For the fifth time this year companies from developing and emerging countries presented their product and service ideas to a jury of experts at the virtual trade fair pitches of the Business Scouts for Development programme. Selected companies will be supported with a comprehensive trade fair promotion programme and prepared for participation in leading international trade fairs in Europe, starting in autumn. Most recently companies from Ghana had the chance to convince the jury.
Great entrepreneurial range in Ghana
The fifth trade fair pitch of the Business Scouts for Development (BSfD) programme gave numerous companies the chance to present their diverse and innovative products despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Focusing West Africa, a virtual trade fair landscape was developed for Ghana this time, which was modelled on a real-physical trade fair with a lounge area, conference hall and entrance area. Typical design elements of the country were integrated, so that the 27 Ghanaian companies could get in touch with each other as well as with the jury in a comfortable atmosphere.
The jury consisted of representatives of the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA), FairPros, Manuyoo GmbH, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. Together with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority and the Sight and Life Foundation, the expert jury selected 16 finalists in the period from 6th to 8th of July.
Picture 1: ©goldenebotschaft GmbH
The winners from Ghana
The 16 winners convinced the committee with their innovative business models and sustainable approaches in the fields of cosmetics, crafts, accessories, chocolate and textiles. In recognition, they will now receive access to the BSfD programme's trade fair support.
Among the three selected companies from the handicraft sector, Akooshi Crafts, a sustainable company that also aims to make a positive contribution to the social development of the local community, left a lasting impression. The company uses organic elements such as coconut shells in the production of everyday items such as bowls, mugs and key rings to offer customers an environmentally friendly alternative to harmful plastic materials. Akooshi Crafts became aware of the virtual trade fair pitch through AHK Ghana and applied to expand its own business network and receive feedback for product improvements.
Picture 2: ©Akooshi Crafts
A number of companies from the cosmetics sector were also convincing, including Bubune Skincare. The Accra-based venture produces plant-based skin care products without parabens, including body butters, body lotions and soaps. The transparency of the ingredients and the high-quality 'handmade' production of the cosmetic products are at the forefront for the company. Bubune Skincare convinced the expert jury not only for its ecologically sustainable approaches, but also in particular for the social aspects - the company sources 90% of its resources locally, so that local jobs are created. In addition renewable energy is used in the extraction of shea butter and is one of the main ingredients of the cosmetic products. Sustainability is also a priority in the packaging by using recycled coconut shells or glass containers. Bubune Skincare participated in the virtual trade fair pitch to expand its market and hopes to find potential business partners in Europe through the trade fairs. Some European customers have already become aware of Bubune Skincare and hope that the products will soon be easier to find in Europe.
Picture 3: ©Bubuné Skincare
Business Scouts support companies on their way to European Trade Fairs
Business Scouts for Development work as development policy experts in around 40 countries across the globe. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ), they advise German, European and local companies on development policy matters and promote responsible business engagement through cooperation projects. The Business Scouts for Development work closely with partners from business associations and institutions and from TVET organisations both in Germany and in each country.
Headerphoto: ©goldenebotschaft GmbH 2021