19 Dec Ashesi University Awards $65,000.00 to 10 Alumni Business Ventures
If you are an African living in Africa who has ventured into entrepreneurship, then you know first-hand the herculean task of doing business on the continent. Often, many startups need help accessing adequate capital and unlocking that critical product feature that changes everything.
In Ashesi University’s mission to fill in the gaps and educate ethical entrepreneurial leaders in Africa, The Ashesi Entrepreneurship Center awards $65,000.00 to Ashesi University Alumni Business ventures through the AVI X Grant Program. Working under the Ashesi Venture Incubator (AVI) since 2020, the grant has supported Ashesi alumni business ventures encouraging them to expand and promote their businesses so they can contribute to social and economic development. The goal is to help young entrepreneurs bridge the gap between incubation and acceleration, thus allowing them to transition quickly by scaling and building more structures to fit the acceleration requirement.
“Having this opportunity and all the benefits that come with it will give our entrepreneurs a shortcut 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.”, says the Ashesi Provost, Prof Angela Owusu-Ansah.
According to Dr. Gordon Adomdza, Associate Professor at Ashesi University, this grant helps 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.
Natasha Dadzie, the AVI Manager, also recounts the success of the grant since 2020 – 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.
This year, the grant takes on a new dynamic – all grant recipients will have their businesses closely monitored and undergo periodic evaluations. In addition to this, 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 3 months of the grant, make available tailor-made implementation plans to help each business succeed. Each venture will benefit from one-on-one business advisory services in twelve different areas of business development.
This year’s awards ceremony was held on Wednesday, 14th December, at the Ashesi Entrepreneurship Center to announce the ten businesses that would be beneficiaries of this golden opportunity. They were 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.
Bryan Achiampong, the CEO and founder of Green Hopper Ltd., could not hide his joy as he spoke about what this award meant for his business:
“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.” He said.
Adding to this, Pearl Abbam, one of the AVI-X grant awardees and founder of Juweel, a hand-made accessories brand, says incubators like this help boost startups and businesses by providing immeasurable growth opportunities.
As though the AVI-X grant itself was not enough, the additional cherry on top of the proverbial cake includes a lineup of activities to highlight each recipient entrepreneur, comprising publications and interviews on various media platforms and participation in both online and physical market exhibitions before the end of the year.
If you are an African, living in Africa who has ventured into entrepreneurship, then you understand all too well the priceless impact the AVI’s $65,000.00 will have on these blossoming businesses and on the sustainability of the business landscape in Ghana and beyond.