Launched in: 2020
Application Timing: Jan. - April
In partnership with global nonprofit Enactus, Ford Fund invites student teams to develop ideas for innovative projects that address an unmet social need or problem in the local community—ranging from safety to workforce development to access to mobility, and more. Each year, up to three Enactus student teams are selected to receive a $3,000 USD grant to implement their project. Through this program, students use entrepreneurial action to make people’s lives better and help their community become a more sustainable place to work and live.
2020 Ford College Community Challenge Winning Projects
Ahmadu Bello University: Kaduna State
Project Payprint focuses on digitizing the transport sector, making it easier for people to move freely in towns and urban cities in Nigeria. The current mono-road transport system is a major source of traffic congestion due to the collapse of rail, sea and pipeline modes of transporting goods and services. Payprint is an online application where users can register with their personal and banking details for security and payment purposes. The app includes a route scheduling feature that offers real-time information on bus and private car status, location, route mapping and other information to aid easy access and reduce long queuing in bus stations. A thumbprint device is in development for public buses and private cars where a phone fingerprint scanner can be used to verify the information generated on the application and to finalize payment. The app management and logistics are handled by Enactus Ahmadu Bello University team members.
Adekunle Ajasin University: Ondo State
More than half of rural women in Nigeria live below the nationally defined poverty line, lacking access to basic education, decent nutrition, adequate health and social services. Nigerian women also perform the majority of food processing work and dominate the rural and urban informal sector activities. Yet, less than 20% of women have a stable source of income to provide for their families. In late 2018, Enactus Adekunle Ajasin University identified over 500 poor and unemployed women in Ondo State, Nigeria who were willing to learn a skill and offered a solution to their unemployment and poverty. The Enactus team created Rebirth, an ambitious project which aims to achieve nine of the UN Global Goals. Rebirth offers solutions and provides financial inclusion for women in rural communities of Akoko (a combination of eight communities connected by land in Ondo State) through free access to vocational and skills training on fashion design. The skills training aims to provide employment, reduce poverty, encourage gender equality and quality education for their children, as fashion is one of the fastest-growing industries. The project featuring entrepreneurship, gender equality and mindset reorientation, and it combats several socio-cultural beliefs prevalent in the community pertaining to women's financial independence.
Tai Solarin University of Education: Ogun State
According to the 2019 UNICEF State of the World's Children Report, Nigeria ranks as the second-highest country in the world for infant mortality. When babies are born premature, many are unable to regulate their body temperature, and room temperature can be too cold for them. After recognizing this issue, Enactus Tai Solarin University of Education met with medical experts, healthcare workers, traditional birth attendants and mothers in Lagos and Ogun, Nigeria. They found that 80% of premature infants need an incubator to keep warm. However, the majority of these babies are born in remote areas with no access to incubators. To help reduce the infant mortality rate, the Enactus team created the Enactcare Infant Warmer, a low-cost, mobile infant warmer. They designed the product to look like a sleeping bag that incorporates an innovative wax to regulate a baby's temperature without electricity. It is portable, safe and easy to use. The sleeping bag pouch can be recharged by heating or submerging it in boiling water for a few minutes. The Enactcare Infant Warmer is small and light, making it easy and inexpensive to transport babies with severe conditions from rural areas to urban health facilities. Additionally, compared to the $20,000 USD price of a traditional incubator, the Enactcare incubator costs less than $25 USD. The Enactus team plans to employ women to produce the Enactcare sleeping bag, and they will train rural community youth to extract beeswax from honeycombs to make the heating pad. The team is also partnering with the Federation of Beekeepers' Association of Nigeria (FEBKAN) to ensure a continuous supply of beeswax.