and oversees the various activities of the groups at the universities. Enoch Nkrumah - General Secretary Michael Afrifa-Asante - Technology and innovation lead Each group at the universities have their own executive body with their leaders. We are partnering with Business development companies to help with the business development and training to enable us to focus on our core.
About You
About You
First Name

George

Last Name

Appiah

About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

Project
Organization Country

, Kumasi

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Kumasi, Legon, Cape Coast

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family, Individuals, Foundations, NGOs, Businesses, Customers.

Supplemental
Awards: What awards or honors has your solution received, if any?

1. Best Innovative project -TRATECH 2014 for Smart Trash Bin
2. Second Runner-up for Community Service Awards 2014

Tell us about your partnerships

1. Ghana Fab Lab - A fabrication lab established by the MIT Fab foundation to promote fabrication and making as a tool for innovation and development. The lab help provide our members the opportunity for the to learn hands-on practical works, fabrication and making. Currently, we do not have our own lab with advance tools and machinery as the Fab Lab.

2. Ghana Engineering Student Association - the umbrella body of all engineering student in Ghana. Our partnership is to collaboratively promote innovation and creativity among the engineering student.

3. D-Lab - is a design for development lab at MIT and our partnership with them help us to send to train our members in designing process and also to work on student innovation.

4. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA - currently working on using traditional symbols and designs to teach high schools students computing through a program called Creative Computing.

5. Ghana Education Service-South Ga District - collaborating on a project to promote hands-on science practicals among Junior High schools. The project is titled Hack science Lab.

Challenges: What challenges might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

One major challenge which we are facing is getting a well equipped Lab/makerspace to enable students to work on their ideas and prototype them. Such place will also serve as a meet-up place for them.
We are currently the Office of the Provost and the College of Engineering to give us a place at the College which can be use for a Innovation Lab/Hub/Makerspace. So far, the feedback has been positive. Our only concern is funding to equip the place with the necessary tools and materials the students needs for working on projects and prototyping their ideas.

Also, obtaining funding for some of these projects and getting the needed support for this students. It has been quite difficult in finding support for these projects. We currently working on a more sustainable more with the introduction of Business Cg which will provide business development for the students project and ideas and also help scale up some of these projects and prototypes for them to achieve their potential in terms of impact and innovation.

How does your idea help young people create bright futures and improve opportunities for meaningful and long-term careers?

Our aim as Creativity Group is to create this collaborative platform for the youth (student) directly influence national development and achieve social interventions. We aim at providing this enabling platform where they can follow their interest and pursue projects aim at social good and which a possible venture can be established from it.

One of our biggest STEM program is the Scientist of the Future meant for senior high schools to come up with innovative solutions which they face in their communities and school.
Also, we also organize an undergraduate innovation competition named GESA Makers Faire, where students are eager to come up with innovative solutions to problems in their communities. We then support them after the program to turn their solutions into start-ups or product which can have direct impact in the society. The competition aims at developing student enterprise out of their solutions.

Since last year, 15 innovative solutions has come out of the competition and we are currently working on scaling up some of their solutions to the market.

We are also establishing a business development wing for the group, called Business Cg. This will provide business development for the students project and ideas and also help scale up some of these projects and prototypes for them to achieve their potential in terms of impact and innovation.

It our goal, our members leaves school with not only a certificate but also with solutions for the society and enterprises.

Target Age Group(s): What age group(s) do(es) your solution target through it's programming?

6-12, 13-17, 18-35.

Intervention Focus: Identify which of the following best explain key parts of your solution

Job Creation, Education - Curricular, Education - Extracurricular, Entrepreneurship, Training/Skill Development, New industries.

Do you have separate programs or initiatives that target the following types of populations?

Boys/Men, Girls/Women.

Impact - Reach: How many people did your project directly engage in programmatic activities in the last year?

501 to 1,000

Number of People Directly Employed by Your Organization

Fewer than 10

Number of Volunteers

10-100

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below? Select a theme below that most applies to your work. If none of them do, no problem, you can skip this question.

Put Young People in Charge: provide the experiences and skills needed to be resilient, creative, and take action

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers? Select a theme below that most applies to your work. If none of them do, no problem, you can skip this question.

Lack of youth empowerment

randomness