Three Ghanaian startups will receive equity-free grant funding and support from MEST and the Mastercard Foundation after being named top performers from the beta 2020 cohort of the MEST Express accelerator programme.
MEST Express is one of three new programmes, alongside Pre-MEST and MEST Scale, that MEST is currently running in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation through Young Africa Works, a 10-year strategy of the foundation to enable three million young people in Ghana to access dignified and fulfilling work.
The programme aims to equip early-stage ventures with the skills and resources they require to accelerate their growth. The 2021 cohort is currently underway, and MEST announced the winners of last year’s beta cohort at a finals event held at its incubator space in Accra and broadcast virtually.
First place was awarded to Bosea, a mobile technology and data science company that provides mobile loans in Ghana. Bosea will receive US$10,000 in grant funding towards the development of its Credify product, a lending-as-service platform that enables micro-credit and microfinance firms to fully digitise their operations.
“When we launched the MEST Express programme last year, we knew there was a need for an accelerator that was specifically designed to address the critical needs of startups in Ghana due to the effects of the pandemic. Seeing these companies’ growth over the past several months reinforces the fact that we are on the right track. I am very proud of the cohort and the grant winners. Bosea is a shining example that hard work, perseverance, and a clear vision can see you through the toughest times and even leave you stronger for it,” said Felix Darko, MEST Express programme manager.
Second and third placed Wegoo, a platform that supports small businesses with affordable and reliable on-demand delivery services, and Motito, which helps users pay for essential items over time, will receive US$6,000 and US$4,000 respectively to support their operations.
The funding will also provide essential resources needed to improve the resilience of these startups.