A foundation that supports young people who are in agribusiness, Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC), in collaboration with The MasterCard Foundation which supports businesses run by young people, has launched a programme aimed at scaling 900 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (Agri-MSMEs) in the agriculture sector.
Dubbed the “KIC Business Booster”, the four-year programme will accelerate the growth of Agri-MSMEs by improving their investor readiness and connecting them to potential funding.
It forms part of a $16 million multi-year partnership programme to train the next generation of young leaders and entrepreneurs in Ghana’s agriculture sector launched by the two entities earlier this year.
The booster programme is in alignment with the company’s goal of supporting Agri-MSMEs to scale up, provide food security and build globally competitive brands backed by innovation and technology.
Agri-MSMEs that take part in the programme will be provided with capacity building training and business development support services such as mentorship and coaching, market linkages and network opportunities for five months.
The programme will enable them to improve their business operations, mitigate financial constraints and appropriately prepare them to engage with potential investors.
Implemented in phases, the programme with the Agri-MSMEs will be based in Greater Accra, Ashanti, Bono East, Northern and Upper West regions of Ghana in the first year, and has therefore called for interested businesses in the listed regions to apply immediately.
To commemorate the launch of the programme, KIC organised a learning event for young people and operators. The event brought together experts who discussed the challenges faced by Agri-MSMEs and proposed various solutions to solving those challenges.
Speaking at the launch, the Executive Director of KIC, Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, said “we want to support Agri-MSMEs to grow and impact society in terms of providing food and creating jobs”.
He reiterated KIC’s contributions to the country’s agricultural sector, saying about 100,000 farmers had been impacted by the company’s Agri-Tech initiative which builds the capacity of young agricultural entrepreneurs.
For his part, the Board Chairman of KIC, Senior VP and Head of the Ghana Business Unit at Kosmos Energy, Joe Mensah, said the initiative was another pillar of KIC’s work that had a lot of potential to transform the agriculture sector when provided with the necessary support.
“Offering support to Agri-MSMEs means a lot to the KIC programme and just as we have made significant impact with the other programme elements, the Business Booster programme will also yield high impact,” he said.
The Country Head at the Mastercard Foundation, Rosy Fynn, said: the KIC Business Booster programme was in accordance with her foundation’s country strategy of investing in the agriculture and agriculture-adjacent sectors.
This, she said, would unlock work opportunities for young Ghanaians, particularly women, and push for changes that would position the country as a technological hub with agriculture innovations.