Ford Motor targets varsity students with innovation award (Business Daily (Kenya))

American automaker Ford Motor Company is targeting university students in Kenya, Ghana, Morocco and South Africa with a Sh9.7 million innovation fund.

The Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3) is a global project by the Ford Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor. This will be the first African edition of the programme that has awarded close to Sh65 million in nurturing talent.

The universities are yet to be identified but the areas of focus include alternative energy, environmental sustainability, agriculture, mobility, and water conservation.

“As we expand in Africa, we are delivering on our commitment to create a better world by improving the communities where we do business,” said Jim Benintende, the president of Ford’s Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.

Participants will be required to take a leadership role in all aspects of the project, from design to implementation.

It is a collaboration between Ford and Enactus, a global NGO bringing together students, academics and business leaders keen on entrepreneurship as an instrument of change.

“Education is a cornerstone of Ford Fund’s commitment to a better world,” said Jim Vella, the president of Ford Fund and Community Services.

Agents of change

“Through programmes like Ford C3, we are able to help accelerate educational innovation, and empower students to become transformative agents of change in their communities.”

Over the past eight years, Ford Fund has awarded over Sh164.9 million in grants through the Ford C3 project.

Last year, Ford joined hands with Enactus in the programme to expanded internationally and cover countries like Brazil and China.

Enactus mobilisesmore than 1,700 university programmes across 36 countries.

An annual series of regional and national competitions, it provides a forum for teams to showcase the impact of their outreach efforts and be evaluated by executives.

National winners attend the Enactus World Cup. This year’s event will be held mid-October in Johannesburg, South Africa.