Kosmos Energy launches new corporate social investment program: Kosmos Innovation Center
March 16, 2016 – Kosmos Energy, announced today that it has launched a new flagship corporate social investment program, called the Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC), in Accra.
KIC will use innovation and apply commercial solutions to Ghana’s existing social and economic challenges by using a market-based approach that facilitates private sector enterprise and entrepreneurship. This initiative is a marked departure from the traditional approach to corporate social responsibility.
In its first year, the KIC is focusing on agriculture – the largest sector in Ghana’s economy – where it will pursue and nurture the development of market-based solutions that address various development challenges across the sector’s value chain. The KIC will focus on the nexus between information and communications technology and agriculture, with the goal of inspiring entrepreneurs to transform Ghana’s agriculture sector.
To get results that drive change, the KIC uses a three-part approach: Collaboration, Incubation, and Acceleration.
The KIC is fostering partnerships to tackle challenges together through workshops, conferences, and other events. It will bring together the best and brightest minds from a range of fields, such as business, technology, finance, academia, and other specialists to talk through the issues encountered in a particular sector. These experts and practitioners will share their knowledge, inspire each other, and work together to develop practical solutions to the most pressing problems.
Nurturing promising start-up companies through formal competitions focused on innovation, the program will challenge young entrepreneurs to use technology to develop commercially viable solutions to development challenges within agriculture. At the end of the competition, selected entrepreneurs receive seed funding, technical assistance, and mentorship to help them turn their ideas into reality.
Investing in small business development through capital investment and technical assistance, the KIC will accelerate the development of promising small businesses with the potential to provide private sector solutions to market problems. After a stringent screening process, selected companies receive a range of support aimed at helping them grow their business.
Commenting on the launch, Joe Mensah, Vice President and Country Manager, Kosmos Energy Ghana said “the KIC represents the next chapter in our story. It’s a program that reflects the same contrarian thinking and entrepreneurial spirit that helped us get where we are today, except this time we will be the angel investor who supports someone else’s dream. And in the process, we hope to play a role in solving some of Ghana’s most pressing developmental challenges.”
He noted that the first area of activity to be addressed by the KIC is the use of ICT innovation in agriculture to inspire budding new entrepreneurs to use technology to transform Ghana’s agricultural sector. He said “the program aims to increase the interest of the youth in agriculture, which so far has been regarded as a dull and unrewarding activity despite the huge potential for economic growth that it offers and the crucial importance to the national economy.”
Mensah pointed out that KIC will leverage local partnerships for expertise and resources, and employ innovative challenges, information sharing and promotional events, seed financing and technical assistance as well as a strong communications campaign to encourage the application of new or existing innovation to sector problems.