MEST Africa, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, has opened applications for growth-to-late stage startups and technology-focused small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana, to join the next cohort of the MEST Scale Venture Accelerator. The program, which kicks off in January 2023, seeks to partner with ambitious entrepreneurs of high-growth innovative companies that are ready to scale and have the potential to create significant impact.
Companies that meet the following criteria are invited to apply:
- Sales and traction – The company has an annual minimum sales amount of $150,000 and can demonstrate at least three years of strong revenue growth. If unprofitable, the organization has a plan and path to financially break-even.
- Stage – The company is a commercially viable venture with strong product-market fit, and with a primary challenge of determining ‘why’, ‘where’, ‘what’, and ‘how’ to scale.
- Personnel and talent – The company has a full-time management team with more than 5 team members.
- Scalability – The company has a good blend of ambition and potential to scale.
- Market – The business must be based in Ghana and headquartered in the Greater Accra region.
- Technology – The business must be a software technology business or tech-enabled company.
Companies with female founders or with senior female staff members are especially encouraged to apply.
For this cohort, six scale-ups will be selected to participate in the six-month acceleration program designed to harness their growth potential, position their business for scaling, ramp up their traction, increase their impact, and become investment ready. MEST and the Mastercard Foundation will support these businesses to address key challenges affecting their ability to scale. MEST Scale will provide companies with:
- Tailored advisory support
- Leadership coaching
- Investor engagement
- Funding and partnership opportunities
- Technology enhancement
“After nearly a year of working with 12 SMEs from various industries, there have been a number of insightful learnings gained from this experience. Since the launch of the program in December, with the help of our expert advisors and session facilitators, we have supported these SMEs in areas related to capacity building, leadership, and organizational management, finance, setting actionable scaling frameworks, compliance, and
investment readiness. As a result, some ventures have gone on to establish key partnerships and investment opportunities both within and outside of Ghana. In 2023, the program will focus on strengthening three key elements that significantly affect the scaling of businesses: people, processes, and robustness. We have found that these factors form the basis of what is critical before a business, no matter its size or maturity, can successfully scale,” said Angela Duho, Program Manager, MEST Scale.
“This joint initiative with MEST provides a platform for promising start-ups to explore, scale-up, and contribute to cutting-edge technological advances to solve real-world challenges in Ghana, across the African continent, and around the world. The Mastercard Foundation will continue to support, scale, and drive innovation within the technology startup ecosystem in Ghana, by bridging the gap and removing barriers that are holding startups back.” said Rosy Fynn, Country Head, Ghana at the Mastercard Foundation.
The program will run virtually with occasional in-person sessions held in Accra. Applications for the next cohort are open from now until 7 October, 2022. Companies can apply at meltwater.org/mest-scale.