“CoInnovation GER x GHN Edition”

Participate with your start-up at the innovation competition! 

Development of your business model

With the help of the elaboration of your project sketches, you can re-challenge your current business model and accordingly work out points that can improve it.


Prize money

The three first-place winners will receive prize money as well as coaching for the further development and implementation of their project idea.


Valuable contacts

Whether you are selected as one of the top 3 teams or not – you will gain valuable contacts participating in the innovation competition.

What happened in the run-up? 

In autumn 2020, a project initiated by GIZ (German Corporation for International Cooperation) ensured the networking of start-up hubs from Ghana and stakeholders from the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The project aimed to promote the start-up ecosystem in Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest urban centre. This was to support the development of innovative business models and young enterprises in Kumasi. A technical exchange took place with representatives of the start-up scene from Dortmund/Ruhr area with various dialogue, consulting and training formats. Kumasi and Dortmund are predestined to cooperate because of the existing partnership relations between the cities. In addition, the city of Dortmund with the neighbouring Ruhr region is considered an important centre for the promotion of innovation and start-ups in North Rhine-Westphalia. The activities contribute to start-ups from Kumasi being able to further develop their business models according to international standards and present them convincingly to investors. Multipliers from start-up promotion centres in Kumasi expand their advisory skills through international exchange and training. The innovation competition, which is aimed at teams of start-ups from Ghana and Germany, serves as a further development and concretisation of the cooperation and exchange.

What is the innovation competition? 

The innovation competition “CoInnovation GER x GHN Edition” is aimed at mixed teams of start-ups from Ghana and Germany. The regional focus is on Kumasi and Tamale in Ghana and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. The competition aims to jointly develop innovative project approaches in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that make practical contributions to the economic and social development (especially of the north) of Ghana.

Who can apply?

For the innovation competition we distinguish between 2 applicant groups:

I) Tandem applicants

A tandem consisting of one German and one Ghanaian start-up/SME* – you already have contacts to Germany or Ghana and know exactly with which partner you want to implement a project.

II) Solo applicant

A German or Ghanaian start-up/SME* that would like to submit a project for the innovation competition but has no concrete partner from the other country at hand.

* Start-up/SME must meet the following criteria:

– Profit or non-profit organisation
– Not older than 7 years
– Max. 20 full-time employees

What is being funded? 

The innovation competition is intended to fund projects that pursue the following goals/criteria:

    • A cooperation between German and Ghanaian start-ups is to be initiated, which creates synergies for both parties.
    • Both companies are involved in the implementation of the project.
    • The prize money will be used exclusively for the implementation of the project.
    • New innovation opportunities are initiated.
    • The project/ contributes to the achievement of one or more SDGs.
    • The project contributes to the economic and social development of northern Ghana.

What is the application process? 

The application process is based on the respective applicant group:

I) Tandem applicants

For the “Tandem” applicant group (I), the competition phase begins with the announcement of the call for proposals.

Project proposals can be submitted to the e-mail address below (see contact) until April 29, 2022.

II) Solo applicant

For the applicant group “Solo applicant” (II) applies: The competition phase is divided into a three-stage procedure.

1) By 01/04/2022, the applicants must have completed the project outlines and the “Search Partner” form and sent them to the e-mail address below.

2) By 08/04/2022, we will review the solo applicants received and match and introduce each other to suitable other applicants based on the partner requirement.

3) By 29/04/2022, the matched tandem must compile, revise, and submit the remaining project materials.

Only applications that have been submitted in full can be considered.

What documents should be submitted? 

I) Tandem applicant

  • Project description
  • Project calculation
  • Presentation of the parties involved

II) Solo applicant

  • Project description
  • Introduction of the person/company
  • Requirement for the partner

You can find all templates in the section “Contacts and Templates” below.

How does the evaluation phase work? 

After the application deadline, a 3-member jury will deliberate and decide on the 3 winning teams. The jury will use the following evaluation criteria in its assessment:

Contribution to the SDGs

We are looking for ideas with high social relevance and strong impact.

  • What is the potential impact of the project for its target group and for society?
  • To which degree are the objectives of the project relevant to the intended target group?
  • Which SDGs are addressed by the project?

Innovation potential 

We are looking for new ideas and cooperation combinations on how to solve and address the problems of our time. We want new, promising approaches that can improve our shared future on Earth.

  • Are novel means and methods being used to achieve the company’s goals?
  • Are the means used appropriately to solve the problems addressed and do they go beyond current solutions?
  • How can the two collaborative partners leverage synergies to initiate new innovation processes?


A potentially influential and innovative idea is great. But the project can only develop its potential if it succeeds in being implemented.

  • Does the project seem realistically feasible?
  • Are precise goals and actions planned and can they be tracked?
  • Does the tandem have the necessary motivation and commitment to drive the implementation of the project forward?

The winning teams will be selected in mid-April and can then begin implementing the award-winning projects.
The projects must be completed by 15th of December 2022.

What is the prize money? 

The award-winning project proposals are funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (German Corporation for International Cooperation) in Düsseldorf as part of a project to promote the partnership between Ghana and North Rhine-Westphalia. This project is financially supported by the State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia. For the awarded project proposals 3x EUR 10.000 are planned, which will be made available to the respective project teams by the German partner.

Contact and Templates

Here you can download the necessary templates for your application.

If you have any further questions about CoInnovation GER x GHN Edition, the call for proposals or the application documents please do not hesitate to contact us via our email address:

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

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