Twelve fast-growing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana have been selected to participate in the inaugural cohort of MEST Africa and the Mastercard Foundation’s venture acceleration programme, MEST Scale.
MEST Scale is a venture acceleration programme designed to help SMEs strengthen their operations, address key technology gaps and increase their ability and capacity for scale.
Spanning a range of industries, including project and facility management, marketing, health care, and agriculture, the participating SMEs were selected for their commercial viability and high potential to scale their operations to provide work opportunities for young people. The accelerator will offer bespoke strategic, operational and technical support to these SMEs for a year, enabling them to drive impact and scale up successfully.
“SMEs play a critical role in Ghana’s economy. Our goal is to support them to become more efficient in their operations and to have a model for scale that will ensure quality in all aspects of product and service delivery wherever they operate worldwide,” noted Angela Duho, Programme Manager for MEST Scale.
The selected SMEs include:
- Accra Handyman – offers convenient booking of facilities as well as management and maintenance services.
- Agro Innova − an AgriTech company using digital technologies to address challenges faced by smallholder farmers and the wider agricultural value chain.
- BTL Africa − a Marketing solutions company with a focus on experiential, digital marketing, and consumer engagement solutions and content production.
- Claron Health International − provides personalised, accessible and affordable health care through its telemedicine platform and traditional medical services.
- Darsfield Village Farms & Outgrowers (Darsfarm) – through their Darsfield EarthCare & Farm-Tech Foundation (Darsfoundation) project, Darsfarm uses technology to address the low level of productivity, processing and distribution in agriculture in rural Ghana.
- Green Gold Farms – an agribusiness tackling poverty, lack of economic opportunity, malnutrition and related illnesses in northern Ghana through large-scale agricultural production.
- Medpharma Alliance International Limited – digitising healthcare by providing e-consultation and e-prescription services with specialist medical practitioners.
- mNotify − a cloud-based omnichannel communications portal that helps businesses promote and manage their digital customer engagement activities and scale their marketing.
- National Beekeepers Association − trains smallholder farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices and integrate bee-keeping practices to increase pollinator services and crop productivity, as well as improve the earning capacity of farmers.
- Organic Trade and Investments (OTI) − an agribusiness export trading company with a focus on promoting accessibility of organic and natural ingredients from Africa to the rest of the world.
- SnooCode − an offline digital addressing system that allows anyone anywhere in the world with a smartphone and the SnooCODE app to generate a memorable 6 or 7-digit alpha-numeric address code unique to their location.
- XL Africa Group − a diversified outsourcing company, which provides services in the areas of human resources, projects and facility management, courier and delivery services, training and development, and construction services.
Unlike other programmes, the MEST Scale Accelerator is designed to help identify the challenges faced by SMEs that hamper their growth potential and restrict their access to capital.
Over the course of the year, MEST Africa will provide participating ventures with hands-on and strategic guidance on how to manage their specific scale-related challenges, while building operational and technical efficiencies that boost their growth.
“This exciting combination of high-potential SMEs, a model of bespoke service delivery, and MEST’s experience supporting technology start-ups, will unlock tremendous value and enable these local SMEs to scale their business ventures,” said Chirag Shamdasani, Ghana Programme Lead, Innovation, at the Mastercard Foundation.