The Ashesi Venture Incubator (AVI) has launched the 2020-2021 AVI mentorship program, which is one of the most impactful experiences of the Incubator for  its fellows. The first edition of the AVI Mentorship Program launched  in February 2020 with the goal to provide supplemental and targeted technical assistance to support fellows with critical areas within their business in order to help them meet their objectives for economic impact and business viability as they complete the incubator.  The AVI fellows interacted with seasoned business coaches and industry experts who provided business development advice, coaching, and feedback on elements of their business such as their cash flow model, customer acquisition strategy, and business model canvas.

Like the first cohort, the second cohort of fellows will have the opportunity to introduce their businesses and tap from the resources of the mentors and advisors on the program. The program will also allow fellows to directly learn from, and engage with local and international industry experts and seasoned business coaches throughout their journey in the incubator.  As a way of kick starting the mentorship program, the AVI held a virtual mixer on Wednesday 4th November, 2020 via zoom that enabled fellows and mentors to interact. In an address delivered by Ms. Natasha Dadzie, the engagement manager of the Incubator, said:

The AVI is very passionate about business coaching and mentorship. It is our number one duty to ensure that all the fellows navigate smoothly through their business phases through coaching and mentorship.

This year, the AVI mentorship program has been refined to ensure that AVI fellows and mentors meet the respective business and personal objectives they had when they joined the program. For the fellows, the program will help to de-risk their entrepreneurial process by providing relevant business and personal development, coaching and support. Mentors and Advisors  will commit their time, expertise, and resources to support the growth of the  young entrepreneurs and interns to get access to opportunities within the NEXTi2i community. According to Ms. Dadzie, “this is very important because we are trying to get the mentors out of their comfort zones to do things they may not necessarily be used to. Even though the process has been tight partially because of the pandemic, the program is designed to provide value to both the mentors and mentees.”

Our current Mentorship Program holds seasoned experts such as Adrian Watson (Founder – Jamaica Environmental Entrepreneurs Advocacy Network), Muhammida El Muhajir (Director – Wax Print Media), Akpene Diata Hoggar (Creative Consultant – Sundiata Studios), Akosua Koranteng Adayi (Head of Student Affairs – Joyce Ababio College of Creative Design), Rudolf Ampofo(Partnerships Manager- Wikimedia Foundation), Catherine Hagan (CEO – R’ajwa Company), and Regina Honu (CEO -Soroko Academy) just to mention a few. The program also has a set of Advisors who set available office hours for fellows to seek consultation sparingly or at discussed periods. Our Advisor community comprises Sally Yeboah (National Director-CAMFED), Cordie Aziz ( Founder -Environment360) , Kwami Williams ( CEO- Moringa Connect), Heather Beem (CEO – Practical Education Network), Daniel Dadzie (Senior Journalist – Multimedia Group Ltd), Amma Gyampo (Director- AmDeCo), and Fatima Tambajang (Program Manager- Enpact ). 

To continue with its mandate, the AVI Mentorship program is designed to engage mentors in a number of ways including speaking engagements at the university, networking with other business leaders, opportunities to gain professional insights based on the modules of the program, and priority access to Ashesi students as interns.