In line with Ashesi University’s mission to educate ethical entrepreneurial leaders in Africa, its Entrepreneurship Centre through the Ashesi Venture Incubator (AVI) X Grant Programme has awarded alumni business ventures grants amounting to US$65,000.
Having been active under the AVI since 2020, the grant has supported many Ashesi alumni business ventures, encouraging them to expand and promote their businesses so they can contribute to social and economic development. The programme, plus the grant, is expected to help the 10 young entrepreneurs bridge the gap between incubation and acceleration.
This year, the grant takes on a new dynamic as all grant recipients will have their businesses closely monitored, will undergo periodic evaluations, and mentors will be made available to coach each budding entrepreneur for a year.
The AVI has also partnered with Bridge Taylor Consulting to run business diagnostics for each chosen business and help restructure each company as needed. Using data from these diagnostics, Bridge Taylor will – within three months of the grant – make available tailor-made implementation plans to help each business succeed. Each venture will also benefit from one-on-one business advisory services in twelve different areas of business development.
The AVI Manager, Natasha Dadzie, indicated that the ten recipient businesses have so far expanded their portfolios and client reach, diversified their products and services, and had access to significant capital-raising opportunities.
“Having this opportunity and all the benefits that come with it will give our entrepreneurs a short-cut to experience something that other people would have had to work for. It is something of value and a treasure, and we cannot wait to see what they will do with it,” the Ashesi Provost, Prof. Angela Owusu-Ansah, said at the brief ceremony while encouraging the young entrepreneurs to make great use of the opportunity.
An Associate Professor at Ashesi University, Dr. Gordon Adomdza, is also confident the grant will help cushion the entrepreneurial journeys of the selected alumni, eliminating the obstacles that have prevented many Ghanaian and African businesses in general from moving to the next level.
“The AVI-X award will allow us to test critical elements of our products and services and have the market validation required to access further funding and a larger customer base. We will also be able to build additional product features, scale, and use it to develop an Environmental, Social and Governance model while researching the skills gap in Ghana,” one of the beneficiaries, CEO and founder of Green Hopper Ltd., Brian Acheampong, has said.
Founder of Juweel, Pearl Abbam, added that incubators – such as the AVI – are key to boosting the operations of start-ups and businesses since it provides immeasurable growth opportunities.
The ten businesses which would be beneficiaries of this golden opportunity include Moosla by Manuella Sekyi; Stock Shop by David Dieudonne Adu-Amoani; Think Education by NanaAma Boa- Amponsah; Swoove by Kevin Blankson; Loozeele by Teni Agana; Green Hopper by Brian Acheampong; Nubian by Kabiru Seidu; ELNAK Recycle by Emma Forson, Juweel by Pearl Abbam; and Caraven Global by Mercy Wugaa.