The Non-Profit Leaders (NPL) Fellowship Academy is a one-year incubation/accelerator program that seeks to uniquely identify the country's most promising founders and immerse them in hands-on, non-academic yet practical training that focuses on some of the key skills required by non-profit leaders in today's fast-changing impact space.
The program is designed to further connect fellows with experienced venture executives, who will provide accompaniment and mentorship over the course of several months.
Why NPL Fellowship?
Nonprofit organizations mainly exist as a response to social issues that must be tackled without necessarily considering financial returns. They act as catalysts in the economic development of countries. In emerging economies such as Ghana, a number of complex issues exist, and we ought to empower nonprofits to close the gaps quickly. It is through an empowered nonprofit front that privileges can be extended to the extremely poor, marginalized, and vulnerable groups within our society for an equal and fair playing field.
Unfortunately, nonprofit organizations in Ghana and most parts of Africa quickly fade out because of limited access to public funding. The issue of access to funds is foundational and results from a lack of technical and organizational capacity that hinders transparency, accountability, and social reporting.
Modern funding opportunities and donors are looking to achieve real impact beyond the typical 'donation model' where nonprofit organizations solicit for donations to buy foodstuffs and other things to share with people.
" So why don't we leverage the insight and proximity to local issues non-profit founders have, to build innovative social enterprises that create dignified jobs at the last mile?" It is based on this hypothesis that the Non-Profit Leaders Fellowship Academy was formed.
What Happens At The Academy
The Academy is in three (3) key phases:
Design-thinking Phase (Immersive Bootcamp): With the help of experienced consultants and mentors, NCVO Ghana will support founders to empathize with the identified problem, ideate, and design initial experimental solutions.
Virtual Training Phase: Founders and their directly concerned team members will be given business-skills training to develop a robust strategy, marketing plan, and business model needed for the final phase
Rapid Testing/Scaling Phase: We will quickly engage the solution's targeted community leaders (assemblymen, chief, or community champions), potential end-users, and/or beneficiaries to assist with continuous participatory and Human-centred designs. Solutions will then be tested and assessed in a sprint mode( 3 months ) to establish if they meet end-users' needs, have the potential for growth, and are likely to achieve the required impact. Once product/solution market fit is fairly realized, the solution will be offered seed funding and the necessary support needed to acquire follow-on investments for scale.
Beyond this, the Academy will serve as a networking and innovation hub for selected outstanding founders.
Spotlight On Fellows for the Class of 2023!
Six (6) non-profit leaders in Ghana were selected among several applicants who applied to be part of the pilot cohort. Among these are; Akorfa Ama Akoto, Founder of Spring-UP Global Network, Ohenewaa Constance Ankomah of Erudite Womens' Empowerment Foundation, Ernest Quarm of Gomoa Sports For Change, Christiana Ama Boakye of Benignant Youth Ghana, Priscilla Fynn of Dada Foundation and Adul-Razak Umar Kasim of YETS Ghana.
Spotlight On Partners!
This pilot cohort is being funded by the KGL Foundation and supported by a team of local innovation experts.
KGL Foundation was created as the corporate social responsibility arm of the KGL Group. KGL Foundation seeks to innovate the current system of philanthropy by collaborating with and engaging grassroots organizations and government institutions to create sustainable and meaningful impact.
Partnership Bureau: Partnership Bureau, as the name implies, seeks to reimagine how communities, grassroots, local and national organisations across the Global South can draw on collective power and address the imbalances within the international development sector through innovation, intervention, and impact. They are the innovation, fundraising, and impact measurement partners for the NPL Class of 2023.
Facilitators for the virtual training phase include;
Yvonne Abba-Opoku (Heartfelt Philantrophy): Yvonne Abba-Opoku ACG is a Chartered Governance Adviser and Consultant with more than 15 years post qualification experience. She has a postgraduate qualification in Corporate Governance from London Southbank University. She is also an Associate of the Chartered Governance Institute UK. Yvonne focuses on legal and regulatory compliance and guides leaders and boards to deliver their vision. She also specialises in providing governance advice, capacity building, enhancing governance standards, managing brands, charitable funds, and associated reputational risks. For more than a decade, Yvonne has advised C-suite executives and companies linked to HM King Charles III.
She is currently Head of Governance and Adviser at The Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, Duchy Originals Limited, Prince’s Countryside Fund, Countryside Fund Trading Limited, POWLLC in Illinois, The Prince of Wales’s Foundation Romania, and Ecologic Transilvania SRL. She is also a member of the Waitrose Duchy Steering Committee (UK) where she provides valuable insight into corporate social responsibility, good causes and communities supported by the Duchy organic brand which was founded by HM The King.
Yvonne is passionate about supporting disadvantaged communities through her work as a Director at Heartfelt Philanthropy Network, Trustee at GUBA (Grow Unite Build Africa) Foundation, Board member at GUBA Enterprise, NCVO Ghana, and former Governor at a group of primary schools in London. From 2018 to 2021, Yvonne provided governance advice to the Private Secretaries and Directors of four companies linked to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as well as The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Stephen Boadi (Enable Growth Consult): Stephen Osei Boadi is a Marketing & Communication Professional with over 20 years of experience working with several multinational and local organisations, in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Europe. His core area of expertise is digital technology and how businesses and organizations can leverage it for growth. Stephen is an active public speaker, trainer, and contributor to various industry events and publications. He is also a board member of a number of organizations and businesses in Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria. Presently, he is the Lead Enabler at Enable Growth Consult and a co-founder of Melange Africa.
