In partnership with Mastercard Foundation, MEST Africa has launched MEST Accelerator Scale for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana.
Founded in Ghana in 2008, MEST provides critical skills training, funding, and support in software development, business, and communications to Africa’s tech entrepreneurs with hubs located in Accra, Ghana; Lagos, Nigeria; Cape Town, South Africa; and Nairobi, Kenya.
Through this partnership, MEST Africa and Mastercard Foundation will provide Ghanaian SMEs with hands-on and strategic guidance on how to manage these challenges while building operational and technical efficiencies that will boost their growth
Kweku Fleming, Program Manager for MEST Scale at MEST Africa said, 'SMEs play a critical role in Ghana’s socio-economic growth but very often, most SMEs are unable to scale up due to several challenges and systemic barriers.
'These include fractured value chains, inadequate or inefficient use of technology, lack of leadership and operational support, talent acquisition and retention, and limited access to growth capital.', he said.
SMEs play a critical role in Ghana’s socio-economic growth but very often, most SMEs are unable to scale up due to several challenges and systemic barriers. These include fractured value chains, inadequate or inefficient use of technology, lack of leadership and operational support, talent acquisition and retention, and limited access to growth capital. - Kweku Fleming
The high-growth venture accelerator identifies specific areas in which most Ghanaian SMEs face growth challenges and lines up expert trainers and mentors to deliver strategic, operational and technical support to businesses in a one-year program.
About 85% of businesses in Ghana are SMEs, this identifies its contribution to socio-economic prosperity in the country, this program will super charge the efforts of these enterprises and enable increased revenue, optimized chain linkages, employment amongst other economic benefits.
According to Chirag Shamdasani, Innovation Lead, Ghana, at the Mastercard Foundation, 'SMEs are critical to driving sustainable economic growth and creating dignified work for young women and men in Ghana. Supported to scale, they have the potential to be real game changers in the Ghanaian economy. This partnership allows us to support the process of building an ecosystem of thriving SMEs'.
The Scale program will select 10 SMEs, headquartered in Ghana, to accelerate and scale over the next year. Participating companies will receive the following:
- Advisory support tailored to their business needs
- Leadership coaching, mentorship and knowledge sharing from leading professionals
- Specialist consultation sessions with subject-matter experts
- Technology enhancement to enable growth scale
- Investor engagement and investment readiness support
- Funding, partnerships and ecosystem linkages
The Accelerator is inviting SMEs that have ambitions to take their operations to scale, regardless of industry, to submit expressions of interest via the MEST website on or before October 18th, 2021.