After receiving a B.A. in Economics and French from the University of Ghana, Akua Baning attended the MEST 2- year Tech Entrepreneurial Training Program. Akua graduated from MEST in 2014 as one of four women in her graduating class. It has now been a year since completing the intensive program and she is currently developing a startup that was born at MEST and is the Community Manager for iSpace, a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing co-working space, community gathering point and network for driving entrepreneurial success for product-oriented technology startups in Ghana. Akua shares a few thoughts on how MEST has prepared her for the present and the future.
How did your experience at MEST prepare you for your current role? I’m the Community Manager at iSpace a co-working space and innovation hub which envisions a thriving technological, entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystem in Accra. My experience at MEST prepared me in several ways. Firstly it enabled me gain understanding of an ecosystem I had limited knowledge of prior to joining MEST. The 2-year training program also enabled me to appreciate the importance of working hard and holding my output to the highest standard. Very importantly, I’m privileged to have a high quality network of professionals and entrepreneurs whose knowledge and experience are very valuable to the members of the iSpace community and the growth of the tech ecosystem.
Did you feel adequately prepared to become a tech entrepreneur? Can you ever be ready? Lol…I don’t know if you can but I have a lot of lessons and I’ll be more ready in my next venture.
What influenced your decision to work instead of launching a tech company? I’m working on both. After the 2-year program at MEST, my company, Nim Street –a crowdfunding platform for creative projects, was not offered funding. After spending the next few months to boost interest and get funding we have decided to regroup so be expecting something exciting from Nim Street very soon. Luckily my work at iSpace exposes me to a network of talented creatives and entrepreneurs who have given us amazing feedback on Nim Street.
What has been the perception from people you interact with as a graduate of MEST? From people who know what MEST is, the general perception is that I’m a high performer and have all the answers. LOL