Category Archives: News

Kosmos Innovation Center Hosts Investor Engagement Training with Agric-SMEs

In November 2017, KIC launched the Business Booster program, an exciting new business accelerator initiative to help growth-oriented small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana’s agriculture sector. After a rigorous screening process, nine agribusinesses were selected and began a week-long ‘Boot Camp’, which was an opportunity to begin to refine their business plans. While KIC’s first business booster cohort spanned the agriculture sector from meat-processing and egg and poultry retailers, to locally-sourced shea butter and moringa products, they all are facing similar financial and operational challenges to fully realize their significant growth potential.

 “I really like the KIC model that is working with youth start-ups in the AgriTech program; and has now developed this new separate Acceleration program. The team has properly screened out SMEs that are at similar stages of growth, like me, so that we can all learn from each other and have Boot Camp training materials that are tailored to what we need to become investment-ready.” Francesca Opoku – MD of Beauty Secrets

Learning from KIC’s first two successful AgriTech Exchanges and hands-on coaching model for youth start-ups, the Business Booster program has also emphasized strong mentorship. On the last day of the Boot Camp, the cohort met 18 of KIC’s Acceleration Mentors – who are all experienced Ghanaian entrepreneurs and business advisors who have committed to providing ongoing support to help the SMEs explore new market opportunities, restructure underperforming business lines, and provide advice on corporate governance challenges. In addition, the program is partnering each venture with one of Ghana’s leading SME financial advisory firms, Growth Mosaic, to provide support in professionalizing their financial management systems.

In the lead up to the much-anticipated Boot Camp 2 and Investor Day in early May, KIC hosted a Pre-Boot Camp 2 workshop on 28 February 2018 focusing on “Courting & Engaging the Investor.” Many of the Business Booster ventures have never approached investors before and are still struggling to finalize their business plans, investor pitches and financials. The workshop was a chance for the cohort to hear presentations from local investors about their expectations, observations and experience reviewing business plans for similar Ghanaian agri-SMEs. The workshop reignited a ‘fire in the belly’ for our first Cohort ventures to work hard over the next two months – with the support of KIC’s mentors – to prepare their draft business plans, which will be reviewed during Boot Camp 2 and ready to be presented at KIC’s inaugural Investor Day. Stay tuned!

Kosmos Innovation Center Provides Essential Training to Ninety-Five Young Entrepreneurs During 2018 AgriTech Challenge

Ninety-five young entrepreneurs participating in the 2018 AgriTech Challenge have successfully completed a two-month program of workshops and training sessions, as well as an 11-day market research tour, tailored to help them identify challenges inherent in the Agribusiness value chain and find innovative technology solutions to mitigate these challenges.

This is the first phase (January – April) of capacity building program designed to prepare them for their first business plan pitches scheduled for early May this year. Within this period, they have the opportunity to choose their partners as a first step in forming their future business teams. It is expected that approximately 24 teams, with a minimum of four members on each team, will be formed before the first pitch in May.

Several training seminars have been provided to prepare the young entrepreneurs:

  • Research Methodologies and Design Thinking, conducted by Dr. Nkechi Sroda Owoo and Dr. Gordon Adomdza
  • Building a Business Plan, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, (PwC)
  • Innovations on the Shelf, conducted by the University of Ghana, Legon, School of Applied Sciences
  • ICT and Innovation, conducted by MFarm
  • Think Innovation, Think Creative, conducted by the GRATIS Foundation

The objective of these training seminars is to ensure that the young entrepreneurs understand what goes into creating sustainable businesses, categorize problems identified during their research tours, and then use their learnings to create innovative business ideas with their customers in mind.

The research tour across six regions in Ghana is an integral part of the 2018 AgriTech Challenge activities which helps the young entrepreneurs to understand the agricultural value chain and create businesses out of the solutions to the challenges identified. In the next phase (March/April) of programming, the young entrepreneurs will participate in a second market research tour, as well as attend workshops focused on pricing and finance, and marketing communications.

George Sarpong, Kosmos Energy’s director of corporate affairs, who leads the Kosmos Innovation Center said: “We want to ensure that our young entrepreneurs get off on a good start in designing their business ideas. These capacity building, mentorship, and business support programs, will enable them to design innovative solutions that address the needs of Ghana’s agricultural sector and simultaneously create viable business opportunities.”