Aziza Taylor: Aziza consults for non-profits, businesses, social entrepreneurs, and individuals seeking to discover and expand their brand narrative and learn how to execute targeted content strategies that garner successful results. Over the course of her sixteen-year career in media, Aziza has developed a unique range of highly sought-after skillsets and in-depth knowledge across branding, marketing, social media, television, film, non-profit and corporate communications.
She previously served as the inaugural Communications and Marketing Manager for the American Medical Association's (AMA) Center for Health Equity. During her time leading communications for the center, she ensured the center’s mission was executed by launching innovative external initiatives and events, building communication channels across multiple business units, highlighting authentic narratives and developing digital media and tools that fostered pathways for truth, reconciliation, racial healing and transformation. She has also held positions as the Interim Press Information Officer and Director of Social Media for the New York City Department of Finance and as the first ever, Senior Talent Branding Specialist for the Talent and Acquisitions division at NBC Universal.
As a media professional with a diverse range of experience, Aziza has worked for some of the nation’s top syndicated shows and programs, including the Dr. Phil Show and Divorce Court. Her work as a Producer has been aired on national and global networks and applauded by many in the industry for its strengths in in-depth storytelling and multilayered characters.
Aziza's work as a documentary researcher, field producer and editor has included a variety of projects such as the historical docu-series “Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise" from PBS and Henry Louis Gates Jr., and the environmental doc, "The Capital Buzz", which snagged top honors, including the DC Shorts Film Festival’s “Golden Pineapple Award” and the La Jolla Film Festival’s coveted “Best Shorts Award of Excellence". She has also used her work as a filmmaker to advocate against issues like gender-based violence through the film, “Give Dreams”. “Give Dreams” was a part of a national campaign for the Mary Kay Foundation and helped raise a significant donation for domestic violence shelters across the U.S.
Aziza holds a Master of Science degree in Global Affairs from New York University, a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism and Mass Media from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a graduate certificate in documentary filmmaking from The George Washington University.
Dela Ashiagbor: Mr. Dela T. Ashiabor, a senior civil servant and a clinical social worker, is currently the Director of the Non–Profit Organisation Secretariat of the Republic of Ghana, the highest statutory body set up by the government to regulate the operations of the NPO sector and advise Government on the Non – Profit Organisation sector and related issues. Before assuming that role, Mr. Ashiabor was the Deputy Director of Programmes Development, Department of Social Welfare (DSW). He holds a Certificate from the School of Social Work and is a product of the University of Ghana, where he obtained a Diploma in Social Administration, a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, and a Master of Philosophy in Social Work. He obtained a Post-graduate Psychotherapy Certificate from the Tavistock and Portman Health Insurance Trust, London, UK.
He is a member of many professional organizations, including the Ghana Social Workers Association, Global Social Workers, the Network of Professional Social Workers, and the National Technical Committee on Non-Profit Organisations Legal Framework of Ghana.
Prince Boadu: Prince has served as the Manager for Distribution Requirements Planning (DRP) for Central/Eastern/Southeast/Southern Europe + outside Europe sales (comprising Latin America, AMA, ANZ) for the Personal Healthcare International (PHCI) Planning Service Center of P&G Health Germany GmbH in Darmstadt. He is a Certified Supply Chain professional with experience in pharmaceutical value chains across several global markets. As an entrepreneur who is passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa, he is a co-founder of Maptech Logistics and Kumasi Hive. Maptech leverages the power of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to solve business problems by developing and deploying GIS-based applications. Kumasi Hive, on the other hand, is an innovation hub that promotes the rapid prototyping of ideas, entrepreneurship, and youth development. The Hive focuses on promoting collaboration among tenants within our co-working spaces and hardware facility. This is a radical shift from the usual software-centered hubs in Ghana. In 2016, Prince was named by FORBES Africa on the 30 under 30 list. He is the founding curator of TEDxKNUST, a World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Shaper, and a Fellow of the Afrika Kommt! Program. He served as a speaker in 2015 at the Atlantic Dialogues in Morocco as one of 40 named Emerging Leaders from four continents across the Atlantic Basin —an initiative under the auspices of the Policy Center for the New South, Morocco. He is an active member of the GhanaThink Foundation and President of the 10K Network.
Kwame Owusu Ansah: Kwame is a tech entrepreneur, TV personality, public speaker, and consultant who is passionate about leveraging technology to create positive change throughout the African continent, as well as offering young people opportunities to make a difference through skills training and mentorships across Africa. He is the Founder and President of Techstripped Africa, a tech influence network and accelerator that helps tech students uncover their leadership potentials and build entrepreneurial skills in order to curb youth unemployment and lack of leadership in Africa.
After failing as an entrepreneur during his undergraduate studies owing to a lack of sufficient leadership training and mentoring, Kwame resolved to help university students, particularly those in technology, avoid the same mistakes he did by providing them with good life and career mentoring. In Ghana, he has mentored more than 200 students at more than five public universities and helped establish six early-stage startups.
Kwame is a 2021 Mandela Washington Fellow, and a Deloitte D2i alumnus, and he holds a BSc in Environmental Science from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in addition to certificates in Business Leadership from Dartmouth College and Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management.