MEST and Mastercard Foundation Training Program for Young Entrepreneurs
MEST, in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation today declared the launch of the Startup Creation program focused on supporting young entrepreneurs to build, launch and scale software technology-enabled ventures in Ghana.
The program, to be run under the Pre-MEST program, will provide free training in entrepreneurship and startup development in response to the growing demand for software entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial skills among young people in the country as well as provide the opportunity for participants to launch tech-enabled startups that solve local issues. Applications for this cohort are open until 30th April 2021 with the first cohort program kicking off online on 17th May 2021.
Over the course of 12-weeks, participants will undergo a series of subject-focused sprints and take part in workshops led by experienced facilitators as part of a curriculum designed to build their business acumen and technical skills as software entrepreneurs, and assist them in launching early-stage startups by the end of the program. Participants will also receive access to mentorship, funding, and other resources required to develop them into tech founders.
Interested applicants can visit bit.ly/premestprogram to begin their application.
“The Pre-MEST Startup Creation program is designed to equip young Africans who are passionate about starting tech businesses with the skills needed to succeed in this endeavor. The program gives them the support needed and walks them through the process to build their products and businesses and also get some initial traction,” said Olufemi Adewumi, Director, Training Program, MEST.
For the Startup Creation cohort, as part of its commitment to making entrepreneurial training more accessible to youth in Ghana, MEST has partnered with four tech training hubs – Women’s Haven Africa in Kumasi, Ho Node Hub in Ho, Dansyn Innovation Social Organisation in Bolga, and iCode Ghana in Takoradi, to facilitate the program delivery and reach more young people in Ghana.
Since launching online last year, Pre-MEST has delivered programs for five cohorts between September and December, with the sixth and most current cohort having kicked off at the beginning of March 2021 with MEST collaborating with three hubs outside of Accra – Code Coast in Cape
Coast, Yison Tech Hub in Wa and Whizzy Academy in Kumasi, to train more young people and increase the reach of its effect to the rest of Ghana.
“Digital skills and technology-enabled Startups to provide the biggest opportunities for young people to create solutions to local challenges and to meet the demands of growing populations across the continent. Providing an ecosystem that trains, supports, and enables young innovators to scale would make a big difference” stressed Kofi Dadzie, Lead, Digital Economy at the Mastercard Foundation.
To date, all six Pre-MEST cohorts have focused on digital skills development as well as soft skills training. The Skills track aims at training participants in software development or digital marketing, while the Startup Creation track will recruit interested youth in software entrepreneurship and provide support in rolling out their own startup ventures.. This year, Pre-MEST will run four cohorts – two focused on skills training and two focused on startup development.
The program will continue expanding its offering to include other skills development as well as startup creation interventions in order to equip more young Ghanaians with fundamental, critical, and in-demand business, technology skills, and to build their capacities to become successful entrepreneurs.
The program kicks off on 17th May 2021 and runs until 6th August 2021. Applications are due 30th April 2021. Candidates, particularly women, who meet the following requirements are invited to apply:
Young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years
Must reside in Ghana, but can be from anywhere
Passionate about technology and entrepreneurship, and how to use technology to achieve business results
Has a tech-related business idea or willing to develop one
Preferably has past experience with entrepreneurship or within a startup environment
Disciplined, motivated, and a self-starter who can work and deliver on assignments and projects
A team player that can thrive working independently as well as collaboratively
Should be able to commit full time for the duration of the course