Stanbic Bank Ghana has partnered Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to roll out a programme that is aimed at supporting financial technology businesses in the country.
Dubbed: NextGen Fintech Accelerator, the programme will assist growth stage technology companies in their market validation and customer acquisition phase in Ghana.
The rolling accelerator programme is focused on product validation, customer acquisition, and investment readiness.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Stanbic Bank Ghana, Mr Kwamina K. Asomaning, signed on behalf of the bank, while the Head of the Network for Inclusive Economic Development (NIED) cluster at GIZ, Mr Gerald Guskowski, signed for the international cooperation enterprise in Accra yesterday.
Mr Asomaning said the bank believed that experiential learning was one of the best ways to leapfrog young entrepreneurs into established businesses, contributing significantly to the economic growth of the country.
For this reason, he said the bank had since 2018 been investing in young entrepreneurs through work-based learning, coaching, and the provision of an enabling environment to equip young people with the skills needed for work.
Ghana has revolutionised its FinTech industry to embrace the use of smartphones and applications in transactions.
Mobile payment systems
There are presently over 11 million active users on mobile payment systems, with banks recording over 80 per cent of their transactions as originating from electronic and digital channels.
The Bank of Ghana (BoG), which is the regulator of payment systems, reports that about 71 fintech companies operate in the country.
FinTechs have proven to be the future of banking, especially in these times of the COVID-19 pandemic, where the use of digital payment systems is increasingly becoming mainstream.
However, the Fintech Ecosystem in Ghana is at a blossoming stage; hence, the need for this initiative.
Mr Asomaning indicated that the priority of the bank was to build the capacity of FinTech businesses and startups through a six-month intensive curriculum–based training.
“The training will focus on reconstructing and validating the business models to scale and adhere to industry best practices.
“The training will also refine, test and validate their growth strategies, as well as operational framework. Ultimately, this initiative will coach and nurture the FinTechs to be investor ready,” he stated
Mr Gerald Guskowski, for his part, said that was a significant and timely cooperation that would foster more relevant sustainability-driven innovation far beyond the financial industry.
He said the NextGen Fintech Accelerator was unique in a way that would scale up innovative technology and business-based solutions to drive sustainable development.
“Over the past two years, Make-IT in Africa has invested in supporting a pipeline of start-ups in Ghana in various sectors, including health, education, smart city, agriculture, among others. Financial technology is the next area that we are supporting, including using the instrument of regulations by the central bank to enable start-ups in the field.
“We look forward to supporting this ambitious initiative that we see as a key contributor to business growth and driver of economic development in future,” he noted.
The accelerator programme will run one cohort of 20 selected early-to-growth stage FinTech start-ups.
The Joint Stanbic Bank & GIZ NextGen FinTech Accelerator aims at contributing to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development aims at contributing to UN Sustainable Development Goal 8 by supporting tech start-ups in the field of FinTech to help advance their solutions in the local environment.
The programme features a six-month long intensive curriculum–based training, after which participants will engage in a mentorship programme by experts from Stanbic Bank.
The launch kicks off the application process where potential applicants will go through a series of selection processes, and shortlisted applicants will move on to the Virtual Training Bootcamp.