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!