The program, aimed specifically at business owners and leaders, is designed to help Small and Medium Ghanaian Enterprises (SMEs) at their growth stage to address systemic and environmental factors that hinder their access to capital and impede their ability to scale.
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.
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. Through this accelerator, MEST Africa will be providing 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.
“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.
For over a decade, we have built some of Africa’s most innovative and scalable businesses and we are eager to share our knowledge and expertise with more promising Ghanaian companies that have the potential to scale and make the most impact on the economy”, said Kweku Fleming, Program Manager for MEST Scale at MEST Africa.
SMEs make up about 85% of businesses in Ghana and contribute largely to GDP and employment. The focus of the program is to empower this influential group of businesses to increase revenue, create new jobs, optimize value chain linkages, and access investments, all of which contribute to the advancement of socio-economic prosperity in Ghana.
“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”, said Chirag Shamdasani, Innovation Lead, Ghana, at the Mastercard Foundation.
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
MEST Scale is one of three new programs launched by MEST Africa and the Mastercard Foundation to scale their impact and reach more young people, entrepreneurs and business leaders at different touchpoints of their entrepreneurial journey in Ghana, and in time, across the continent.
Interested companies should visit the MEST Scale website and fill out the Expression of Interest form. Applications close on October 18th, 2021.