Stanbic and GIZ sign agreement to support Fintechs through “NextGen Ghana Fintech Accelerator”

Stanbic Bank Ghana in partnership with The Tech Entrepreneurship Initiative ‘Make-IT in Africa,’ a programme implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development has announced a partnership to help fast-track their journey towards commercially scalable and sustainable impact-oriented technology ventures.

Dubbed ‘NextGen Fintech Accelerator’, the programme will assist growth stage technology companies in their market validation and customer acquisition phase in Ghana. The rolling accelerator programme is mainly focused on product validation, customer acquisition, and investment readiness.

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The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Stanbic Bank Ghana, Mr Kwamina K. Asomaning, signed on behalf of the bank, while the Head of the Network for Inclusive Economic Development (NIED) cluster at GIZ, Mr Gerald Guskowski, signed for the International cooperation enterprise in Accra yesterday.

Mr. Asomaning released a statement saying; “at Stanbic Bank, we believe that experiential learning is one of the best ways to leapfrog young entrepreneurs into established businesses contributing significantly to the economic growth of the country. For this reason, since 2018, we have been investing in young entrepreneurs through work-based learning, coaching, and the provision of an enabling environment to equip young people with the skills needed for work.”

Ghana has made drastic changes in its FinTech industry to embrace the use of smartphones and applications in transactions. There are currently over 11 million active users on mobile payment systems, with banks recording over 80% of their transactions as originating from electronic and digital channels.

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The Bank of Ghana (BoG), which is the official regulator of payment systems, reports that about 71 fintech companies operate in the country. FinTech’s have constantly proven to be the future of banking, especially in these times of the COVID- 19 Pandemic, where the use of digital payment systems is increasingly becoming mainstream. However, the Fintech Ecosystem in Ghana is at a blossoming stage hence the need for this initiative.

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Mr. Asomaning also indicated that, “our priority today is to build the capacity of FinTech businesses and startups through a 6-month intensive curriculum–based training. The training will focus on reconstructing and validating the business models to scale and adhere to industry best practices. The training will also refine, test and validate their growth strategies as well as operational framework. Ultimately, this initiative will coach and nurture the FinTechs to be investor ready”.

Commenting on the launch of the programme in Accra, Mr Gerald Guskowski commented: “this is a significant and timely cooperation that will foster more relevant sustainability-driven innovation far beyond the financial industry. The NextGen Fintech Accelerator is unique in a way that will scale up innovative technology and business-based solutions to drive sustainable development.”

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Mr Guskowski also added: “over the past two years, Make-IT in Africa has invested in supporting a pipeline of startups in Ghana in various sectors including health, education, smart city, agriculture among others. Financial technology is the next area that we are supporting including using the instrument of regulations by the Central bank to enable startups in the field.”

“We look forward to supporting this ambitious initiative that we see as a key contributor to business growth and driver of economic development in future,”

The accelerator programme will run one cohort of 20 selected early-to-growth stage FinTech startups. The Joint Stanbic Bank & GIZ NextGen FinTech Accelerator aims at contributing to UN (United Nations) Sustainable Development Goal # 8 by supporting tech start-ups in the field of FinTech to help advance their solutions in the local environment. The programme will feature a 6-month long intensive curriculum–based training, after which participants will engage in a Mentorship program by experts from Stanbic Bank.

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The launch kicks off the application process where potential applicants will go through a series of selection processes, and shortlisted applicants will move on to the Virtual Training Bootcamp.

The media event which took place on the October 18, 2021 at the Stanbic Incubator, Accra saw in attendance officials from both parties as well as ecosystem actors from Private Sector to engage and network.

Stanbic Bank Incubator (SBIncubator) is a 3rd generation Business Incubator, a Corporate Social Initiative set up by Stanbic Bank Ghana, a member of the Standard Bank Group to contribute towards the promotion of entrepreneurship among the youth and women in Africa.

Its initiative is to contribute to improving the economic state of the country and the people of Ghana through job creation, access to market and providing an enabling environment for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as well as start-ups to grow.

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