Africa’s leading telecommunications company, Telecel Group, has rolled its flagship social accelerator and investment programme, the Africa Start-Up Initiative Programme (ASIP).
The programme, the third in the series, is being implemented by StartupbootcampAfriTech, and under the programme, ten Information Communication Technology (ICT) startup companies would be enrolled and supported with $18,000 each and other packages to scale up their businesses.
Telecel Group consequently held a ‘fast-track’ session on Thursday at the Accra Digital Centre for the applicants of the programme to pitch their business ideas.
Speaking to journalists after the launch of the programme, the Deputy Executive of Telecel Group ASIP, Eleanor Azar, said the programme was meant to support the youth to build their own businesses to help reduce growing unemployment in Africa.
Founded by the Telecel Group Chief Executive Officer, Moh Damush, the Telecel Group ASIP was designed to develop new businesses across the continent by working with start-ups and early stage companies to define their business strategy and secure funding.
She said the youth had a lot of ideas and the programme was meant to support turn their ideas into profitable and sustainable business.
“The potential we see in Ghana is exponential and we look forward to welcoming more Ghanaian start-ups to ASIP,” Ms Azar, stated.
She said Telecel Group received about 2500 applications for the ASIP and fifty were selected to pitch their business.
Ms Azar said twenty of the fifty applicants would be selected after they had pitched their business idea, adding that out of the 20, 10 would be selected to participate in the ASIP programme.
She said the third cohort would focus on FinTech, InsureTech, AgriTech, Climate-Tech, eCommerce, Digital Health, CelanTech, Mobility, Micro-leasing and digitising the informal economy.
Ms Azar said five Ghanaian start-ups had been supported and were doing well since the programme was started in 2018.
With support from leading pan-African technology accelerator, StartupbootcampAfriTech, the programme had since 2021 empowered 21 businesses and provided them with cash support estimated at $80 million.
The Programme Director of Startupbootcamp, Henry Ojuor, said the ‘fast-track’ session was to provide opportunity for the applicants to get real time feedback from the panel of experts assigned to select the participants for the programme.
He said about twenty per cent of start-ups that attend the event usually make it to the final round.
“It is a fantastic opportunity to network with our investment team and get more information about the ASIP programme,” Mr Ojuor, said.
The Managing Director of the Ghana Digital Centre (GDC), Kwadwo Baah Agyemang, said the GDC was intensifying collaborations with stakeholders to identify and create opportunities that accelerated the growth of digital start-ups in line with its objective of fostering innovation and entrepreneurship through the provision of platforms for business incubation, business acceleration, digital research and development programmes.”
BY KINGSLEY ASARE