 

Kosmos Energy partners with PricewaterhouseCoopers (Ghana) Limited (PwC Ghana) for the third year of the Kosmos Innovation Center 2018 AgriTech Challenge

Kosmos Energy has partnered with PricewaterhouseCoopers (Ghana) Limited (PwC Ghana) for the third year of the Kosmos Innovation Center 2018 AgriTech Challenge.

The professional services firm will support the Challenge by providing the young entrepreneurs with knowledge based workshops that will focus on topics such as business planning, marketing, taxation and law.

“At PwC, we believe the road to growth passes through entrepreneurship which is why we are excited to collaborate with Kosmos Energy for the AgriTech Challenge,” said Ayesha Bedwei, PwC Tax Partner and West Africa Corporate Responsibility Leader.

“Entrepreneurship is a strong driver of wealth creation in Africa which redounds benefits for us all. The AgriTech Challenge brings together some of Ghana’s most exceptional up and coming agricultural entrepreneurs whose business practices will prove pivotal to the economic development of the country. PwC is proud to partner with Kosmos Energy. We are dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs along the paths they wish to follow in order to create successful ventures across Ghana and the continent.”

Joe Mensah, Kosmos Energy’s vice president and country manager, said: “Ghana is a breeding ground for talent and innovation. The AgriTech participants have to think entrepreneurially in order to survive and strive. Our partnership with PwC shows our commitment to helping entrepreneurs build robust businesses.”

Third Year of Kosmos Innovation Center 2018 AgriTech Challenge Takes Off with an ice breaking event at the University of Ghana Law School

New AgriTechies enrolled on the third season of the AgriTech Challenge 2018, have attended an ice breaking event on 22nd January. The event was organized to allow new AgriTechies to meet and interacted with each other and to help some of whom might become their future business partners in the coming months. It was also an opportunity for the them to meet Kosmos Energy and the KIC programme executives, partners – Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, (MEST), The Premium Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Addressing the AgriTechies Joe Mensah, Kosmos Energy’s Vice President and Country Manager, said “This is our third round of the AgriTech Challenge and we are very excited about it!  Your presence here today is an indication that the interest and participation in the AgriTech Challenge is growing. He urged them to think differently, share ideas, create partnerships, acknowledge challenges but be persistent.

The guest speaker for the event Prof Tagoe, Provost, College of Education/Dean School of Continuing and Distance Education was represented by Prof. Olivia Kwapong, Lecturer, Institute of Continuing and Distance Education, University of Ghana. He emphasised on youth participation in nation building through job creation, especially through innovations in the agribusiness value chain. Other KIC partner representatives addressed the group on a series of topics to help them appreciate what it takes to succeed as entrepreneurs. Mr. Kwasi Tumi, Managing Director of Premium Bank presented on how to attract the attention of an investor; Ms. Ayesha Bedwei, PwC Tax Partner and West Africa Corporate Responsibility Leader, on tailored finance capacity building workshops and Mr. Todd Holcombe, Faculty Head of MEST delivered on the outcome of incubation.

This year, Kosmos will introduce the Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) fellowship/alumni programme. This will be a KIC community of all past participants and partners. The objective is to create a hub of change agents and thought leadership focused on agriculture and innovation.

More than 500 young people applied to be part of this year’s challenge. Two hundred were shortlisted and interviewed, and a final one hundred twenty-one selected. It is expected that 25 to 30 businesses (groups) will be formed to compete for the ultimate prize, which includes seed funding and technical assistance.

For the next seven months, the new entrepreneurs will participate in a range of activities, including capacity building sessions and market research tours, before pitching and defending their business plans in front of a panel of judges comprised of senior experts from diverse sectors, such as agribusiness, ICT, academia and finance. As in past Challenges, the AgriTechies will embark on a series of market research tours, in the ten regions of Ghana to deepen their understanding of the agriculture value chain and agribusiness operations.

The first market research tour, in six regions Greater Accra, Eastern, Ashanti, Volta, Brong-Ahafo and Northern – for the first leg, is scheduled for February 6th through to 15th 2018.

Another key component is the AgriTech Exchange, which comes of later this month in February, will again bring together experts from agriculture, agribusiness, finance, ICT, and academia to identify the key challenges in the agriculture value chain. The entrepreneurs will attempt to find solutions to sector challenges identified at the AgriTech Exchange.

2018 is another opportunity for Kosmos Energy to create a couple more businesses driven by Ghana’s young people through the challenge issued by the Kosmos Innovation Center. We are pleased to be a partner in building Ghana’s future.


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