McGill Student Team NutriPulse was adjudged the third place winner among eight finalists, with a cash prize of $10,000 at the 2018 Social Innovation Challenge (SIC) held in Toronto on July 12, 2018,
NutriPulse is a business initiative to combat food and nutrition insecurity among children in peri-urban and rural communities of Ghana.
Co-founded by Josephine Ampofo, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and a PhD Student, Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry, the team also includes Mr Adeyemi Adegbenjo and Mr Zeyan Zhong, both Co-founders and PhD Students in Bio-resource Engineering and Food Safety respectively at McGill University, Canada, with collaborators from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi in Ashanti Region of Ghana.
Sourcing from smallholder women farmers, NutriPulse processes and supplies affordable, ready-to-cook and nutrient-dense sprouted legumes to community schools, through Ghana’s school feeding programme and community market stands.
The project, which was developed from the PhD thesis work of Josephine Ampofo, under the supervision of Professor Benjamin Simpson and Professor Michael Ngadi of McGill’s Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, improves the incomes of smallholder women farmers.
The SIC is an entrepreneurship competition for students and recent graduates of Canadian universities, dedicated to tackling some of the world’s most difficult challenges with innovative market-based social enterprise solutions being organised by the World Vision Canada’s Impact Investing arm.
This year competition took on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Two (SDG 2) to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture worldwide.
The 2018 SIC event was held in support of World Vision’s Social Venture Fund (SVF), which has been created to support Canadian entrepreneurs working in developing countries, with two levels of funding.
Established companies seeking support to expand into a developing market context may apply for Acceleration Stage funding ($100 – $250K).
Participants who have gone through the SIC are exclusively eligible to apply for Seed Stage funding (initial grant and investment funding of $25-50K) with World Vision providing in-country support to ventures that are funded through the SVF.
World Vision Canada partnered with McGill University and other Canadian universities to provide entrepreneurship training and related support to students participating in the 2018 SIC.
At McGill, training and support were provided through resources like the McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics and the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship.
Events like the Food Convergent Innovation Forum; as well as courses, such as in the Desautels Faculty of Management and the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (FAES).
Ghanaian students worldwide are known for their creativity, hard work, respect, and peaceful nature.
All over the world, Ghanaian students are found excelling in their professional fields and creativity has been one of the hallmarks of their performances.
Josephine Ampofo is one of the students making the country proud with her NutriPulse concept, which won the award in the Canada competition.
Story: Kwamena ANANSE
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