MEST, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation today announced the launch of the Startup Creation program aimed at supporting young entrepreneurs to build, launch and scale software technology-enabled ventures in Ghana.
The program, to be run under the Pre-MEST program, will provide free training in entrepreneurship and startup development in response to growing demand for software entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial skills among young people in the country as well as provide the opportunity for participants to launch tech-enabled startups that solve local problems.
Applications for this cohort are open until 30th April 2021 with the first cohort program kicking off virtually on 17th May 2021.
Over the course of 12-weeks, participants will undergo a series of subject-focused sprints and take part in workshops led by experienced facilitators as part of a curriculum designed to build their business acumen and technical skills as software entrepreneurs, and assist them in launching early-stage startups by the end of the program. Participants will also receive access to mentorship, funding and other resources needed to develop them into tech founders.
Interested applicants can visit bit.ly/premestprogram to begin their application.
“The Pre-MEST Startup Creation program is designed to equip young Africans who are passionate about starting tech businesses with the skills needed to succeed in this endeavour. The program gives them the support needed and walks them through the process to build their products and businesses and also get some initial traction,” said Olufemi Adewumi, Director, Training Program, MEST.
For the Startup Creation cohort, as part of its commitment to making entrepreneurial training more accessible to youth in Ghana, MEST has partnered with four tech training hubs – Women’s Haven Africa in Kumasi, Ho Node Hub in Ho, Dansyn Innovation Social Organisation in Bolga, and iCode Ghana in Takoradi, to facilitate the program delivery and reach more young people in Ghana.
Since launching virtually last year, Pre-MEST has delivered programs for five cohorts between September and December, with the sixth and most recent cohort having kicked off at the start of March 2021 with MEST partnering with three hubs outside of Accra – Code Coast in CapeCoast, Yison Tech Hub in Wa and Whizzy Academy in Kumasi, to train more young people and increase the reach of its impact to the rest of Ghana.
“Digital skills and technology-enabled Startups provide the biggest opportunities for young people to create solutions to local challenges and to meet the demands of growing populations across the continent. Providing an ecosystem that trains, supports and enables young innovators to scale would make a big difference” said Kofi Dadzie, Lead, Digital Economy at the Mastercard Foundation.
To date, all six Pre-MEST cohorts have focused on digital skills development as well as soft skills training. The Skills track focuses on training participants in software development or digital marketing, while the Startup Creation track will recruit interested youth in software entrepreneurship and provide support in launching their own startup ventures.. This year, Pre-MEST will run four cohorts – two focused on skills training and two focused on startup development.
The program will continue expanding its offering to include other skills development as well as startup creation interventions in order to equip more young Ghanaians with fundamental, crucial and in-demand business and technology skills, and to build their capacities to become successful entrepreneurs.

Application Process

The program kicks off on 17th May 2021 and runs until 6th August 2021. Applications are due 30th April 2021. Candidates, especially women, who meet the following requirements are invited to apply:

  • Young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years
  • Must reside in Ghana, but can be from anywhere
  • Passionate about technology and entrepreneurship, and how to use technology to achieve business results
  • Has a tech-related business idea or willing to develop one
  • Preferably has past experience with entrepreneurship or within a startup environment
  • Disciplined, motivated and a self-starter who can work and deliver on assignments and projects
  • A team player that can thrive working independently as well as collaboratively
  • Should be able to commit full time for the duration of the course

More details on the program and the application process can be found here.
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