Alhassan Hamza Koligu, a graduate from the University for Development Studies [UDS] has emerged the winner of season 1 of the McDan Entrepreneurship Challenge held on Friday, February 21 at the National Theatre.
He beat nine  other very strong contestants to clinch the ultimate prize of $100,000 plus Ghc 25,000 business support prize.
Alhassan Hamza Koligu, promoter of Alkoh Shea Butter was able to impress the judges with his business models and investment prospects.
Located in Gambaga in the Northern Region, Alkoh Shea Butter is into the production and sale of shea butter.
The firm adopts modern tools and technology to produce quality shea butter in a hygienic environment to meet international standards. Alkoh Shea Butter also supplies shea kernel and other products such as shea butter cosmetic and natural products.
“I was disappointed after roaming in the cities in search of a job for so many years. I took notice of my mother’s shea butter business and how the process is done. My mum told me she will employ me since I have no job to do. She tasked me to be the promoter of the Shea Butter business. In an attempt to promote the business, I came out with the concept of Alkoh Shea Butter.
“When I applied to be part of the McDan Entrepreneurship Challenge, I didn’t have the confidence and any business plan but I was able to gather the courage after Chairman McDan told me that it is not about the business but about me. He told me he will transform me from liability to an asset.” The 39-year-old graduate shares his touching story
The nine other contestants, Better Pm Services, SeePig Farms, Greenfuel Innovation Africa, Premor Tea, MydaFoods, AgriFund, Kente Master, Tigerhouse Limited and Agrizone were also rewarded with GHc25,000 business support prizes and GHc30,000 support from the Ministry of Business Development.
Dr Daniel McKorley, Chairman of the McDan Group commended all the 10 participants.
“Today holds a special place in my heart. For me, entrepreneurship isn’t simply a venture but a desire and passion. Starting from the street of Labadi as a young man, selling kerosene and buffloaf. I was once a driver’s mate. I was once a pupil teacher, I was once a construction labourer but today God has given me something special and this is what I’m sharing with the next generation. If I don’t do it posterity will judge.
“I believe, I dreamt of the impossible but I also believe with determination, resilience and hard work, I could keep going. Such is the dream of our finalists.
“I have seen all sizes of entrepreneurship, first hand and this is what I know for sure that failure is a must, mistakes are your best guides, the struggle is inevitable and success is achievable.” Chairman of the McDan Group said
The first edition of McDan Entrepreneurship Challenge engaged the services of Dr Daniel McKorley, Chairman of the McDan Group, Yoofi Grant – CEO of GIPC, Simon R Turner, Percy Amoo-Yankey, Dzigbordi Dosu and Leonora Appiah as judges.
The grand finale was graced by a representative from the Ministry of Business Development, Alhaji Hafiz Adam, Secretary to the Vice President, Augustine Blay, Numoo Kwao, Damana of Dagbon Traditional Area, Robert Coleman – CEO of Wembley Construction Limited and Stephen Appiah amongst others. The theme for this year’s McDan Entrepreneurship Challenge [MEC] is “Employment through Entrepreneurship”.
The MEC seeks to identify the brightest young entrepreneurs or start-up business managers or students with an extraordinary business model to reward with the prize money to establish the next largest conglomerate in Africa and beyond.
The total number of entries received was more than 7,000 and shortlisted to 600 and further shortlisting brought the figure to 60 contestants.
The contestants were offered mentoring and coaching before being sieved down further to 10 finalists who featured in a 13-week television series.
The McDan Entrepreneurship Challenge was powered by TEN Ghana, an organisation that promotes the “create your own job” spirit among young people in the country.
Partner institutions include the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP), Ministry of Business Development, and Active Media.
The McDan Entrepreneurship Challenge is funded by McDan Foundation.