iEco7 Projects

For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today
African Proverb

Networks of Change

Networks of Change is a training project that will empower its beneficiaries. Learners are enrolled in online and class based professional training courses lasting between six to sixteen weeks. All accredited training that is offered is relevant for the current market, meaning that on successful completion, a learner is placed in a pre arranged work placement, where they gain practical skills alongside additional training support. At the end of the placement learners, become trainers and take a new cohort of learners through the training programme, before assuming permanent employment in their area of specialist. The idea is that they become a gateway into the industry for learners they train and the networks of change continues.

Development Impact

  • Peer-to-peer networking for social cohesion
  • Economic Diversification
  • Reduced unemployment
  • Promote the rights of women, youth and different able bodied people
  • Professional training and employment
  • Specialist roles for business community
  • Developed livelihoods and wellbeing

E-health and mobile health outreach for Non-Communicable Diseases

The prevalence of major chronic non-communicable diseases (NCD) and their risk factors has increased over time and contributes significantly to a countries disease burden. Conditions such as hypertension, stroke, cancer, and diabetes affect all classes of people including the young and old as well as the rich and poor and are amongst the ten causes of death in Africa. Sadly the high cost of care drives the poor further into poverty, or morbidity and premature mortality.

Our e-health and mobile outreach health units allows a diverse team of public health specialist and technologist, to overcome issues associated with Layman’s awareness and knowledge and health system (biomedical, ethno medical and complementary) weaknesses in the prevention, cure and management of NCD’s.

We go from door-to-door, carefully mapping communities to ensure full coverage with mini testing machines and diagnostic equipment, that will immediately provide the patient with a result in various NCDs. Our e-health platform supports a seamless patient/hospital registration, follow-up and information exchange environment to be established.

Development Impact

  • Address layman's awareness and knowledge; health system (biomedical, ethno medical and complementary) weaknesses and the absence of a chronic disease policy
  • Reduce the average delay in the diagnosis of NCD by the health services
  • Reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, amputations, and kidney failure
  • Reduce case fatality of major NCDs
  • Prolong the duration of stable clinical periods for patients with NCDs
  • Reduce the financial burden of disease on the national health budget

Agricultural Advocacy

Youth unemployment is a growing issue in many African countries. With more and more graduates seeking but not succeeding to secure employment in competitive traditional public and private sector roles, this exacerbates the problem further. Africa holds half of the world’s uncultivated arable land, with agriculture set to create stable employment for eight million people by 2020. Greater investments in the agriculture value chain could potentially add an additional six million jobs. Due to a lack of career interest in the agricultural value chain practices are delaying to modernised and farmers are ageing with no one to pass valuable skills and knowledge onto.

At a micro level this threatens the ability for communities to feed themselves, increase poverty and food insecurity. At a macro level governments have to rely on imports for food, which kills local production, but also negatively impacts the countries balance of payments.

Financing and skills development is also a key instrument in agricultural advocacy amongst youth. Our holistic approach includes finance, training and other resources to ensure that a young persons agricultural journey is built on a solid foundation. The project starts, where the problem starts, which is the way young people think about the agricultural sector. We bring young people, NGOs, agribusiness entrepreneurs, executives and financiers together to address tough topics and identify all the available opportunities.

Agricultural employment in Africa is estimated to be 8 million people by 2020.

This project includes a bi-annual design competition that will challenge youth to think critically and creatively about the agricultural sector. Youth will be required to adopt an approach that will support the sector, or develop a product/service that can be introduced into the market. The ten best winning ideas will gain access onto an agricultural study or business acceleration programme where they will be supported to develop their ideas, competences and access other resources to establish their own sustainable ventures or careers in agriculture.

Our key objective is to reduce youth unemployment, invigorate the agricultural sector and provide young people with life skills, vocational training, business and leadership development services.

Development Impact

  • Advocacy with target beneficiaries and a wider audience
  • Exploratory study visits of existing local
    agri-businesses
  • Training workshops
  • Conference and competitions
  • Access to finance and acceleration programmes

'THE BUILDERS' Business Challenge

BUDDING ENTREPRENEURS, STUDENTS, DESIGNERS, BUILDERS - PITCH TO WIN A COMMERCIAL CONTRACT THAT WILL TAKE YOUR PROTOTYPE TO MARKET


THERE IS A PROBLEM, NO HOME GROWN, AFFORDABLE PRODUCT FOR SALE TO SOLVE IT, SO WE ARE BUILDING OUR OWN SOLUTIONS.


We need to design next generation tools and equipment for the agricultural & food industry.
Our intention is to bring together (on one platform) engineers, farmers, architects, growers, students, agronomists, fabricators, and all kinds of makers with the goal of building highly functional and environmentally friendly tools that can solve real food production problems and spur economic prosperity and drastically reduce unemployment and poverty.

AIM OF THE 'BUILDERS CHALLENGE'


To encourage the concept of making and building: By building highly functional and environmentally friendly agricultural and food production tools, to support small, medium and large scale producers.

Project Management knowledge and experience: Learn how to move seamlessly and successfully from idea, design, development and distribution of high quality farm tools produced in Africa, sold in African markets and exported to the rest of the world.
Develop practical business skills: Together we will seek intellectual property, market, distribute and sell our tools & equipment globally.
Sustainable Development: Contribute to Africa's environmental, economic and social development.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS


- Must be available for one month from September - October 2017 to go through our full residency program of building, training, testing, prototyping, and radical iterations to build solutions.
- Eligible participants may enter the challenge by filling our online application form.
- The challenge is open to nationals of all countries worldwide within the ages of 18 to 35. Participants' ages will be determined as of the date he/she applies.
- Must be willing to work on site or remotely, full time or part time (minimum 3 days) if selected as one of our winners for at least a year.

HOW TO ENTER THE CHALLENGE?


Participants should propose an innovative, business and action-oriented idea that address challenges within the agricultural sector. Solutions should be adapted to the realities of the 21st century. Individuals can apply by completing the entry form below and emailing it to members@iecoafrica.com

WINNERS


The 3 winning groups from the 'Builders Challenge' will automatically qualify to pitch for investment at iEcoAfrica & MBC Africa 'Growing Business Together (GBT)' Sustainable Finance & Investment Conference for startups, SMEs & Entrepreneurs. Hosted by the Dutch Ambassador to Ghana.

Date: 19th-20th October 2017
Venue & Host: Alisa Hotel, Accra

EVENT RATIONALE


Africa is experiencing a divergence in the economic growth rates of countries. For the majority, economic growth is expected to be lower than the 5% average of the last decade, due largely to the dip in commodity prices and the economic slowdown in China. For some countries growth is expected to surpass 6% per annum and foreign direct investment inflows will continue to rise. This divergence of Africa's economies makes it imperative to address the challenges posed by a growing unemployed youth population and climate change.

Countries whose economies are commodity-dependent are having to refocus their attention on economic diversification, for instance revitalisation of the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, whilst harnessing human innovation and new technologies in order to stay buoyant during the economic storm.

Aim: The aim of the conference is to broaden the finance options available to SMEs and entrepreneurs, by improving understanding about the full range of the financing instruments they can access in varying circumstances, and by encouraging discussion among stakeholders about new approaches and innovative policies for SME and entrepreneurship financing.

The SME sector makes an enormous contribution to economic growth in emerging economies. It accounts for an estimated 70% of all new jobs. The current challenge, however, is that the SME sector is in urgent need of structured financial support, that creates a favourable environment to allow growth and success.