Josephine Ampofo in the middle
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Josephine Ampofo, a Phd student at McGill University, Canada, has placed third with her NutriPulse initiative in a competition organised by the World Vision Canada.

NutriPulse, which is a team of three individuals headed by Josephine Ampofo, was adjudged the third place winner among eight finalists and presented with a cash prize of $10,000 at the 2018 Social Innovation Challenge (SIC) held in Toronto on July 12.

NutriPulse is a business initiative created to combat food and nutrition insecurity among children in peri-urban and rural communities of Ghana.

The initiative is headed by Josephine Ampofo and two others Mr Adeyemi Adegbenjo and Mr Zeyan Zhong also Phd students based at at McGill University.

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is also a partner in the initiative.

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 program 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 the 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).

Josephine Ampofo, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is also a PhD Student, Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry; and her partners are also PhD Students in Bio-resource Engineering and Food Safety respectively.

GNA