Applications open for early-stage Ghanaian Startups to scale their operations through the Mastercard Foundation and MEST Express Accelerator Programme.

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The MEST Express accelerator programme is now accepting applications from early-stage Ghanaian startups looking to expand their operations.

MEST Express is one of the three programmes that MEST is currently running in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, alongside Pre-MEST and MEST Scale.

The 20-week accelerator programme aims to equip early-stage ventures with the skills and resources they require to accelerate their growth, and offers free training, mentorship, resources, and support to participating startups.

At the end of the programme, startups in each cohort will have the opportunity to participate in a pitching session where top-performing ventures will receive equity-free grant funding. 

“Securing investment is extremely difficult for early-stage startups. This is why we are introducing a strong focus on investment readiness and fundraising in our upcoming cohorts, with the view of connecting startups to sources of capital and preparing them to effectively deploy funds to grow their businesses,” said Felix Darko, MEST Express programme manager. 

The programme will run in two cohorts, with a blend of virtual and in-person sessions. One cohort will take place in Accra, with in-person sessions held at the MEST campus, while in an effort to make entrepreneurial training more accessible to startups across Ghana the other cohort will take place in Tamale at the HOPin Academy. 

“After extensive research in three regions and numerous insights about the technology and entrepreneurship landscape across the country, we are excited to announce our partnership with HOPin Academy. Situated in Tamale, the largest city in the Northern half of Ghana, the Academy provides an exciting opportunity to reach many young entrepreneurs and to help develop the still-nascent technology ecosystem in the North,” said Gregory Coussa, Strategic Director at MEST Africa.

“We are delighted to see the expansion of the MEST Accelerator program to support early-stage startups across the country. Democratizing access to opportunities that nurture entrepreneurial dreams will increase the chances of success for newly established enterprises by young entrepreneurs,” said Chirag Shamdasani, Ghana Program Partner, Digital Economy at the Mastercard Foundation.