Catalyst Fund, Mastercard Foundation, MEST launch $4.3m Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator in Ghana, join the programme
In partnership with the Mastercard Foundation and the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), Catalyst Fund, managed by BFA Global launches Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator, a programme aimed at scaling digital commerce companies in Ghana. The programme looks to support the digitisation of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in the country.
Undoubtedly, the novel virus — coronavirus — which broke out early in the year has disrupted many businesses activities. In this light, the company stated that the two-year programme will improve the livelihoods and financial resilience of MSEs in Ghana, that have been impacted by COVID-19, by enabling access to digital commerce platforms and access to market.
“Through the Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator, we aim to impact informal MSEs in Ghana who, particularly in light of the COVID-19 crisis, lack access to a financial safety net and find their livelihoods impacted when physical commerce suffers. Along with support and deep local expertise from the Mastercard Foundation and MEST, we aim to enable companies who are already tackling distinct problems in the digital commerce space to better reach informal MSEs so they can leverage digital rails to improve their financial resilience for the future,” said Catalyst Fund Managing Director Maelis Carraro.
In the Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator, six digital commerce and innovative companies that can enable informal MSEs to reap the benefits of digital commerce will be selected and scaled.
The businesses will leverage Catalyst Fund’s existing proven model to combine flexible grant capital of up to US$120,000 per company, expert-led venture acceleration support, sharing best practices, toolkits, learnings, and insights with the digital commerce sector and connections with Catalyst Fund’s growing global Circle of Investors and Circle of Corporate Innovators.
The company noted that all participating companies in the pitch will be selected by an expert Investment Advisory Committee. The selection process is also informed by market research conducted to identify the barriers and opportunities for expanding inclusive digital commerce in Ghana.
Beyond its flagship inclusive fintech programme, Catalyst Fund will officially launch via a virtual event and company pitch showcase on November 4th, 2020. Additionally, the initial research findings regarding the market research will be released on this day.
Some of the speakers at the launch will include Alex Bram of Hubtel; Lexi Novitske of Acuity Venture Partners; Albert Biga of Zoobashop; Kweku Fleming of MEST Scale; and Jane del Ser of BFA Global.
The event will conclude with a pitch showcase from four leading digital commerce companies across Ghana, which will be held at the MEST Accra Incubator. Companies interested in participating in the accelerator programme can fill a form on the company’s website.
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