After a rigorous selection process, six impact-driven startups have been selected to take part in MEST Express Accelerator’s first-ever cohort focused on sustainability.
In partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, MEST Africa has been providing investment-readiness support to promising early and growth stage start-ups in Ghana through the MEST Express Accelerator since 2020. After 5-months of practical training, mentorship and workshops with experts, the top three start-ups were awarded equity-free grant funding to boost their growth plans.
But after two years of running this model and taking feedback and analysis from participants, we have switched things up to provide more personalized solutions and guidance to each participating start-up. With this, we hope to be able to directly address the unique challenges of each start-up through funding and expert guidance.
What makes this cohort different?
The focus of this cohort is to empower start-ups in Ghana that provide solutions that use technology to drive transformational change and create a more sustainable future for all. To ensure greater impact, six start-ups have been selected to participate in the accelerator program. At the beginning of the program, a comprehensive needs assessment and prioritization of these businesses are done to identify key areas. The businesses will then work with industry experts to develop bespoke solutions to their needs and challenges.
An amount of $5,000 in grants is awarded to each venture towards addressing the identified needs.
The six start-ups benefiting from this new approach are operational in the fintech, agriculture, logistics, health, and e-commerce sectors.
The selected start-ups include:
Fluid Finance: empowers banks to finance low-income farmers at scale. “Our breakthrough offline technology enables farmers to access digital financial identities, cashless credits, and educational content to increase crop yield and financial literacy. At the end of the program, we want to facilitate access to 250,000 farmers” — Moustapha Seck, CEO, Fluid Finance.
Tiny Reusers addresses the global environmental crisis as well as the unemployment issues in Ghana through our e-commerce platform where we invite all to sell their preloved and new baby, kids, and maternity items. The ambitious team, led by CEO Lisa Nielsen, exponential growth and impact is what they hope to achieve through the program.
“In 6 months, we hope to gain good traction, become investor-ready, and improve on our technology.”
DIGITAL HEALTH ACCESS
Digital Health Access is an all-inclusive Health Education and Consultation platform that connects healthcare professionals and providers to users and assists healthcare professionals with an Electronic Medical records system to manage their patient’s records.
For Richmond Ampbeng, CEO, Digital Health Access, and his team, they saw the MEST Express Accelerator as an important opportunity to “benefit from expert training and mentorship and also gain access to the MEST Community.”
“We joined the MEST Express accelerator with the expectation that it will prepare us to be investor ready and at the end of the program, be able to raise $600,000 to complete our software development and scale our solution by 2023,” noted Mawuse Gyisun, CEO of Sommalife.
Sommalife provides resources for women groups in shea-producing communities to produce high quality in large volumes, gain access to international markets and become agents of environmental conservation.
Africa Goodnest is an e-commerce and logistics platform helping transform the way that we find and buy value-added agricultural products in the personal care, herbs, spices, food, and beverage space, from Africa.
For founder Bernice Yalley, MEST Express offers the opportunity to grow their platform sustainably. “At the end of the program, we hope that we will have over 100 vendors on our platform from all over the African continent, have made connections and sales with an almost equal amount of markets, and are representing ourselves at industry trade shows.”
Since the launch of the program in September 2020, we have accelerated 80 startups in Ghana and provided over $100,000 in grant funding to 12 startups. Over 200 jobs have been created as a result of our engagement with these startups that continue to positively impact the ecosystem.